Monday, August 14, 2006

Stairway To What ?!?! But This Is Metal!

Freedom Call is another side project featuring Daniel Zimmerman of Gamma Ray and a short stint with Iron Savior. Here he has joined with long time friend Chris Bay where the two have forged four studio albums and a live record. Gamma Ray was on hiatus, I assume, so Dan and Chris created a concept for a series of albums that tells the story of the fallen empire of Taragon. The first album is the story of a surviving peoples, where upon discovering a prophecy, begin an arduous journey to the stone staircase to the promiseland (Fairyland?). Sound cheesy? Well you're right! Damn cheesy. But I'm a sucker for this kind of cheese, as you'll see with a number of my fantasy based European power metal bands. But these guys play some damn good power metal.

"Stairway To Fairyland" is a great album. Despite the horrible title (Why couldn't they have called it "Stairway To The Promiseland" or "Fallen Empire" or something cooler than Fairyland! It's Metal for crying out loud!) but what can you do? I bought it fairy and all ... no regrets. If you want a great anthemic sing a long epic power metal album, than "Stairway To Fairyland" is for you.

The album starts off with the majestic "Over The Rainbow" which is crazily hooky and a damned fun song. This really gets you into the album. The keyboards have a church organ like feel which adds a spirituality to the album. The next song which has my favourite bridge is "Tears Falling". It's a hooky epic song with a wicked solo and a bridge that puts the heavy metal in fairyland. A chunky dark bit that brings some passion to the tune.

The rest of the album is your standard power metal style. "Shine On", "Tears Of Taragon" and "Fairyland" all are heavy melodic and epic. However, "Fairyland's" chorus is cringingly cheesy ... "Living in a failyland, Oasis of Light ..." (sigh ...) I don't know how Chris Bay can sing this while trying to be all metal. But it is a very catchy sing along song. And that's what so great about this album. It is terribly addictive. I couldn't listen to it enough when I got it. "Hymn To The Brave" is a heartfelt power ballad with a great solo riff that carries through the tune. And "Holy Knight" ends with a Conan the Barbarian like operatic choral choir which is fantastic.I would say the opening track "Over The Rainbow" is my favourite. It's epic, fun and powerful.

All in all, Freedom Call's "stairway To Fairyland" is a fine album from start to finish. It really gets you moving. They aren't doing anything new here, but what they are doing, they are doing it well. And though it's ridiculously cheesy, it's addictively cheesy. And I proud to climb this stairway to Fairyland!


Blogger José Carlos Santos said...

i love freedom call, especially their first record, but i liked this one too.

i recently saw them live at the tuska festival in finland and they were actually one of the best bands of the weekend. very tight and they made the crowd move.

i've got three or four photos of them at that festival here:

1:45 AM  
Blogger anonymous jones said...

Hi, thanks for your visit. Something cooler than Fairyland, hey? You're not Fairy-phobic are you? Come on! Embrace your inner fairy, man!

8:51 PM  
Blogger DPTH International said...


My problem is, is that I have embraced my inner fairy. And now they won't let go!

Jose: loved the photos, very cool! I'd love to them in cconcert, but I never hear of any tours in Canada... ah well ...

10:49 AM  

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