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Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II (CD)

Gamma Ray
Land Of The Free II
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 20 November 2007, 1:45 PM

Hell, this review was really a tough one for me. No, don't get me wrong I am a fan of Kai Hansen since the very beginning with HELLOWEEN and his prime works with GAMMA RAY. But, Land Of The Free II raised some personal complaints from the day it was announced as the next release for the German band. So take a minute and consider the following:
- GAMMA RAY are about to tour with HELLOWEEN who have already released the third part of Keeper Of The Seven Keys
- No World Order and Majestic were rather weak albums compared to the previous Hansen works.
Taking into account the above and some issues regarding the music (discussed below) then it should become obvious to you why I buckled to finish this review.
One thing that I've noticed in Land Of The Free II for the first spin was that Kai's vocals that are getting better and better; his journey towards improvement started in the Blast From The Past where he was singing melodically with a certain timbre that leaves aside the high pitched almost screaming performance. As always, the songs are guitar driven with catchy melodies and sing-along chorus following the classic German Power Metal path that HELLOWEEN carved during the mid 80s. So, what is wrong with this album?
Answer: Kai overused his influences during the composing process and produced songs that have melodic lines and sometimes riffs that photograph not only the band but a specific song. I mean, in the middle of Opportunity, where Kai vocal performance is one of the best, you get an IRON MAIDEN treat with Clairvoyant while Empress looks towards ACCEPT with Princess Of The Dawn and so on.
What happened here? Is Kai dry of inspiration and fresh ideas? Was this the easy way to produce a new album and gain some younger fans? Personally I cannot and I don't want to answer these questions since I am still considering Hansen as a true metal persona. Maybe he wanted to make a tribute to the past and refer to Land OF The Free with some trademark and historic sounds and melodies…
If you skip the above comments then you can consider Land Of The Free a very good album with songs that are made to be performed on-stage by GAMMA RAY with their classic party feeling and rate it with 8 out of 10; it's your choice here.
PS: I hope that the grey clouds of doubt will clear out from my mind with the future GAMMA RAY album.

0 Star Rating

Into The Storm
From The Ashes
Rising Again
To Mother Earth
Leaving Hell
When The World
Real World
Hear Me Calling
Kai Hansen - Vocals, Guitar
Dirk Schlachter - Bass
Henjo Richter - Guitar
Daniel Zimmerman - Drums
Record Label: SPV


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