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Gamma Ray: Land of the Free II

The power metal kings from Germany return with a sort of continuation (pretty much in name only) of their 1995 release Land of the Free. Here on Land of the Free II, Kai Hansen & Co. storm out of the gate with 12 tracks of blistering, melodic power metal, and while they seem to have slowed the tempos down just a tad here, they've upped the anthemic quality of the material quite a bit, making these songs instantly memorable and catchy. Guitar solos from Hansen and Henjo Richter abound throughout the CD, and coupled with plenty of interesting and well-thought out riffs make this one of the most guitar friendly albums the band has put out in years. Listen to the scorching leads on "Leaving Hell", or the complex & savage riffery of "When the World" or "Hear Me Calling" for proof of the concerted effort to inject more guitar thunder into these songs. There's even some atmospheric and multi-layered pieces here, like the soaring "Opportunity", which features some great vocal harmonies from Hansen, and the almost orchestral (thanks to some wonderful Blind Guardian type vocal passages) prog-metal epic "Insurrection". It seems that the band really worked hard on the vocals on this release, as each track seems to really have a dense feel with many layers of lead & backing vocals.

It's safe to say that if you haven't been a fan of Gamma Ray's brand of power metal in the past, chances are you might like what you hear on Land of the Free II, as this one seems to offer up a lot more variety than previous releases. This is powerful music, packed with plenty of melodies, metal attitude, and just the right amount of restraint when needed. Well done indeed.

Track Listing
01. Into The Storm
02. From The Aashes
03. Rising Again
04. To Mother Earth
05. Rain
06. Leaving Hell
07. Empress
08. When The World
09. Opportunity
10. Real World
11. Hear Me Calling
12. Insurrection

Added: November 21st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Gamma Ray Website
Hits: 3612
Language: english

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