Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free Pt. 2
I love it when old metal bands come out of the woodwork and provide some killer new material. That seems more common than before. Look at the unheralded popularity of the ferociously fast Dragonforce. Sure, Guitar Hero may be to blame for putting guitar front and center in music again but it's a good thing. Gamma Ray does this just as good, and they have been doing it much longer. It was quite apparent that in 1989 when Gamma Ray formed from Helloween's original lead singer, Kai Hansen, that Gamma Ray wasn't supposed to still be going on almost 20 years later.
Upon the first song on Land Of The Free II, part 2 of the 1995 album, I knew that this is what I was after. Fast and aggressive guitars in the old school Judas Priest vein is just what the doctor ordered. Yes, I'm getting older but I can still appreciate good melodic metal. It doesn't always need to be cutting edge, it just needs to be tight and put together with some passion. Driving, pulsing tracks like "Leaving Hell" set the bar high. Guilty pleasure? Maybe, but damn if this album didn't make me feel 18 again.
Obviously this isn't the sort of thing I would listen to all the time but when it's time for an escape, what better way to head off into the stratosphere than a new Gamma Ray album that recreates an old Gamma Ray album.
There may be some issues with "Opportunity". Damn, does that riff sound like an Iron Maiden one. Rime of the ancient mariner maybe? Are they just paying tribute to the band?
Regardless, Land Of The Free II is a well put together album with some great old school, melodic metal tracks that with either make you feel young again or make you appreciate Kai and his crew of metal heads for the first time.
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on 2008-02-06 MetalLord2271 Said:
Gamma ray is not the for the "Metal Heads" who think Papa Roach is metal. It is a real compolation of screaming guitars, heavy bass lines, and drums that hit so hard you'll crap your leather pants. The vocals amaze all with Kai's range of Chris Cornell and the deffening power of a fighter jet. The songs are good too. Amazing display, yet agin, from a metal band who has proven their talent and worth again and again.