Freedom Hawk
Gig Seeker Pro

Freedom Hawk

Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Metal




"Total Music Magazine (UK) - Holding On - Album Review"

Well here’s a pleasant surprise, when you get the amount of stuff to sift through that we do yet another riff heavy rock outfit isn’t guaranteed to make a reviewer stick a CD in his/her review pouch (we’re all like kangaroos you know). But this Virginia based quartet immediately bring to mind Black Sabbath when they were still good (that would be the first five albums), in fact if you are a fan of the latter releases (Vol 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, when the monster riffs became sprightly rather than sludgy), then you’ll very likely love this to death, unashamedly retro and all the better for it.

- Ray Harper - Total Music Magazine (UK)

"Lords of Metal - Holding On - Album Review"

Freedom Hawk is often compared to Fu Manchu. A comparison that makes sense, but ignores the far more logical comparison to Ozzy Osbourne / Black Sabbath Of course it is stating the obvious, can we even guess how many bands want to be just like the Mighty Sabbath? How many guitarists would give a few fingertips in order to be able to summon the same licks out of their guitars as Mr. Iommi?

Freedom Hawk is not like those bands. They are far better and they have a secret weapon: guitarist-singer T.R. Morton, whose vocals resemble those of Ozzy Osbourne remarkably. Added to this is the strong support by fellow guitarist Matt Cave, his brother Mark on bass and drumming animal Lenny Hines, and the conclusion is that this is a golden combination. Freedom Hawk sounds just like Black Sabbath with Eddie van Halen as solo guitarist and John Bonham on drums. Classic heavy rock in other words, with expert guitarplaying and a drummer who beats the hell out of his kit. ‘Edge Of Destiny’ is a fine example of the thunderous almost tribal rolls Hines draws out of his and also showcases some fine guitar neck acrobatics. But in each song it is Morton’s voice, put right in front of the mix by Small Stone house-engineer Benny Grotto, that grabs all of the attention. Morton wails, screams and hollers with a vengeance.

But we would pay Freedom Hawk short by putting them down as just a Sabbath/Osbourne clone playing with the energy and speed of Fu Manchu. Especially in the second half of ‘Holding On’ display much more than just stoner. The quiet interlude ‘Zelda’ may sound very Sabbathian, a few tracks later one suddenly hears the very funky wah-wah ballad ‘Bandito’. Yes, Clutch also masters that genre, but Freedom Hawk manage to bring it in a way the comparison is not made immediately. An even bigger excursion is made in ‘Faded’, a viking metal number in the ancient Bathory tradition, complete with the oo-ah-ah chanting that is so typical of the genre. The closing track ‘Indian Summer’ starts off with twin guitar work and then gets going in one of the most awesome riffs of the cd. From start to finish filled with power riffs and viciouus soloing, it is a worthy end to an exceptionally good album. “Alright now!”

Rating: 90/100

- Jan-Simon: - Lords of Metal

"The Obelisk - Holding On - Album Review"

Virginian four-piece Freedom Hawk began to carve their name on the American riffy consciousness with 2009’s self-titled full-length, released by MeteorCity. That album earned generally favorable comparisons to Fu Manchu (from me as well), and on the follow-up, Holding On, the double-guitar unit maintain that smoothly-grooved sensibility, adding to it more memorable songwriting and a vocal approach from guitarist T.R. Morton that inherently reminds of Ozzy Osbourne’s early solo work in both cadence and tone. On first listen, that’s going to be what most stands out about Holding On. The production of Vince Burke (Beaten Back to Pure), who also helmed the self-titled, and the mix of Small Stone’s house engineer Benny Grotto of Mad Oak Studios push Morton’s vocals to the fore, and whether it’s “Faded” bringing to mind “Diary of a Madman” with its backing track later on the album or the earlier “Living for Days” copping a feel off “Bark at the Moon,” Freedom Hawk have a clarity of purpose in their use of the Ozzy influence that’s hard to ignore. It’s a twist on, “Well, if it was good enough for Sabbath,” and to Morton’s credit, he’s able to pull off the style better than anyone I’ve heard in the genre since Sheavy’s Steve Hennessey, and able to do it while also busting out a slew of quality riffs on which Holding On’s 13 tracks are based.

It’s a rock album in the tradition of rock albums. Nine of the 13 cuts are between four and five minutes long, and all of them – the exception being the 1:50 interlude “Zelda” – have a classic rock accessibility that will no doubt set many to bemoaning the state of rock radio. Morton and fellow guitarist Matt Cave work well off each other in terms of riffs and solos, and lead the way through straightforward heavy rock the diversity of which isn’t immediate, but which works nonetheless in a variety of moods, from the mid-paced stomp of opener “Thunder Foot” to the barn-burning “Living for Days” (the shortest non-interlude at 2:50), which follows immediately. The rhythm section of bassist Mark Cave (brother to Matt) and drummer Lenny Hines provides stability beneath the riffs, but the songs have an innate sense of structure as well, so it’s not like they’d fall off the rails otherwise. Not to say Hines and Mark don’t contribute – the tonal thickness of the latter is essential and Hines’ pulsating kick is like the floor on which the wah-infused boogie of “Bandito” plays out – just that the material on Holding On is built around solid verses and choruses, not meandering jams that require the bass and drums to ground them in order to establish some rapport with the listener.

