Freedom Call – Silver Romance (Steamhammer/SPV)

Monday, 6th May 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

They may not have invented ‘happy metal’, but most power metal experts know that when it comes to this specific niche in this sub-genre, the poster act that aligns to the uplifting melodies or ability to take you beyond the here and now into fantasy/magical wonderment musically would be Freedom Call. What started in the late 90s has now come into the celebration of the group’s 25th anniversary – thus the aptly titled eleventh studio record for Silver Romance. Only leader Chris Bay remains from those early days, but he’s assembled a more than competent set of musicians to execute another thunderous selection of anthems – smartly including members in the songwriting fold as well as recording / behind the scenes work to ensure a positive outcome.

The one-two punch of the title track plus “Symphony of Avalon” leads the proceedings in grandiose fashion – the latter including the cliché ‘band name in the lyrics’ motif next to a cavalcade of power chords, persistent double kick bursts, as well as bold choirs that encourage audience unison participation activities. The guitar / keyboard quotient often hits 50/50 scales, yet never weakens the metal foundation on mid-tempo anthem offerings such as “Supernova” or the marching-oriented “Blue Giant”. Yes, certain songs do possess that old fashioned Helloween-esque charm be it certain gliding rhythms during “Infinity” or the requisite homage to the genre we all know and love in the playful closer “Metal Generation” -but isn’t that the norm for Freedom Call, and would we want things any other way? In his mid-50s, Chris hasn’t lost any element of his multi-octave vocal delivery, always willing to rise to that heroic, semi-operatic falsetto melody when necessary – with the proper battalion underneath to join his quest no matter what speed, tempo, or atmosphere is on hand. Transporting all your senses into a universe that is triumphant and glorious is a rare commodity in a genre known for darkness, evil topics, or sheer aggression as staples – and that’s what you will get for 13 tracks at a reasonable 52 minutes and change playback.

Pulling from three-fourths of the members on the songwriting front with guitarist Lars Rettkowitz and returning drummer Ramy Ali adding to Chris’ pool of creativity, Silver Romance encompasses a lot of the cinematic splendor that happy metal achieves to keep their long-standing followers very appeased. Freedom Call shows no signs of slowing down creatively, to the greater good of legions globally.

Freedom Call official website

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