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View Full Version : Gamma Ray - Land of the Free II


Maiden33
11-01-2007, 08:02 AM
http://static.metal-archives.com/images/1/7/3/3/173373.jpg

1.Into the Storm 3:49
2.From the Ashes 5:26
3.Rising Again 0:27
4.To Mother Earth 5:11
5.Rain 5:16
6.Leaving Hell 4:20
7.Empress 6:22
8.When the World 5:44
9.Opportunity 7:14
10.The Real World 5:42
11.Hear Me Calling 4:14
12.Insurrection 11:33

I figured I should definately take the time to review this, as I've seen a great amount of interest in it on the board, so enjoy.

I'm not sure how everyone else feels, but I found Majestic to be a bit of a let down by Gamma Ray's standards and not up to the superb quality of their albums from Land of the Free through No World Order. However, this review is not about Majestic.
The first thing I noticed about this album is that it's undoubtedly a fine return to their classic form, as noticeable on many tracks such as From the Ashes, To Mother Earth, and When the World. The thing that surprised myself as well as most I've talked to is that this album actually does sound reminiscent of it's namesake, unlike what I expected: the lyrical themes of LOTF with the music of an album like Majestic. I was pleasantly surprised.
I must say, I like Into the Storm but I found the guitar work on it to be fairly dissapointing. No bombastic harmonies, no surprisingly good riffs, and the chorus isn't all that strong, but nevertheless it is indeed a solid track and a fine opener. As I mentioned, From the Ashes is very much in an older style, reminscent of songs like Man on a Mission. The interlude Rising Again is good, but pretty silly that it's seperated from it's following track, To Mother Earth, as it very easily just could've been coupled together. To Mother Earth is also a fine song, though the chorus lyric/melody made me chuckle: "She was sooo beautiful!". After that we enter what I feel is the hit or miss section of the album. "Rain" is good, but just seems like it's missing something, and the psuedo harsh vocals on the one section don't really aide my opinion on it. This track is certainly made up for with it's follower, "Leaving Hell", again a very fun song with a great and catchy chorus. "Empress" is again I feel a bit of a weak song, mainly because of the chorus, which doesn't really grab me and just sounds kind of silly. Around this point I started to lose faith in the album on my first listen, but that was about to change.
We now move onto the track "When the World", which I feel is one of the best tracks on here. The chorus to this song is very strong, it had me singing along on just the second listen, and the solos are fucking excellent. I'm not sure which solo is Kai and which is Henjo, but my hats off to both of them for these. Next up is probably the surprise of the album, "Opportunity", written by Dirk Schlachter, is the second longest and possibly second best song on the album, featuring many different changes and styles represented throughout. You'll notice a familar bass riff about half way through the song though, because it's almost verbatim Maiden's Clairvoyant bass riff. However, they take it somewhere a bit different, so I can forgive.
Speaking of ripping things off, next we have Kai's album essential, his rewritten version of I Want Out. "The Real World" is a fine song, but at time the I Want Out-isms are nearly humorous, especially the lead into the solo. However, when you've written one of the best and most original power metal songs ever written, I think I can forgive you for ripping it off... this is nothing new, need I mention "Heaven or Hell" or "Send Me a Sign". "Hear Me Calling" is another strong track, but lacks the identity of it's predecessors. It generally gets overlooked as for me, at this point I'm just waiting for the final track, "Insurrection". I figured at the 11 and a half minute time, this would either be a massive sucess or a redundant failure, and I'm very happy to say it succeeded big time. I think this may be one of the strongest tracks Gamma Ray have done to date, and any fan will be happy to hear the musical references to the classic Rebellion in Dreamland from time to time. The 11 minutes seems like nothing, as I find myself wishing that helluva chorus to continue. This song alone makes up for any of the dissapointments of the couple filler-esque tracks.
So, in summary, I am very very happy with this album, and pleasantly surprised to see a return to form in both style and quality. Speaking of quality, the production quality on this album is surprisingly good. If you're a Gamma Ray fan, you'll definately enjoy this, and hell, even if you're not, you might want to give it a shot anyway.

Fe Maiden
11-01-2007, 01:51 PM
Where have you heard this album from? Could you explain the "pseudo-harsh vocals?" I'm looking forward to getting this album as I like Gamma Ray quite a bit.

