On question is valid for sure, does a band already have to do a live album after three albums? Fans of the band will shout or sing yes with a vengeance, who doesn’t like the band will be a lot more sceptical. In any way, with “Live Invasion” we have such a one by FREEDOM CALL, recorded on their “Eternal World Tour” 2002 as support of BLIND GUARDIAN, at the gigs in Düsseldorf, Munich and Stuttgart.
The Nuremberg based band to many is a clash, with their quite bombastic Power Metal including big choirs and all, which some might regard overblown and also Chris Bay’s is not for everyone, as it is pretty high, his class and classically educated voice, though, should be beyond any doubt.
Altogether 13 songs, including intro, can be found on “Live Invasion“, forming a journey through their three albums so far, “Stairway To Fairyland“, "Crystal Empire“ and “Eternity“. I had been a fan of FREEDOM CALL ever since I had heard one track off their debut during the preparations for a gig in Salzburg’s Rockhouse (the CD was rotating back then), as I had loved the big choirs and catchy melodies and I still do. And with the exception of some weaknesses in the choirs, which you hardly can realise live in studio quality, no matter by who, the gentlemen Bay, Zimmerman, Ersin, Dupont and Neumann also excellently transfer their sound to the stage.
Among the highlights we have “We Are One“ (which I think had been the track that had hooked me to FREEDOM CALL all those years back), “The Quest“, “Metal Invasion“, “Land Of Light“ (yes, a lot of keyboards, but they just add to this song!!), “Shine On“ and the great ballad “Hymn To The Brave“, with basically each song being good, hehe.
As bonus of the 2 CD edition we also get the (in Germany) previously unreleased EP “Taragon”, plus two additional cover versions. On the EP, which had been released only in France, I think, between “Stairway To Fairyland“ and „Crystal Empire“, we have five songs, of which one has been extended quite a bit, “Tears Of Taragon”, with a narratory part by none other than SAXON captain Biff Byford. Style wise they have stayed close to their debut, meaning pretty bombastic and very catchy Power Metal with big choirs and equally big melodies, so strong material all the way. Add to this three cover versions, ULTRAVOX’ “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes“ (off the EP, I already like the original and the speed version of FREEDOM CALL does the same for me), “Hiroshima” by WISHFUL THINKING (also good) and HELLOWEEN’s classic “Dr.Stein” (you cannot really cover this song, especially if you’re not really far away from the original…).
So, the decision is yours in the end, if you like FREEDOM CALL or not. The quality itself lets me issue a recommendation, the rest is you… (Online June 21, 2004)