Album Reviews

Gamma Ray – To The Metal

Released by earMUSIC/Edel Music – 2010

Review Added February 05, 2010

Released: January, 29th 2010
Recorded at: High Gain Studio, Hamburg, Germany
Genre Power Metal/Speed Metal/Heavy metal
Label: earMUSIC/Edel Music
Producer: Dirk Schlächter and Kai Hansen

1. Rise
2. Deadlands**
3. Mother Angel**
4. No Need To Cry
5. Empathy**
6. To The Metal**
7. All You Need to Know**
8. Time To Live
9. Shine Forever
10. Chasing Shadows
Hot Tracks**

* Kai Hansen – vocals, guitar
* Henjo Richter – guitars, keyboards
* Dirk Schlächter – bass, vocals on “No Need to Cry”
* Dan Zimmermann – drums

The legends of Power Metal are back with their 10th studio album, Kai Hansen and the boys of Gamma Ray are back stronger then ever bringing back the sound that have helped put their staple on the genre. From the days in Helloween, to his career in Gamma Ray, one thing you could count on from Kai is the heavy bottom speed metal trademark that makes these Germans so dependable and consistent. The interesting mix of melodic, fast pace shifting from fast to slow and over the top bombastic choruses kept true to the early days of Helloween when they broke the genre right open and influence so many clones after them.

Kick starting the record is the opener “Rise”, sounding like a full thrust of blazing energy coming at you with the iconic Gamma Ray sound you are so accustomed to hearing, the over the top melodies and Kai’s distinctive voice proves dominant as the chorus reminds you of some of the killer cuts of the Somewhere Out In Space record. “Deadlands” has a nice opening riff, and the double bass kick and the chorus here brings back flashes of classic Iron Maiden circa Piece of Mind era, not to mention the tasty chops of the dual guitar assault. Part of what made Gamma Ray so great for so many years are the trademark chorus and rhythms in the music, this is very eminent on the track “Mother Angel”, although more laid back, the melodic chorus line injects a nice boost of passion and life into the song. The slow build up in “Empathy” leads way to a harder and crunchier sound then the rest of the tracks, the rhythm here picks up slowly and produces a nice sound wave of metal to please all fans of traditional heavy metal, with a good showing in the lyrics department, it become another strong offering. The title track has an interesting Floyd under lining, kinda like listening to a metal version of “Run Like Hell”, funny how it works but it works damn well. A nice treat for the fans is the welcome voice of Michael Kiske, as he lends his voice as guest on the track “All You Need to Know”, adding a super crunch sound to the mix, and a blazing guitar solo, once again the energy keeps flowing through the record without sounding dull and uninspired. All in all the music remains the same, but this is to be expected. Groundbreaking has never been a word associated with the genre.

Is a solid record, with a few just okay tracks, the highlights are done quite well. Some of the track the shine have a nice change of pace leading to some killer speed metal demonic playing, that mix always works well when it comes to Gamma Ray. Fans of the band should pick this one up if not only because it’s been 3 years since Land of the Free II. Nothing new just the usual from these guys. Give a rock solid for not overwhelming either.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  7/10

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