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GAMMA RAY To The Metal Ear Music/Edel (2010)

Gamma Ray

Decent power metal albums are like buses, you wait ages then two come along at once. First there is Freedom Call's excellent new album and now we have Gamma Ray. This is their first since 2007's 'Land Of The Free II' and they are on a new label, having left SPV.

Overall it is classic Gamma Ray - the lightning fast guitar solos, memorable choruses and a powerful rythmn section. The one song bound to be a talking point amongst fans is 'All You Need To Know', a richly built song and it features ex-Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske on vocals. Good to see Kiske in a metal setting as opposed to his recent more melodic rock solo output.

The title track is a hark back to 80's metal and is slightly spoiled by the long fade out chants. But close your eyes and you'd swear you were back in the 80's listening to Quiet Riot or W.A.S.P.

'Shine Forever' has an instant chorus with Kai Hansen doing a very passable impression of the Metal God himself, Rob Halford. The song has a very latter day Priest feel to it right down to the Tipton/Downing approved solos. 'Mother Angel' slows the pace down and 'No Need To Cry' sees the band in full power metal ballad mode.

Kai Hansen and his band Gamma Ray have far surpassed his former band Helloween on this album, with Helloween's latest release of re-recorded classics a very average effort. A strong set of songs that are sure to stand the test of time.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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