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A melodic, prog-tinged German power metal unit based out of Nuremberg, Freedom Call continue in the classic vein of regional decibel-pushers like Gamma Ray, Hammerfall, and Blind Guardian. Formed in 1998 around the talents of vocalist/guitarist Chris Bay, drummer Dan Zimmermann, guitarist Sascha Gerstner, and bassist Ilker Ersin, the group debuted in 1999 with Stairway to Fairyland. 2001's Steamhammer-issued Crystal Empire would be the last Freedom Call outing to feature Gerstner, who would later join Helloween. Eternity arrived the following year, and marked the debut of new six-string specialist Cédric “Cede” Dupont (Symphorce). 2005's Circle of Life saw touring keyboard member Nils Neumann officially join the fold, and the lineup changes continued on 2007's conceptual Dimensions with the departures of Dupont and Ersin, who were replaced by Lars Rettkowitz and Armin Donderer from the band Paradox. Legend of the Shadowking and Land of the Crimson Dawn arrived in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and in 2014 the band issued their eighth studio long-player, the chart-topping Beyond. Master of Light, which featured a lineup consisting of Chris Bay, Lars Rettkowitz, Ilker Ersin, and Ramy Ali, dropped in 2016. ~ James Christopher Monger