5. April 2013
Melodic metal act Freedom Call’s balance sheet is certainly something to be proud of: the group surrounding vocalist/guitarist Chris Bay have released a total of seven studio albums (including their sensational debut Stairway To Fairyland) and two haunting live releases. Freedom Call are also ever-present live on the stage, having toured not only with the likes of Saxon, Edguy, Blind Guardian and Hammerfall, but also having played successful tours in their own right since 2010. The band performed more than 60 shows to support the release of their 2012 album Land Of The Crimson Dawn, among them 25 headliner shows all over Europe. Their exceedingly melodic songs are frequently referred to as "happy metal", and indeed Freedom Call more than deserve the title of "Happiest Metal-Band In The World". The release of Ages Of Light on 29 April 2013 (Germany: 26 April 2013, USA: 7 May 2013) is set to mark their 15th anniversary.
This full-to-the-brim best-of release includes 18 classics from their creative career to date, among them ‘We Are One’ from their 1999 debut, the anthemnic ‘Freedom Call’ off Crystal Empire (2001), ‘Warriors’ and ‘Land Of Light’ from their 2002 release Eternity, a live version of ‘Metal Invasion’ and the topical ‘Power & Glory’ off Land Of The Crimson Dawn (2012). "Those 18 numbers are usually celebrated at our gigs, or even requested with a vengeance," explains Chris Bay, who has another real ace up his sleeve: the bonus CD Masqueraded presents six Freedom Call tracks in new and unusual guises: a ska version of ‘Metal-Invasion’, ‘Mr. Evil’ as a melodic reggae track, ‘Hero On Video’ as a speed ska number and ‘Rockin’ Radio’ (which is also supported by a video clip) in a killerbilly version. Masqueraded is complemented by ‘Freedom Call’ in campfire strumming style (including music sheet/tablature) and ‘Age Of The Phoenix’ in a power swing outfit. It would hardly be possible to present these tracks more colourfully or diverse. Bay: "Our intention with Masqueraded was to inspire musicians and music fans to create their own, personal version of one of our songs – irrespective of musical style – and send it to us."
Ages Of Light combines not only the essence of the best songs from the seven Freedom Call studio recordings to date, but also marks a meeting of various former and current band members. Along with Chris Bay and guitarist Lars Rettkowitz, three different drummers can be heard on the bonus tracks: founder member Dan Zimmermann, his successors Klaus Sperling, and Ramy Ali, whom fans know from the most recent Freedom Call tour. The two bassists, Samy Saemann and original band member Ilker Ersin, and guitarist Cede Dupont, who was part of Freedom Call between 2001 and 2005, are also featured. "It was great fun to work with old and new friends alike at the studio, turning previously typical Freedom Call numbers into unusual songs," Chris Bay explains, stressing that the group will commence working on a new studio album after the tour in spring 2013: "But first we want to celebrate our anniversary in style!"