Happy, Happy, Happy. So very happy.
The kings of “Happy Metal” are back with
one of their best, 2016’s ‘Master of Light‘. Not yet ready to rest upon their laurels Germany’s FREEDOM CALL triumphantly soars on with engaging power shred, a brisk pound, and more trademark, brain-addling choral hooks.
Despite a few easy discards ‘Master‘ holds some of the most addictive, soul etching songs you likely to hear this (or any other) year. Opener “Metal is Everyone” amps its Metal edge while keeping those wonderful choruses and all the glory of 90s Power cheese held firm. With ear-worms like these who gives a damn about cliche riddled lyrics?
“Hammer of the Gods” unapologetically merges MANOWAR hockey arena Metal with lush vocal harmonies and Brian May Prog fret flourish. The mischievous, fantastical title track darkens the tone before launching into a regal, keyboardy “Kings Rise and Fall“. While lone ballad “Cradle of Angels” showcases Chris Bay’s powerful vocal range.
Where HAMMERFALL lost its groove–diving into experimental often unsatisfying genre shifts–FC carries on like all clocks simply stopped back in 2002. Pure Power Metal played with precision, speed, and a gleeful heart.
A blistering “Ghost Ballet” gives way to the hope-ified Power Rock anthem we need after enduring that election year, “Rock the Nation“. With “High Up” closing on a particularly high note. Dare you to try and not push repeat after its glorious three minutes end, “We’re living it up. Forever and ever. And we never will stop!” –I’m holding you guys to that.
Well, that’s that. Go and buy FREEDOM CALL’s ‘Master of Light‘, press play, tap your ears, and smile. Fifty minutes of pure Metal joy. Scoff, if you will. I still think there’s a place for happy in the world.