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London Barfly
22nd March 2014

Joe Geesin

joe geesin

freedom call

Germany's Freedom Call, led and founded by guitarist and vocalist Chris Bay, have been at the forefront of melodic power Metal since they formed in the late 90s.

They are big on huge vocal harmonies and catchy melodic riffs and it's the kind of Metal that has swords and shields raised in the air; well they were when I first them at The Purple Turtle.

And given the (criminal) lack of a suitable central London venues, the Islington Academy was another good venue, where they blew Luca Turilli's Rhapsody off stage.

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So why, then, were this fantastic (both on stage and on CD) band relegated to the Barfly? Who knows, but you can imagine the PR's pleasure (and Cheshire Cat grin to match) to find the venue heaving to the rafters – there are obviously a lot more fans 'in the know' than many a magazine who have missed this bandwagon.

Venue and short set aside, this live show kicked more arse than words can describe.

Opening with 'Union Of The Strong' from the new album 'Beyond', the music was uplifting from the outset, and 'We Are One' from the band's 1999 debut 'Stairway To Fairyland' followed.

'Tears Of Taragon' was captivating, and between songs Bay often conversed with the crowd.

One of the highlights was 'Farewell', from 2000s classic 'Crystal Empire', a singalong moment and the new album's title track was equally enjoyed by the enthusiastic crowd.

The rhythm section were heavy and solid, and the twin guitars duelled all night long.

'The Quest', with its piano intro, is as epic as it gets and proves just how brilliant this band are on stage – classic in every respect.

Sadly due to curfew the set was short (75 minutes, ten tracks) but tonight was evidence that regardless of whether you like the band on record or not, it's impossible not to enjoy Freedom Call.

This band should be much bigger and playing bigger venues. See you there next time.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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