Ripple Music has quite a lineup. Valley Of The Sun, Wo Fat, Mr Bison, Thunder Horse, Holy Death Trio, Yawning Man, Stone Axe, Tony Reed and Michael Rudolph Cummings to name only a few! Let’s add Freedom Hawk to that list as the coastal Virginia band are back with their sixth full-length album Take All You Can.
Freedom Hawk have been around since 2005 and built up quite a fan base with over the years. A few tours were set and then 2020. The music industry took a big hit but Freedom Hawk, despite having multiple tours canceled, channeled that energy into a new nine-track album. They must have had some pent up energy as well because this album is packed front to back with intense forcefulness.
Without getting political, I can see how the opening track of an album written during the pandemic is titled The Age Of The Idiot. The song captures the emotions felt during this trying time. It starts with a jungle style drum beat and powerful riffs emerge shortly after, this song is pure untethered energy.
Transitioning effortlessly into the title track, Take All You Can, the catchy riffs grab your attention. TR Morton’s vocals soar through the mix and give off strong Ozzy vibes. At around three minutes, the song halts for a moment then introduces a palm muted riff that is epic and explains why the next track is called We All Need Rock. After that killer riff, I couldn’t agree more and track three delivers by dishing out another riff oriented monster.
The pace is tamed for Seize The Day and Mark Cave lays down a fantastic bass line. Distant distortion can be heard with the sound filling out with clean lead guitar. The song ebbs and flows between calmness and intensity leaving the listener with an emotionally powerful solo.
strong ‘70s rock vibes with the Ozzy-eqsue vocals and epic riff after epic riff…
The album picks back up after the strong conclusion of Seize The Day with a pulsing introduction into Never To Return. This power track has strong ‘70s rock vibes with the Ozzy-eqsue vocals and epic riff after epic riff. This vibe continues with From The Inside Out. Fast thundering drums accompanied by the low rumble of bass reminds me more of a punk intro, but the riffs come pouring in shortly after. This track reminds me a bit more of Iron Maiden as well with the question and answer section between vocals and lead guitar at the 1:50 mark.
Skies So Blue really took me by surprise. Freedom Hawk have mastered heavy metal so far with their previous efforts and especially the first six tracks on this album. But then Skies So Blue starts playing, and Freedom Hawk shows their amazing take on the blues. Fantastic tone and phrasing on guitar with an incredible bassline and drum beat. The a cappella vocal sections really stand out as well and is possibly my favorite track on the album.
Wait… maybe I spoke too soon because Comin’ Home has started, and the riff is great. Slow, slightly distorted and a great bluesy riff! I love when vocalist TR Morton sings out Comin’ Home and the band kicks it into high gear as the energy comes bursting from the speakers. Perfect placement for the second to last song building up excitement and anticipation.
Desert Song closes the album with a Brant Bjork style riff. It’s appropriately named with its chill vibe, superb bass line, killer lead guitar, intricate drums and let’s not forget the organ! It’s a great closer to this album that shows a possible new direction this band could head in and is almost like leaving things off with a cliffhanger.
Freedom Hawk have been around a while but are new on my radar and will remain on my radar scanner for future releases. They have impressed me with this album, and I have enjoyed it cover to cover.
Scribed by: Josh Schneider