Twenty years have passed since happy metallers Freedom Call have stepped on then bludgeoning power metal scene with their classic debut album Stairway to Fairyland and many things have changed since then, but Chris Bay and his cohort haven’t moved one iota from their initial belief. This year marks the nice jubilee since that mentioned album, so the band has naturally prepared the new album aptly titled M.E.T.A.L. Even though half of the line up is changed since their previous album 2016’s Master of Light, this is no novelty to Chris as the new album shows crystal clear. It should be mentioned that 2014’s Beyond and 2016’s Master of Light have shown signs of returning to earliest Freedom Call sound found on first three albums and M.E.T.A.L. continues this tradition, which is more than welcome considering the fact that majority of fans view this as golden era of the band. One more link to the past is guest spot of Dan Zimmermann (ex drummer) on title track, and that track proves the thing that bothers me most in newer Freedom Call’s catalogue. Those are honestly banal lyrics about metal, like M.E.T.A.L. or Metal is for everyone off the previous album – we had more than enough from German power metal scene and those lyrics truly means nothing if you ask me. Freedom Call is best when they are completely epic and happy, and luckily majority of the album follows that fashion. If it isn’t broken why fix it? The band delivers here just what the fans like about them, and that is speedy singalong power metal with uplifting mood all around. They slow it down here and there, but the vibe of the music still stays the same… you know, the usual Freedom Call happy metal party they are well known for. In the days when power metal is at very low point, it is good to see that old vanguards of this scene are still here to keep the banner high. I would just like Freedom Call to completely ditch above mentioned lyrical content, and perhaps even go completely conceptual like in their Taragon days! That would be perfect in my opinion, a man can dream about it after all.

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