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Freedom Call - Live In Hellvetia

Label: SPV
Format: CD + DVD
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 6/ 10

Double live CD and DVD (separate, or combo, including a second, 90 minute video of on-tour and studio hijinks) from German power metallers, recorded last year, on tour in Switzerland (Confederation Helvetia, which is why their international license abbreviation is CH). Freedom Call issued "Live Invasion" back in ’04 (and there’s only been a trio of studio efforts since).


In their best moments (‘We Are One’, ‘Out Of The Ruins’, ‘Metal Invasion’, ‘Merlin – Legend Of The Past’, a poppy ‘Warriors’), they (re)Call countrymen Helloween, especially vocalist Chris Bay, who has a bit of Kai Hansen in his throat. However, those are too infrequent amongst the 19 tracks (there’s also a drum solo). Not a definitive, career retrospective, as they were touring to support "Legend Of The Shadowking". As such, no less than six selections are lifted from said platter (and seven repeats from the earlier live release). Most of the between song banter is in German. The responsive crowd sings and claps along to ‘United Alliance’, while ‘Thunder God’ is a bit of a departure, with heavier, mechanized stomp and the odd gruff vocalization. Opening disc #2, an acoustic/piano ‘Merlin Requiem’ leads into the aforementioned, more lively name check. The ivories reappear to introduce mid-tempo chugger, ‘The Quest’, but bagpipe sounding instrumentation accompanies the decidedly mainstream rock (read, non-metal) ‘Far Away’ sing-along. ‘Mr. Evil’ is a thinly veiled ‘Dr. Stein’ re-write, while the piano begun clap-along ‘Hymn To The Brave’ (an old fashioned lighter-aloft ballad) is a rather weak "send them home" moment.

My score is based on too much "Shadowking" and repeat material, but the DVD bonus (format) warrants an additional point.

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