Div
11-01-2007, 03:04 PM
Personally this album is a contender for my #1 spot, we'll see how it holds up in two months. We have alot of great songs on here. I'm not sure what would be the best, but Hear Me Calling was easily the worst. There were alot of solid riffs on here, and the flower-metalish sound was kept to a minimum, although some minor parts of the album did have a dragonforce feeling to them. I think in general this album rocks, the sappy overly-dramatic sections that often plauge this genre were few and far between. I personally loved Majestic, and this lives up to that, perhaps better.

Maiden33
11-02-2007, 06:48 AM
Where have you heard this album from? Could you explain the "pseudo-harsh vocals?" I'm looking forward to getting this album as I like Gamma Ray quite a bit.

There's just this thing in Rain that's like: "POSSESSION! POSSESSED!" using like a strange vocal effect that makes it sound like it's really harsh and distorted. No, Kai's not doing screamo...


... yet. :D

Human_Metal
11-02-2007, 07:24 AM
I've only heard Into the Storm so far, and i thought it was an awsome track. If the rest of the albums keeps the same quality on the songs then it will sure be on my top-10 list of 2007, maybe even in the top-5.

Maiden33
11-02-2007, 07:49 AM
I've only heard Into the Storm so far, and i thought it was an awsome track. If the rest of the albums keeps the same quality on the songs then it will sure be on my top-10 list of 2007, maybe even in the top-5.

Then you can consider it there already.

theclansman1114
11-02-2007, 12:31 PM
This album is fucking fantastic. If any of you don't know, I am a huge Gamma Ray fan. I had very high expectations for this album and it met all of them. The production on the album is much better than Majestic and sounds like the great production Gamma Ray had in the past before Majestic. Kai's voice actually sounds better than it did on Majestic, which was a big concern of mine. The guitar work on the album is very good, very Gamma Ray really. Gamma Ray definitely made this sound like Land of the Free Part II, which was my biggest concern. Sometimes when bands do a part II album so far removed from the original it tends to sound more like the previous album musically but will have the lyrical content to back the part II idea. But no, Gamma Ray didn't let this become Majestic II. :)

Overall the album has a lot of good/great songs and then a few amazing songs. With Insurrection, Opportunity, When The World being those. Insurrection was the song I was looking forward to most, considering I heard a clip in advance and knew it was a Kai super epic. If you like Heading For Tomorrow or Rebellion In Dreamland, you'll love this. This album will definitely rank in my top 3 for 2007, if not #1.

Fe Maiden
11-02-2007, 03:22 PM
This album is fucking fantastic. If any of you don't know, I am a huge Gamma Ray fan. I had very high expectations for this album and it met all of them. The production on the album is much better than Majestic and sounds like the great production Gamma Ray had in the past before Majestic. Kai's voice actually sounds better than it did on Majestic, which was a big concern of mine. The guitar work on the album is very good, very Gamma Ray really. Gamma Ray definitely made this sound like Land of the Free Part II, which was my biggest concern. Sometimes when bands do a part II album so far removed from the original it tends to sound more like the previous album musically but will have the lyrical content to back the part II idea. But no, Gamma Ray didn't let this become Majestic II. :)

Overall the album has a lot of good/great songs and then a few amazing songs. With Insurrection, Opportunity, When The World being those. Insurrection was the song I was looking forward to most, considering I heard a clip in advance and knew it was a Kai super epic. If you like Heading For Tomorrow or Rebellion In Dreamland, you'll love this. This album will definitely rank in my top 3 for 2007, if not #1.I'm really looking forward to this one!

Maiden33
11-02-2007, 11:38 PM
If any of you don't know, I am a huge Gamma Ray fan.

Hmmm, what gave this away? Your Kai Hansen avatar? Your "Anywhere In the Galaxy" location? Your "One day you realize, it's right before your eyes" signature quote? Your "Dethrone Tyranny" user description? Or the poster of Kai Hansen you keep above your bed (not to mention the wallet sized photos and life size cardboard cut out you don't let most people know about) ?

Gamma Ray definitely made this sound like Land of the Free Part II, which was my biggest concern. Sometimes when bands do a part II album so far removed from the original it tends to sound more like the previous album musically but will have the lyrical content to back the part II idea. But no, Gamma Ray didn't let this become Majestic II. :)

Queensryche anyone?
Holy crap, you just referenced Queensryche. Even if you didn't want to you did, and now you have to live with it.

