Free/Freedom - Liberate/Liberation - Release

Free can mean:
·       Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes; subject neither to        foreign domination nor to despotic government; not or no longer confined or imprisoned.
·       Not physically restrained, obstructed, or fixed; unimpeded.
·       Not subject to or constrained by engagements or obligations.
·       Given or available without charge.
·       Using or expending something without restraint; lavish.

Liberate/Liberation usually has a more formal or ideological meaning i.e. liberation from political oppression or liberation of prisoners-of-war.
Liberation can mean:
·       freeing a country, a city, or people from enemy occupation.
·       releasing someone from a state or situation that limits freedom of thought or behavior.
·       freeing someone from rigid social conventions, especially those concerned with accepted sexual roles.
Spiritual liberation and free will have different meaning, as will is generally understood as a deliberate or fixed desire or intent; liberation implicates a change of status (e.g., from without freedom to with freedom) that is not implicit in free will.
Liberation means the setting free of someone or something. Wild animals raised in captivity are often unprepared for their liberation, when they are released back into the wild.
You'll notice right off the bat that liberation is related to the noun liberty— as in "liberty and justice for all." The difference is that liberation refers specifically to the act of being made free, of going from having no freedom to having it. Famous moments of liberation include Europe's liberation from the Nazis, the slaves' liberation from slavery in the U.S., and South Africa's liberation from the oppression of apartheid.
Liberation is the first step in the process by which medication enters the body and liberates the ... This can mean that the same dose of a drug in different forms can have different bioequivalence, as they yield ... In addition, a slow release system will maintain drug concentrations within a therapeutically acceptable range for ...

As nouns the difference between release and liberation is that release is the event of setting (someone or something) free (eg hostages, slaves, prisoners, caged animals, hooked or stuck mechanisms) while liberation is the act of liberating or the state of being liberated. 

As a verb release is to let go (of); to cease to hold or contain or releasecan be to lease again; to grant a new lease of; to let back.