Bands: Freedom Call, DragonHammeR & Farseer

Venue: Audio, Glasgow

Date: 9 October 2015

 

In the words of Jon Snow “Winters Coming” but this doesn't stop us taking to the road to support Live Heavy Metal, as we head over the border to Glasgow’s Audio to see the mighty Freedom Call.

After the bands sound check and a chat with mainman Chris Bay, we watched the support acts set up for what turned out be memorable night of Power Metal.

First up were local talent Farseer, a band that really made their mark on us as David Bisset, David Connolly, Jon Stewart, Stu Clark and Craig Rooney really showed what Scotland has to offer the metal world, with their short but impressive set.

In Bisset they have a powerhouse vocalist with the stage presence to boot, the former bass player has definitely found his calling.  The band opened up the night with 'Chthonic Visions', which made all heads and eyes swivel towards the stage and take note.

I admire any band who wear their influences on their sleeves and Farseer are one of those bands, with nods to the likes of Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian, with Bisset's vocals coming mid-way between Dickinson and Kursch, with the latter having also been his bands bass player.   To say he had quite an impressive range would be an understatement, not only could he hit the notes, but could hold them too with apparent ease. 

The band continued their impressive set with the storming ‘Drag Down The Sinners’, again with Bisset displaying all the confidence of a seasoned frontman, engaging with the crowd at every opportunity, all the while the band displayed an air professionalism from such young band that the played as a cohesive unit and certainly looked like they were enjoying every minute they were on stage.

The band continued to bring the big Power Metal anthems with ‘Way of the World’ and the storming ‘Luck of the Joker’, before unleashing the massive 'To Play The Game’, then rounding off one of the best opening sets I’ve seen in a long time with ‘Fall Before The Dawn’.  As I say we were impressed by these young guns, very impressed and will be keeping and eye and ear out for these guys in future. 

This is one band that has the makings of a great Power Metal band and with a debut album due out shortly, the future sure looks good for this band from Glasgow.

Next up where Rome’s DragonhammeR, who compared to Farseer, these guys are seasoned veterans with four studio albums under their belts.  Led by vocalist and guitarist Max Aguzzi, along with bassist Gae Amodio, keyboardist Giulo Cattvera and on drums Andre Gianangeli, the band delivered a set of modern yet epic Power Metal, with just a dash of Prog.

They opened their set with ‘End of the World’, in typical Euro Metal style the band shot straight from the hip, with the half of the set containing tracks from their most recent album 'The X Experiment', the band included the intro before they continued with ‘Seek in the Ice’.

It was to their 'Time for Expiation’ release for the albums title track, a rip snorting keyboard flurry by Amodio drove the intro before the full on Power Metal guitars and rhythm section took over.  Definitely one of the highlights of the set for me, as the quartet delivered the power with typical Italian panache, they kept to Time for Expiation’ for the harder edged and speedier ‘Fear of a Child’.

Next it was time to roll back the years to their 'Blood of the Dragon' opus, for the epic tones of ‘Legend’, before unleashing the ‘Dragonhammer’, again a big keyboard infused slab of Power driven metal from the guys from Roma.

The set was concluded with two more tracks from 'The X Experiment', first the title track, with the band delivering a more harder edge with this one, showing their melodic side to great effect.  The set was then rounded off in style with ‘Last Solution’, featuring a grittier, more guitar focused slab of metal.  The band might have been out of the loop for eight years before returning with 'The X Experiment' in 2013, but it was clear to see that the Dragon is definitely back and wielding that Hammer harder than ever.

Now for the main event as Germany’s premier and only Happy Metal band hit the stage, led by mainman Chris Bay, aided by the cream of German metal, on bass guitar Ilker Erin, on guitar Lars Rettkowizt and last by my no means least, on drums Ramy Ali.

This has been donned the best Freedom Call line-up and tonight they showed just why, as the band delivered and outstanding set of pure Metal joy.

They opened up in style with 'Union of the Strong’ and instantly the smiles from the stage extended to the crowd, and from here on in, it was "Happy Metal" all the way.

The band continued to bring the heat as they went straight into the excellent ‘Eyes of the World’, a real metal anthem with Bay leading the charge from the front, while the powerhouse rhythm section of Ali and Erin delivered the flawless Power Metal foundation for the rip snorting riffs of Rettkowizt.  The horns were raised from the crowd as they saluted the Teutonic overture exuding from the stage.

It was time to raise our fists to the sky and sing along to the massive ‘Heart of the Warrior’, before bringing touch of Happy Folk Metal to the mix for the excellent ‘Farewell’.  We weren’t saying farewell just yet thankfully as the band continued to put a smile on the faces of all the metalheads gathered here tonight with the riff laden ‘Island of Dreams’.

The tempo was brought down just a moment with the first few bars of the superb ‘Beyond’, then it was full steam ahead once more.  This is anthemic Heavy Metal at its very best.

The same gentle intro before the pure driven metal continued as the band rolled back the years to the 'Crystal Empire' album for the excellent ‘The Quest’.  

The only new song on the set was the title track of the bands latest album ’666 Weeks Beyond Eternity’, the bands remastered version of their classic 'Eternity' album.  Another towering anthem that has the crowd joining in with right from the off.

This was one of those nights you never wanted to end and we weren’t quite finished yet, as the Happy Metal kept coming thick and fast with a little Celtic inspired ditty entitled ‘Power and Glory’.

The band kept with the 'Ages of Light' album for the superb ‘Tears of Babylon’ and the rip snorting ‘Freedom Call’ itself.  At this point the band left the stage, but cheers of more and chants of "Freedom Call!!!" soon brought Chris and the guys back out for the encore of the melodic metal of ‘Bleeding Heart’, which was followed by the epic ‘Warriors’.  The set closer and icing on the Happy Metal cake of course being ‘Land of Light’, which wrapped up one of, if not THE gig of the year.  We left the venue with huge smiles on our faces and feeling of pure euphoria.  That's what a night of good music does, it gets you high and makes you happy. 

Freedom Call showed Heavy Metal isn’t all doom and gloom.  If you live life to the full and enjoy what you do, they why not share it with others and that’s what Freedom Call are all about, and long may it continue.  

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

 

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