Freedom Call Crystal Empire

Conventional North American logic tells us that Teutonic speed/power metal with this degree of melody and pomposity is doing nothing for itself but lining up for a good kicking. But in music, the rules are meant to be broken and Germany's Freedom Call is a prime example. They really aren't doing anything out of the ordinary: ultra infectious, royally majestic, court jester Euro metal with synthetic keys that sound like Bal Sagoth jamming with Rhapsody, the odd Guitar World worthy solo, choruses to die for and some sort of ridiculous cover art concept straight out of Dungeons and Dragons. However, it's not what they do but how they do it, with rock solid song structures, impeccable flow and unbelievably ear-catching hooks. Yes, it's cheesy, but cheesy is in the eye of the beholder, and if tracks like "Freedom Call," "Farewell," "The Wanderer" and "Ocean" don't have running to your nearest battle re-enactment weapons supplier in search of a replica sword of Excalibur, you're made of stone. (SPV)