From the drama laden opening of the opening title track to the pompous, rabble rousing strains of closer Metal Generation, it’s quite clear that Germany’s melodic power metal darlings Freedom Call aren’t mucking about on new album Silver Romance.

And why would they? a twenty fifth anniversary (hence the title – geddit?! – Ed) is not something to sniff at for any band, much less one operating in the choppy, saturated waters of Euro metal. Celebrations all round are in order, and luckily the band, led as ever by daydream believer Chris Bay, have come up with a perfect soundtrack for the festivities.

The title track opens matters in suitably breakneck fashion, before giving way to Symphony of Avalon, a song for whom the encyclopaedia entry ‘quintessential Freedom Call anthem’ has been waiting for some time. It’s quite literally got everything you want from this band – uplifting vocals, parping keys, piston-legged kick drums, fleet-fingered fretwork… at times you find yourself taking a step back and laughing at the bare-faced formulaic nature of what’s actually being presented – and then get back to the serious business of banging your head and playing air guitar without breaking too many ornaments in the living room!

But seriously, why would you jump off a winning horse at this stage of the race? Especially when you’ve got classy, slightly-outside-of-the-box material like New Haven to take a bit of the weight off of the more obvious tracks? The answer to that is you wouldn’t, and so Freedom Call have come up with, in my opinion, an album that cuts right to the core of what this band is all about in a manner we haven’t heard in quite some time.

Returning drummer Ramy Ali is Herculean throughout, whilst guitarist Lars Retkowicz (who also mixed the record) and bassist Francesco Ferraro both play their part in making this anniversary swing to full effect; But make no mistake, Freedom Call IS the Chris Bay Show, and Silver Romance is anothee big reason to celebrate what the man has achieved over the last quarter century. Here’s to the next twenty five!

Silver Romance releases on May 10th.