With “Edge of Destiny,” the pace cuts somewhat from “Living for Days,” but Freedom Hawk’s ability to write the noted solid choruses comes to the fore. I’ve found in sitting with Holding On that the songs are not so much breaking new stylistic ground as they are digging into what’s already been done in order to create something memorable and distinct from it. The album is a grower in the sense that the more you listen to its tracks – and like a lot of Small Stone’s output over the last few years, it is very much a collection of tracks despite an accomplished flow between them – the more they leave an imprint on you, so that the grown-up punk of “Her Addiction” (a highlight for Hines in showing off his endurance) doesn’t stand itself out from the rest of Holding On until you’ve been through the album a few times, but ultimately proves worth the several listens it takes to get to that point. Morton, the Cave brothers and Hines have a lack of pretense that’s pervasive, and as “Zelda” – which is probably their most Sabbathian moment, with piano and guitar interplay that could’ve set up any number of Master of Reality’s heavy groovers – gives way to the album’s strongest movement in its midsection, Freedom Hawk have only just begun to show off what they can do within the parameters of their genre.

As unhip as it is to say in this day and age, a vinyl release of Holding On is bound to lose something of the listening experience in that the divide between sides of the album will (presumably) break up the flow between “Nomad,” “Magic Lady,” “Bandito” and “Flat Tire” – essentially the meat of the album. Each song has something about it that it does best of all the tracks, whether it’s the bluesy lead flourishes and Cave’s bass work on “Nomad,” the chorus of “Magic Lady,” the divergence from Morton’s Ozzy vocal into almost-cartoonishly deep spoken word for the verses of the pun-titled “Bandito” – a song that later features the line “god damn smoking ban,” as if just to remind that Freedom Hawk aren’t taking themselves too seriously – or the chugging shuffle into the guitar flange chorus of “Flat Tire.” As the centerpiece of Holding On, “Magic Lady” earns its position and might be the band’s strongest inclusion overall, blending many of the elements that make the other songs stand out into a potent brew that’s un - The Obelisk

"Vintage Guitar Magazine - Holding On - Album Review"

This quartet's material owes a bit to '70s stalwarts like Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep, but with fresh arrangements and tight song structures in fairly complex patterns. Crisp guitar leads and driving percussion propel the proceedings, and the sound is full even with few guitar overdubs. Standouts include "Edge Of Destiny" and "Standing In Line" which both offer a hummable chorus.

- Vintage Guitar Magazine

"Rhapsody - Holding On - Album Review"

These Virginians mine stoner-doom waddle for hot momentum, melancholy warmth and sticky tunes galore. T.R. Morton's high, Ozzyesque vibrato helps a lot, but so do twin axes that balance delectably dirty tone with heaven-bound uplift, and the dynamics that suddenly switch into bulldozer Budgie beats. "Zelda" is some gorgeously wordless rustic psych, too. But stick around for the border dope-trade Zappabilly of "Bandito," the whinnying guitar break of "Flat Tire," the Gregorian-dirged early-Aerosmith space-metal of "Faded," and the supremely confident and climactic speed-closer "Indian Summer."

- Chuck Eddy - Rhapsody

"Sunlight Album Review"

If Freedom Hawk were in search of the lost Black Sabbath riff, they've struck gold. Their debut CD, 'Sunlight' is so chock full of lumbering Sabbath-powered riffs and Blue Cheer-pinched guitar licks that it will put cracks in your walls once you press play! Freedom Hawk rock loud and proud and come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- The Atomic Chaser, THE DRP/All Access Magazine - Atomic Chaser/The DRP All Access Magazine

" - Sunlight Review"

"Sunlight is essentially the type of album Ozzy Osbourne should be making in this day and age. Hard hitting riffs, rock solid grooves, and a direct lineage back to the Sabbath days of old. In short – stoner rock in the traditional sense and of the highest (no pun intended) order. That singer TR Morton comes from the Steve "Sheavy" Hennessey school of singing helps with the comparison; he's as close a facsimile for Mr. Osbourne as they come, and that definitely gives killer tracks some extra energy and, oddly enough given the vocal similarities, identity." - Azgarath -

"Radio Indy Review - Sunlight - 5 Stars"

"Sunlight" is the excellent full-length debut from Virginia hard rock outfit Freedom Hawk. This group is solid. Driven by powerful drum beats and excellently crafted guitar work, Freedom Hawk have composed nine exceptional hard rock tracks that dabble in metal and psychedelic and have a certain timeless quality to them. Attributing to this timelessness is the lead singer's vocal performance. His melodic high-pitched vocals are reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne with traces of Robert Plant. The songs are a lot of fun, meant to be played loud, and will immediately have you either bobbing your head or using your lap as a drum kit. "Sunlight" is well-produced, clean and ready to boom out of a pair of speakers. The title track, "Sunlight," is a fun track with a great rocking arrangement that gets your head bobbing and features some great drum and guitar work. "Going Down" is a stripped down track with a slow drum beat and minimal guitar work that displays the fantastic vocal capabilities of the lead singer. "Sunlight" takes us back to a time where making hard rock wasn't about making a lot of noise but rather about making very good music. Freedom Hawk have crafted a gem, and fans of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and classic hard rock are going to want to pick this one up.

