Freedom Call - Beyond (2014)

Beyond is Freedom Call eight studio album. As with many their previous works, this is yet another power metal, or even label as 'happy' / flower power metal, album without any doubt. This album also marked the new drummer Ramy Ali who replaced long time member Dan Zimmerman.

Right from the first notes in Union Of The Strong, the trade mark of Freedom Call is there. Their signature chorus singing is rolling, and Chris Bay is never lose his unique power metal voices. Knights of Taragon is a continuation of Freedom Call's Taragon universe. Both songs can't really put Freedom Call fans worry because they are exactly feel at home. This is safely continued to the third song, Heart Of A Warrior, which is really in the heart of power metal with melodic intro, fast riff and easy to follow choruses. Come On Home is much lighter work, a happy sounds for every one. For Beyond, even though the piano passage is melancholic but still elements of optimism dictates the mood. Rather strange one is Among The Shadows, which is now goes into rather darker feel. Edge Of The Ocean is a perfect song if there is a female voice in duet, due to its many changes of vocals parts. Far into the eight song, Journey Into Wonderland, that happy singing is still well preserved. So is there any conflict chapter or bumping road along their way? Not much. Dance Off The Devil maybe their contrasting moment, rather unusual song of Freedom Call, this is African theme song. We are back to the core with Paladin, the verses resembling close to the song Light Up The Sky from Dimension album. Colours Of Freedom is the perfect happiest climax to close the album.

As with many Freedom Call albums, you can never go wrong with Beyond. I am big fans of Freedom Call, considered Eternity, Dimension, and Legend of the Shadowking as their very well written happy power metal album. Upon the release of Land of the Crimson Dawn, they were a bit off their moment. In that comparison, Beyond is back again with many songs that memorable. The only complaint is they are just too much epic and happy moments in this album!

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of te

Freedom Call - Beyond (2014)
Buy it here - Amazon

01. Union Of The Strong
02. Knights Of Taragon
03. Heart Of A Warrior
04. Come On Home
05. Beyond
06. Among The Shadows
07. Edge Of The Ocean
08. Journey Into Wonderland
09. In The Rhythm Of Light
10. Dance Off The Devil
11. Paladin
12. Follow Your Heart
13. Colours Of Freedom
14. Beyond Eternity

CD2 (Unplugged & Masqueraded):
01. Freedom Call (unplugged)
02. The Quest (unplugged)
03. Warriors (unplugged)
04. Power & Glory (unplugged)
05. Farewell (unplugged)
06. Mr.Evil (Reggae) (live)
07. Rockin' Radio (Killerbilly) (live)

Ilker Ersin – Bass
Chris Bay - Guitars, Vocals
Lars Rettkowitz – Guitars
Ramy Ali - Drums

Freedom call - Beyond album review


Van Canto - Dawn of the Brave 2014

The whole concept of singing power metal without electric guitars (sort of..) already known to Van Canto long time ago. Indeed, four albums had been released and today is their fifth album on the shelve, Dawn of the Brave. Yes, the A Cappella metal is back. In this album, the original works , special written for a cappela power is increase in number. Which is excellent. The choices of cover-version track is also interesting, we got The Final Countdown, which is very a cappella in nature, Van Canto did their job well and the rendition is very entertaining.

But first, you should view the video of Badaboom. Which I think their most interesting composition and represent their basic ideas of a cappella "musicians lost their instrument" thing, pretty fun because we got a cameos by Ozzy and Metallica. The other original works are mostly simply in power metal genre such as Fight For Your Life and To The Mountains. As a vocals group, their voices are excellent. I also love the female lead singing. If the song really put into proper power metal bands this will also sounds great. On the lighter works is Steel Breaker, a song in glam metal mood! The Awakening is of Rhapsody of Fire symphonic metal type. Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For A Hero sounds fantastic considered this is an Euro pop beat song in original. Selection of Lord Of The Rings OST Into The West didn't click much except for those who familiar with the song. Then of course Paranoid is saving the day, gotta love the vocalize classic riffs.

The nice thing is the band them self as fun project, they insert cameos and cover version still existed in their Digibook edition. As we know, only drummer in their main formation. Bastian Emig, the drummer is doing big thing, making most of the song in 'standard' power metal, we rarely feel the lost of bass and electric guitars. This also mean we need to praise the recording quality and the mixing. Dawn of the Brave is another masterpiece of rakkatakkata metal! Enjoy.

