Freedom Call - Dimensions
My familiarity with Germany's Freedom Call, prior to Dimensions, was their previous record, The Circle of Life, which I was only somewhat impressed with. It sounded like by-the-books power metal to me, a product of an under-experienced and inspired band playing it safe. You expect it to be cheesy, and cheesy Freedom Call continue to be. Dimensions does push the pedal to the metal a little more than it's predecesor, and if you can excuse the metal cheese, you'll find an above-average melodic power metal album.
The longer, semi-complex meanderings of Circle are cut down significantly, much to the joy of this reviewer. The first three songs (not including the typical intro track) are all quick blasts of classic power metal. They offer a few ballads, as these types of bands are often fond of doing, and have no more luck in sounding any more ballsier or impressive for it. Seriously, it's about time these METAL bands stick to the METAL and stop trying to invoke geeky elf-on-elf fantasies and what-not. Keep it raging, that sort of thing. Another thing...some of these songs borderline dangerously close to hair metal...sometimes reminding me of Bon Jovi, God knows why. If that sounds like your thing, congrats, but it's not mine. Not by a long shot.
So there's some bones to pick, to be sure, but it's clear to me that Freedom Call are improving. I dig the gang chant vocals, big choruses and the vocals are the best they've ever been. But these guys have a way to go before we can start mentioning them in the same breath as their fellow countrymen Blind Guardian and the other power metal elites far and wide.
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