This album will definitely rank in my top 3 for 2007, if not #1.

Don't put too much faith in this statement, he bought about 5 new releases in 2007 thus far.

:D:D;)

theclansman1114
11-03-2007, 07:03 AM
Hmmm, what gave this away? Your Kai Hansen avatar? Your "Anywhere In the Galaxy" location? Your "One day you realize, it's right before your eyes" signature quote? Your "Dethrone Tyranny" user description? Or the poster of Kai Hansen you keep above your bed (not to mention the wallet sized photos and life size cardboard cut out you don't let most people know about) ?



Queensryche anyone?
Holy crap, you just referenced Queensryche. Even if you didn't want to you did, and now you have to live with it.



Don't put too much faith in this statement, he bought about 5 new releases in 2007 thus far.

:D:D;)

:lol:

Div
11-07-2007, 07:40 PM
Did Kai say "once i saw the eagle fly, it was the sound of peace"???


im sorry but this album loses points for that :hecho: Mother Earth needs to have a serious re-write

Maiden33
11-08-2007, 06:41 AM
Did Kai say "once i saw the eagle fly, it was the sound of peace"???


im sorry but this album loses points for that :hecho: Mother Earth needs to have a serious re-write

In case you didn't notice, he also said: "Where the fuck is my superman outfit!??"
I'd deduct more points for that.

Human_Metal
11-29-2007, 11:50 AM
Okey, now i have the album and i have listen to it maybe 4 times and even if it's a good album i'm quite disappointed. I think the album lacks of originality. When i listen to this album i found myself get irritated at all the rip offs of other bands and stuff THEY already have done in other songs.
Into the Storm, From the Ashes, Leaving Hell and Insurrection is the highlights in my opinion. Well there is maybe 2 good songs beside those but the rest is just fillers.

I liked Majestic and this album is like Majestic part 2, only slighty worse.


and also, as said in the post above, some of the lyrics is plain bad.

theclansman1114
11-29-2007, 01:03 PM
I liked Majestic and this album is like Majestic part 2, only slighty worse.




Explain that. I don't think this album sounds anything like Majestic.

Maiden33
11-30-2007, 06:56 AM
Explain that. I don't think this album sounds anything like Majestic.

Ah, now I see what you meant by: "I don't post much anymore". It means you only reply to topics having to do with Gamma Ray or Kai Hansen. :tp:

:D ;)

Human_Metal
12-01-2007, 05:01 AM
Explain that. I don't think this album sounds anything like Majestic.

Does it really need an explanation? :eyes:


On all points it sounds like Majestic. It's sounds nowhere near as the original Land of the Free, because in the 90s they still wanted to make fun power metal. Nowadays it sounds more like they want to be as heavy they can and still be in the power metal genre.
Both Majestic and LOTF2 are very dark and heavy and Kai singing is way more aggressive than it was before. And also most of the songs sounds like they could have been on the Majestic album.

Okey now it maybe sounds like i dislike the heavy Gamma Ray, that's not the way but i still much prefer gamma Ray as the way the sounded before No World Order.

Fe Maiden
12-20-2007, 08:17 AM
OK, I just ordered this so it better be good!

Maiden33
12-21-2007, 06:41 AM
OK, I just ordered this so it better be good!

It is. Currently my #6 album of the year. Which is quite an accomplishment being my list currently contains 42 albums.

Fe Maiden
01-20-2008, 08:17 AM
Some good guitar work but I am overall not really impressed! The chorus to Mother Earth makes me cringe!

andrew_metalhead
11-09-2008, 07:45 PM
Into the storm, empress and insurrection are awesome.

7/10 for the album :)

10/10 for the live performance of ITS and empress :party: :rocker:

JRA
11-25-2008, 07:59 PM
In case you didn't notice, he also said: "Where the fuck is my superman outfit!??"
I'd deduct more points for that.


NECROMANCE!

I'd rather hear that line than "Kiss The Princess, Empress of The Dark" especially with that slightly fruity cadence.

Don't like that line from Rain? Had Henjo a bar of soap next time you see him.