If I were to make a list of my favorite Epic Power Metal Bands, I would be remiss if I didn't include Freedom Call. For power metaliers, Freedom Call have one of the classiest sounds around. I can barely listen to their music after all these years, without getting chills. There are presently four Freedom Call studio albums and all are solid efforts but for some reason, Crystal Empire strikes a higher chord in my aural senses. I chose to write about this album because, in my humble opinion, it beats out the others by a hair.
Freedom Call is one of those rare bands, where all the band members sing and join in the harmony, like Asia or Styx. Their music is what is regarded as Epic or Heroic Power Metal, which usually translates into a story about some bigger than life fantasy character or event. Crystal Empire is such an album, chronicling a mighty quest by Ramzezh, king of the sun people to save his people from the evil prince Thorgan of Phantagor.
Freedom Call's music is standard epic power metal fare, with symphonic accompaniment and somewhat high pitched multiple vocals harmonizing in the background. The music is particularly melodic, the musicianship, especially guitars, is magnificent. What I like in particular about Freedom Call's songs is that they don't turn their drummer loose, like Rhapsody and many others. Another thing I like about Freedom Call is, like Rhapsody, they vary the tempo of the music. However, unlike Rhapsody, Freedom Call's fastest speed seems to be less frenetic than many other power metal bands. This is a important issue with me. It is one of the reasons I never quite got into Rhapsody. Their fastest speed is almost machine gun like. I find it very disconcerting and it really keeps me from absorbing the music. It's just moving too fast to take in. Anyway, if you're a power metal fan, this is a must!
All the songs are excellent, with special emphasis on tracks 2, 4 and 8. "Freedom Call", "Farewell" and "The Quest". All songs are similar but the exceptional melodies and varying tempos elevate these three songs above the others.
"Freedom Call" is a 5:35 minute, medium fast tempo piece with strong orchestral elements. It also features a strong guitar solo in the bridge.
"Farewell" is a 4:06 minute, medium paced, somewhat anthem sounding song again with extensive orchestral accompaniment.
At 7:35 minutes "The Quest" longest song on the album. It is also the `piece de resistance`, a song that I consider in the top echelons of my favorites. For me it is truly inspiring, starting out with a subtle piano intro and then the sound explodes around you. It has somewhat of a chugging beat.