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Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II - 2007 - SPV

Track Listing:
1. Into The Storm
2. From The Ashes
3. Rising Again
4. To Mother Earth
5. Rain
6. Leaving Hell
7. Empress
8. When The World
9. Opportunity
10. Real World
11. Hear Me Calling
12. Insurrection
Us fans of the older power/speed style that dominated the mid-80s are having a great second half of 2007! Progenitor Helloween released the rallying effort "Gambling with the Devil" and now, Gamma Ray has responded with an effort that is equally as good, if not a little better.

GR has been giving us decent CDs for over a decade, along the same path as Helloween, but the racetrack we've wanted to see them back on has only been rarely ridden with earlier songs like "Lust for Life" and "Fight" from 2005's well-received Majestic. Sometimes their live shows gave us "I Want Out" and "Future World" to relive the early days.

Where the new Helloween opus went a little darker, "Land Of The Free II" is a throttle-open burner full of positive power metal. "To Mother Earth" is as rapid a ride as anything from the pre-Kiske era, "From the Ashes" is Maidenesque and "Insurrection" is an epic majesty on the scale of GR's own "Heading for Tomorrow". Their vocals and lyrics have always been on the 'adequate' level for me, but I can't deny the fast-frets and gang chats on this one.

Kai Hansen has replicated his early days so closely, I'm tempted to accuse him of going through a mid-life crisis. There's no need to reminisce about the glory of the old days when it's with us now as well. With both bands under the Steamhammer/SPV Records banner and a tour in rumor, fans should get their keys ready!

Bottom Line: The new Gamma Ray smokes!

Rating: 4


About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

All reviews for Gamma Ray:
Heading For The EastGamma Ray
Ken Pierce6/22/2004
Land Of The Free IIGamma Ray
Frank Hill11/30/2007
MajesticGamma Ray
Eric Compton11/30/2005

All interviews for Gamma Ray:

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