Rated 5 Stars - Excellent Hard Rock CD

author: Chris & the Reviewer Team
- RadioIndy

"Freedom Hawk Live Review - Performer Magazine"

"East Coast's answer to Fu Manchu, keeping it simple and thick with harmonious metal groove. It wasn't heavy riffs and growls, but power riffs and soulful rock delivery wrapped in metal packaging. Freedom Hawk's sound is large, like trying to force an elephant to fit in a closet." - Performer Magazine - Live Reviews - Nov 2007
- Brian Tucker

"Bootleg Magazine Review - Sunlight"

Sounding more spacey than the coastal open air of hometown Virginia Beach, Freedom Hawk follow up their EP Universal with Sunlight, a far reaching and far more epic collection of material. What's familiar is the slow hard charge and thunderous metal groove of before. What's new is the different shape and color of it all. What resounds with Sunlight is that the band's sound continually moves forward, harboring a distinctive vibe while steadily refining it. Where many bands will find a sound and harvest it to death, Freedom Hawk play it unsafe, pushing forward stylistically and by design.

Born from similar timbre as Black Sabbath, Zeppelin and Fu Manchu, Freedom Hawk wedges in psychedelia with groove heavy rock and roll. The band knows how to shake ground and be thunderous but also when to ease back, to wallow in the groove, the funk, the palatial sweep of shapely and echoing guitar riffs.

Sunlight transcends the genre, offering more than simply metal for the masses or the skate, surf and stoner crowd. There's no further proof than 'Going Down', a sultry, sexy slow groove that boasts fuzzed out guitar, gentle beats and T.R. Morton's vocals seemingly coming from another dimension. The track is a complete surprise, buried beneath the entire swagger and power found on Sunlight.

Just as the album opens with the roaring aesthetics of 'Executioner' and 'Land of the Lost' they dial back for the noodling and Santana-esque vibe on the drop-heavy 'Stand Back'. It's a meditation to some degree, a pause before the storm given its followed 'Lightning Charge'. With 'Palomino' it's about getting down to business with full force and 'Grab a Hold' gets old school.

Like sitting on the ocean floor looking up or floating down from sky, the band crafts a large, hefty canvas. Freedom Hawk paints with waves of sound, ethereal vocal atmosphere and an army of backbeats. Sunlight is an eclectic and heavy ride.
Brian/Bootleg Magazine

- Bootleg Magazine

"Sunlight Album - Heavy Album of the Day"

Hey everyone. I just wanted to share that 'Sunlight' was the album of the day this past Friday on Heavy Planet Stoner Rock Blog. Check it out and feel free to write a comment about the album.

- Heavy Planet


Holding On - Oct 2011 - Full Length CD and 180g Vinyl LP
Self Titled - Dec 2009 - Full Lenght CD - Meteor City Records
Sunlight - Sep 2008 - Full Length CD - Magic Lady Records

Songs Streaming on Bandcamp and Reverbnation



Hailing from the barrier dunes of Virginia, this quartet blends heavy riffs, a rolling groove, and soulful guitar melodies to produce the sound that is Freedom Hawk. Their brand of heavy rock coupled with a high energy live show, leaves many wondering if they’ve stepped through a time warp that has taken them to rock’s heyday of the 70’s.

The origins of Freedom Hawk began in 2003 when friends Mark Cave (bass) and TR Morton (guitar; singer) were introduced to Lenny Hines (drums) through a mutual friend. Mark and TR had been jamming together for some time and could not find the right drummer to match what they were playing. Once they brought Lenny into the fold, the two knew they found the drummer they were looking for. Now a trio, the three realized their songs were missing a certain dynamic that would be required to achieve what they wanted to hear. In comes Matt Cave (guitar). Matt had been working with another band in the Virginia Beach area at the time and knew his brother Mark was looking for a second guitar player. After a few successful sessions and the eventual request by his brother Mark to join the group, Matt decided to be the fourth and final addition.

A quote in Performer Magazine from a live show states: “[Freedom Hawk is] East Coast's answer to Fu Manchu, keeping it simple and thick with harmonious metal groove. It wasn't heavy riffs and growls, but power riffs and soulful rock delivery wrapped in metal packaging. Freedom Hawk's sound is large, like trying to force an elephant to fit in a closet. It is also melodic for such heavy handed playing. Walls of guitar riffs were pushed out heavy, soaring and moving like swells and waves at the same time."

This band will make you turn it up real loud driving in your car head bobbing the whole time on the edge of your seat until you reach your final destination. Freedom Hawk’s music slashes away, tearing its way into the ears of all those who listen with original quality matched only to those which have proven themselves in days past. The driving beat and heavy guitars with timeless vocals gives light to a new birth in heavy music, with a ray of excitement allowing you to rock away to Freedom Hawk’s dark music fueled by the sun. Latest full length CD and Vinyl LP out now on Small Stone Recordings