These Finnish guys came out of the dark in 2009 with their debut “Pale Sister Of Light”. The band gained high praise by different media and was discribed as the new Brother Firetribe. Free Spirit also reached a new audience when the first album was released for Rock Band 2 and 3 console games, from where the band was discovered by leagues of players who are passionate in guitar driven rock. Five years later they are back with this new album “All The Shades Of Darkened Light”. Let’s see if they can top that debut!

Free Spirit is:

Sami Alho – vocals
Vesa Yli-Mäenpää – guitars & backing vocals
Marko Haapamäki – guitars & backing vocals
Sami Hämäläinen – bass
Pasi Koivumäki – drums
Timo Alho – keyboards

free-spirit-all-the-shades-of-darkened-light-350x350ALL THE SHADES OF DARKENED LIGHT
I got a mail from the editor in chief if I would listen to this album and maybe write a review for it. I must be honest I never heard of this band and got a huge pile of albums waiting to be reviewed. So I wasn’t to keen on doing a favor for the big chief! So I burned the files on a CD and took it with me during a day on the road with the day job. Well dear friends I rarely get blown away by a new unknown band, but when I played these tunes in the car I wanted to stay in the car the whole day. Why you ask? Well think of that debut album from Danger Danger, “Hysteria” from Def Leppard, “A Matter Of Attitude” from Fate and all the fun melodic rock releases from the eighties and put them in a blender! The juice that comes from it is this album.

The album starts with a bang with the infectious riffs, massive chorus and superb vocals from Sami. During the instrumental break the flashing solos from Vesa and Marko got me high as a kite. “Living Tattoo” let us enjoy the driving bass from Sami Hämäläinen. The strength of their backing vocals becomes perfectly clear in this track. Critics will say that they include many snippets or sounds from Def Leppard, but I found that they have made this marriage in the best possible way. Free Spirit got it pretty much spot on with every song. When you hear the opening riff from every song you’re immediately in the mood to rock out! Sami is an extraordinary vocalist and sometimes I hear snippets from Mike Tramp, like on “Ever Come True”. The song has a chorus that could have come from Fate’s “A Matter Of Attitude”. “The Dew Of The Rose” let’s us hear the more sensitive voice from Sami in some parts.

The songs all feature some excellent writing and become instant likers. The slower balladesque “Turn On The Night” brings us melodic romance. The newest single “Carry On” is another fine example of what this band is capable of. Catchy riffs, a sniff of Leppard’s Hysteria with the addition of some sensual vocals. Some people will rise their eyebrows when they read this, but I hear some influences from the Latino lover Enrique Iglesias in the vocal melodies from Sami. And while we’re on that topic, I’m not ashamed on saying that I dig some of Enrique’s songs. Hey, I’m only human. Things got heated up during the faster “Fever”. Timo brings his greatly 80’s inspired keys up on the frontline here and I like it big time. “Silence” combines some poprock riffs with again the Enrique flavoured voice from Sami. The ideal track to invite the wife or girlfriend for a sensual dance on the living room floor! Yes, and I scored big time! The album closer “Storyline” has a high Leppard dosage (listen to those riffs and drool,,,) but has the typical Free Spirit approach as well.

I could kiss the editor in chief for sending me this promo, but I prefer to do this with the girl who insisted on doing a review for this gem. So, whenever we meet you know what you’re in for Ms. You already guess it I think, I simply adore this album! From start to finish it brings me to a happy place where everything is possible. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down these tunes will bring me back! Every melodic rock lover, and especially the ones who love Danger Danger and Def Leppard will love this stuff. Also fans from the newer generations like Brother Firetribe, H.E.A.T and others must lend their ears to this!

Score:  4,85 out of 5  

Track list:

1.      Nights Of Paradise
2.      Living Tattoo
3.      Hysteria
4.      Ever Come True
5.      The Dew Of The Rose
6.      Turn On The Night
7.      Burning Love
8.      Carry On
9.      Fever
10.  Silence
11.   Storyline


text Rik Bauters

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