It isn't hard to understand why young headbangers who aren't old enough to remember the '70s/'80s heyday of power metal are drawn to Freedom Call's live shows. On-stage, Freedom Call take listeners back to a time in which metal concerts were more than concerts; they were shows, theatrical events, musical circuses, larger-than-life spectacles. And Live in Hellvetia captures everything that was extravagant and pompous about metal shows back in the '70s and '80s. Recorded at the Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland on December 29, 2010, Live in Hellvetia (which is available in both DVD and double-CD versions) documents a 21st century show by a band that didn't exist until 1999 but has remained stubbornly dedicated to the metal of a bygone era. Many of the young Swiss metalheads in that audience were no doubt too young to have experienced Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or Queensrÿche live when those bands were at the height of their popularity, but it's evident that Freedom Call were determined to give them a '70s/'80s-like experience. And during the course of 102 minutes, Freedom Call touch on many of the highlights of their career with performances of material from 1999's Stairway to Fairyland, 2001's Crystal Empire, and 2002's Eternity as well as 2007's Dimensions and 2010's Legend of the Shadowking. And through it all, Freedom Call's 2010 lineup (lead singer/guitarist Chris Bay, lead guitarist Lars Rettkowitz, bassist Samy Saemann, and drummer Klaus Sperling) aren't keeping it real, but rather, are keeping it in the fantasy realm. The Pratteln show heard on Live in Hellvetia offers a big dose of nonstop fantasy, which is exactly what the audience came to experience. Live in Hellvetia is an exciting document of the German power metallers' late-2010 appearance in Pratteln, Switzerland.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2