If there’s ever been an album title to reflect perfectly the aura and musical attitude of Freedom Call, then it’s got to be Master Of Light. The name of their latest release refers not only to the band’s enigmatic perceived image, it also proclaims optimism and joie de vivre to be pretty much an irrevocable philosophy of life. Freedom Call reflect their musical enthusiasm in every single note, they share it with their fans, on their albums as well as in countless electrifying shows. A phenomenon with a reciprocal effect, the musicians allowing themselves just as frequently to be inspired by their fans. So it comes as no surprise that frontman Chris Bay talks about a “whole load of energy” which the band currently emanates as a result of their successful tour promoting the predecessor album Beyond:
“We returned from the shows with such a lot of power that we found ourselves composing and recording the new material within a few months.”
As they did with their previous twelve albums, the current line-up consisting of original members Chris Bay (vocals, guitars) and Ilker Ersin (bass) plus guitarist Lars Rettkowitz and drummer Ramy Ali have recorded in Master Of Light another prime example of multi-faceted melodic metal. Once again, Freedom Call’s greatest forte is their verve and amazing dynamism, their fantastic melodies and anthemnic chorus parts – and it looks like this is set to continue, as Bay explains:
“As far as chorus parts are concerned, we’ve even topped our previous releases.”
And not only in terms of vocals, as the lead single Hammer Of The Gods has revealed. The song with its epic orientation prepared the fans for the upcoming album as early as July. And the anticipation proved to be justified as Freedom Call mark 2016 continue to be the epitome of irrepressible musical enthusiasm. Straightforward power metal songs such as Rock The Nation, Riders In The Sky, Kings Rise And Fall and Hail The Legend speak for themselves, just like Metal Is For Everyone. Bay on that programmatic title:
“Metal Is For Everyone is our plea not to worry too much about the apparent imponderabilities of life, to take them a little less seriously. And: isn’t there a little heavy metal in every one of us?”
This question is easily answered in view of a thoroughly haunting album. And not only when Freedom Call put the pedal to the metal on their uptempo numbers, but also when Masters Of Light temporarily appears in a slightly darker light. The title track turns out to be a comparatively sinister counterpoint to the group’s otherwise fairly sunny pace, featuring humorous lyrics on the musicians’ supposed heroic deeds.
“In a way, we glorify ourselves with this track,”
“but of course it’s all very much tongue-in-cheek.”
In other places, Master Of Light is slightly more progressive:
“I think this is one of the most challenging numbers we’ve ever recorded,”
Bay describes the almost six-minute opus A World Beyond, adding:
“The complexity of that number reminds me first and foremost of our Crystal Empire phase.”
Also unusual: the ballad A Cradle Of Angels, which was recorded on acoustic guitars in fingerpicking style and features lyrics that encourage positive thinking to solve problems. Talking of positive: the thoroughly appealing cover artwork, designed by Michael Dorschner, is a visual reflection of the album title’s sense of humour.
Freedom Call recorded more than a dozen new numbers for their new release, including four bonus tracks featuring various small surprises. Master Of Light was cut at the band’s own Little Sun Creek Lounge Studio near Nuremberg and the controls were manned by Chris Bay and Stephan Ernst, who also co-produced the predecessors Land Of The Crimson Dawn (2012), Beyond (2014) and Eternity – 666 Weeks Beyond Eternity (2015). So the Freedom Call formula for success appears to be just right and the superb result should secure the four musicians their place in the sun again from 11-11-2016 – which seems more than apt seeing that from a spiritual point of view, 11 is considered to be the number of light and awakening.