Reviews Round-Up July 2023Reviews Round-Up July 2023


• FREEDOM CALL – ‘The M.E.T.A.L. Fest’
• IRON SAVIOR – ‘Riding On Fire – The Noise Years 1997-2004’
• ELEINE – ‘We Shall Remain’
• RADUX – ‘Disaster Imminent + Crash Landings’
• OVERDOSE – ‘To The Top’
• SIEGES EVEN – ‘The Art Of Navigating By The Stars’
• ERAMNESIA – ‘Entropy’


Pretty much synonymous with power metal, FREEDOM CALL have been rocking stages now for almost 25 years and, following on from the release of ‘M.E.T.A.L.’ in 2019, the time has come for the German outfit’s third live album. Recorded at the Metalfest in Pilsen on 3 June 2022 and Regensberg the following September, ‘The M.E.T.A.L. Fest’ (SPV / Steamhammer, 14 July) does an exceptionally good job of capturing Chris Bay’s metal quartet in full flow, and songs like ‘Metal Invasion’ and ‘Power And Glory’ are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The album comes as a CD/Blu-ray package (with the Blu-ray also containing ‘Warriors Of The Caribbean’, filmed on the January 2023 ‘70,000 Tons Of Metal’ cruise) and the CD opens with the rather cheesy single ‘The M.E.T.A.L. Fest’ itself – think The Monkees with guitars tuned up to eleven – which captures what the band refer to as ‘happy metal’ perfectly.
Video clip: ‘The M.E.T.A.L. Fest’ -


IRON SAVIOR are no slouches when it comes to speeding along the metal racetrack either, and ‘Riding On Fire – The Noise Years 1997-2004’ (Cherry Red/Dissonance, 28 July) pulls together their first five albums together with 1999’s lengthy Interlude EP and adds a further 11 bonus tracks (including several Judas Priest covers as well as a version of Seal’s Crazy). Formed in 1996 when guitarist/singer Piet Sielck joined forces again with guitarist singer Kai Hansen (who’d left their original band to form Helloween, and was now a free agent once more) the following year saw the release of their new band’s self-titled debut; and although Hansen left after 2001’s ‘Dark Assault’ Iron Savior have been releasing consistently good Priest-tinged albums since Day One. A new album ‘Firestar’ is due in October, on AFM Records.


Swedish symphonic metal sensation ELEINE are back with their fourth album, and are showing no signs of losing the creativity that keeps them ahead of the pack. ‘We Shall Remain’ (Atomic Fire Records, 14 July) is an excellent addition to their catalogue and will be a firm contender for album of the year in many people’s eyes. Opener ‘Never Forget’ is a real call to arms, with dual vocals from frontwoman Madeleine Liljestam and guitarist Rikard Ekberg, who also earns his keep with a fluid but intricate solo, while the driving riff of ‘We Are Legion’ is going to be responsible for many aching necks if they add it to their live set. The haunting ‘War Das Alles’ and the storming title track bring the album to a climactic finale, and show that this is a band with plenty of tricks still up their sleeves.


Video clips:
‘We Are Legion’ -
‘We Shall Remain’ -


The team over at Golden Core have been busy recently with a handful of exciting releases, three of which are spotlighted here. RADUX’s ‘Disaster Imminent + Crash Landings’ combines the Finnish band’s 2018 four-tracker, originally released as a limited edition 12” EP by Svart Records, and a ten-track unreleased live show. Although it’s not quite ‘Reign In Blood’ it’s taken at quite a pace as the guys thrash ‘n’ bash their way through fourteen tracks in just over 47 minutes. Subtlety isn’t their watchword, but the songs are well constructed and the playing flawless. Expect a new album by the band, again through Golden Core, later in the year.


OVERDOSE are a German traditional metal band who vanished almost in the blink of an eye. As bassist Coco describes it in the CD booklet, “it’s a short story – founded 1984, the LP in 1985, disbanded in 1986.” Which is a great shame, as their one album ‘To The Top’ shows a great deal of promise. It was never likely to change the world, admittedly, but there are some good songs on offer – ‘Lawman’s End’, for example, and the galloping ‘The Deuce’ – and excellent performances. Top marks to Neudi and the label for making it available again.


The highlight here though is SIEGES EVEN, and a re-issue of their 2005 album ‘The Art Of Navigating By The Stars’. The band came together back in 1986 but hit a rocky road after guitarist Marcus Steffen left the band he formed with brothers Oliver (bass) and Alex (drums) Holzwarth in 1992 after three critically-acclaimed albums. Without Steffen, the band put out two more albums before hooking back up with him in 1999, getting a new singer and becoming Looking-Glass-Self; changing singers again – this time recruiting Arno Menses – and becoming Val’Parasio; and finally bowing to the inevitable and reverting to Sieges Even, their rightful name, once more, playing their first show under that name in April 2004 and issuing ‘The Art Of Navigating By The Stars’ eighteen months later. It’s a clever album which deals with a person’s voyage from birth to death, it’s beautifully performed, and, in particular, Menses’ vocals are spine-tingling at times. It’s quite a complex body of work though, so give it your full attention.#


Sieges Even at ProgPower Europe 2007


And to wrap things up, vocalist Aimee Zambrana and guitarist Patrick Reilly, aka ERAMNESIA, have shared another really good single release – ‘Entropy’ – as they start to stockpile material for their debut album. Just a lyric video this time, but a great composition all the same. I for one can’t wait to hear the album when it’s ready to roll.
‘Entropy’ -

© John Tucker July 2023