Freedom Call don't break musical boundaries but put on a good show

With a set of power metal by numbers and an unenthusiastic crowd, Freedom Call's performance at ProgPower UK could have been a shambles, but with their frontman Chris's dynamic performance, and spirited attempts to drum up some enthusiasm from a largely indifferent crowd, they were actually oddly impressive.

The sound quality of this se varied between the good quality, with clear, clean guitars, every note audible, to the quite frankly horrific. Ever so often, just when I was starting to enjoy the glorified Hammerfall tribute band that is Freedom Call (which shows their skill and charisma I hate Hammerfall!), the nastiest, most ear offending feedback of the evening seared into my skull, really ruining many of the songs. But this was hardly the band's fault, and it was a problem which occurred throughout the evening, though poor Freedom Call definitely got the worst of it.

Even though Freedom Call's brand of by numbers power metal is not really my cup of tea, they do the generic, guitar heavy melodic metal thing pretty well, and while it's definitely not ground breaking it, for want of a better word, fun. It might be the sort of thing that would bore on CD, but in the live environment this band are at their best.

For all Chris's enthusiasm, the band's stage presence suffered as a result of the other band members, who basically just stood there, churning out riffs that sounded like ones Dragonforce abandoned for being too widdly, and underwhelming keyboard parts. With the band's performance resting on the efforts of one member, and songs that even when they were clearly audible were rather dull, it's no wonder that the room was half empty, with many more people wandering off throughout the set.