Time sure flies as it has been four years since Germany's power metal royalty Gamma Ray released that last full length studio album as they took us To The Metal. Not helped by a destructive studio fire that no doubt was a major disruption to the recording schedule. Gamma Ray did give us an appealing sample of what was to come on last years Master Of Confusion EP with two new tracks both of which appear again here. While on the subject of that EP I will say that the cover art exceeds what they have chosen for Empire Of The Undead.
Gamma Ray like fellow countrymen Helloween sure haven't softened in their approach Empire Of The Undead is also somewhat varied with some surprises in store. From the epic ness of "Avalon" a very appealing track Gamma Ray then go into an intense power metal mode for "Hellbent" sounding like they combined with heavy metal legends Judas Priest to create this crusher. It's time to get a rocking for "Pale Rider" as the guitar solos are screaming, the Gamma crew even get their modern groove on for "Born To Fly". "Master Of Confusion" is in that familiar Gamma Ray vibrant style, exploding with the power packed title track "Empire of the Undead" as the band races along and Gamma Ray eases up for "Time For Deliverance". Catchy metal is waiting on "Demonseed" a hard kicking tune and the energy levels are high again for "Seven", next the words "I'll be back" are spoken as Arnie makes an appearance on "I Will Return" as I'm sure this band will.
I was torn with this album at first and I'm not going to proclaim that Empire Of The Undead is rivalling Gamma Ray's best, but after repeated listens my overall opinion has become increasingly positive. With so many hits over the years like the power metal classic Land Of The Free and whilst this new album doesn't reach those heights Gamma Ray prove they have still have plenty of enthusiasm with Empire Of The Undead.
3. Pale Rider
4. Born to Fly
5. Master of Confusionto
6. Empire of the Undead
7. Time for Deliverence
10. I Will Return