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Van Canto - Dawn of the Brave 2014
Buy it here - Amazon

01. Dawn Of The Brave
02. Fight For Your Life
03. To The Mountains
04. Badaboom
05. The Final Countdown [Europe cover]
06. Steel Breaker
07. The Awakening
08. The Other Ones
09. Holding Out For A Hero [Bonnie Tyler cover]
10. Unholy
11. My Utopia
12. Into The West [Lord Of The Rings Soundtrack]
13. Paranoid [Black Sabbath cover]

Digibook Edition:
01. If I Die In Battle [orchestral version]
02. My Voice [orchestral version]
03. Take To The Sky [orchestral version]
04. Neuer Wind [Jovian Spin remix]
05. Lost Forever [acoustic version]
06. Last Night of the Kings [choir version]

Van Canto:
Dennis Schunke (Sly) – lead vocals
Inga Scharf – lead vocals (effects)
Stefan Schmidt – lower rakkatakka vocals, wahwah solo guitar vocals (rhythm, lead on solos)
Ross Thompson – higher rakkatakka vocals (lead)
Ingo Sterzinger (Ike) – lowest dandan vocals (bass)
Bastian Emig – drums

Guest musicians
Jovian Spin - Remix (track 4 on disc 2 of the Limited Mediabook)

Van Canto Dawn of the Brave review


Adrenaline Mob - Men of Honor (2014)

Adrenaline Mob was formerly Mike Portnoy's first real band after breakout from DT, but soon M.P. found some other projects and his services in Adrenaline Mob was also discontinued. He was then replaced by A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister. The other members, guitar wonder Mike Orlando and Symphony X singer Russell Allen, stayed in the band. The line up completed with bassist John Moyer. With this new line up, Adrenaline Mob is back, with new album Men of Honor. The overall sounds closely followed their debut, Omerta, which is platformed on heavy metal, with extra addition of thrash, groove and progressive metal elements.

Mob Is Back, is the correct way to open the album. This song started with one minutes show off of Mike Orlando guitar mastery, with the following up heavy metal guitar intro riffs, Russel Allen would then laid his vocals on a a heavy power chords. This albums comes with significant proportions of modern nu-metal elements, the second song Come on Get Up is one of them. The mood then significantly changes to metalcore feel in the third track Dearly Departed, only that Russel Allen did not allow his vocals to be too harsh, but the metalcore minor feels is there. We are again switched into other nuances in Behind These Eyes, as this is an acoustic power ballad. Let It Go can be describe as post-90s Anthrax feel. Feel the Adrenaline is as the song suggested, a pumping heartbeat rhythm in standard heavy metal tunes. Men of Honor is yet another modern metal tunes, all with 'breakdown' choruses and rappin' line. Crystal Clear is the third acoustic ballad track, in the style of '80s hard rock. House of Lies is back to thrash power riffs, pretty much a blend between traditional metal and modern elements. Fallin' to Pieces, the final tracks is interesting strumming ballad with lots of tremolos effects.

This album happened to be very colorful and ranged in more diverse styles. There are two power elements on this band and this album. First is Russel Allen vocals, which is perfect in all songs, ranging from modern styles, ballad, heavy, and groove. He is such a versatile singer and Adrenaline Mob seems to successful in 'utilized' him to the maximum outcome. The second one is of course the amazing guitars works of Mike Orlando. He is very technical, the guitar distortions and tones sounds very aggressive and scratching ears. Both John Moyer and Pero keep up the rhythm sections with excellent feel. I think most will agree to see the second album is a big improvement over their debut. Enjoyable album, with strong vocals and shredful guitar parts.

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Adrenaline Mob - Men of Honor (2014)
Buy it Here - AMAZON

1. Mob Is Back 04:35
 2. Come on Get Up 04:13
 3. Dearly Departed 04:57
 4. Behind These Eyes 05:35
 5. Let It Go 03:54
 6. Feel the Adrenaline 05:57
 7. Men of Honor 04:27
 8. Crystal Clear 05:03
 9. House of Lies 03:56
 10. Judgment Day
 11. Fallin’ to Pieces 04:58

 Mike Orlando Guitars
Russell Allen Vocals
John Moyer Bass
A.J. Pero Drums

Adrenaline Mob - Men of Honor album review
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