Gamma Ray
Somewhere Out in Space


5.0
classic

Review

by Venpts16 USER (27 Reviews)
April 9th, 2012 | 12 replies | 5,592 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somewhere Out in Space is an essential Power Metal album, where Gamma Ray expands their sound to something legendary.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

Kai Hansen, generally considered to be the creator of Power Metal, had a colorful career by the end of the 1990s. After creating very raw and aggressive Speed Metal with Walls of Jericho, his creative control waned with the legendary Keeper of the Seven Keys albums in Helloween, leading to his departure and creating the rival band Gamma Ray. Not ready to lose creative control again, he released three Power Metal albums of varying quality with Ralf Scheepers until redefining the genre with the release of Land of the Free. One of the cornerstones of metal in the 90s, this album was widely loved by many Power Metal fans, and was succeeded by an album even better. Ten years after his first exalted masterpiece, Somewhere Out in Space is everything a Power Metal fan can dream of, with aggression, melody, and perfect performances and song-writing all around.

If you have listened to Gamma Ray before, you may recognize the general musical style of the album. Throughout the album, Kai takes his fellow band members through about a dozen passages which take the band to areas that are both fresh and exciting while appealing to those who loved Land of the Free. Songs like “The Winged Horse” and the title track will satiate any fan of the Gamma Ray’s previous styles; containing more aggression than anything the band would compose until No World Order. A special recommendation has to be given to “Lost in the Future,” arguably the Ray’s darkest composition in their entire career. Kai’s lower, less energetic vocals work well with lyrics detailing “a million people left alone down in their desperate, blackened homes,” and how “we’re individually lost” and “nailed to our cross.” The instrumentals do everything to compliment the hopelessness the song presents, creating a bleak atmosphere that is almost unheard of in Power Metal.

As for the new elements in the album, the band has experimented with more varying song-tempos. “Valley of the Kings” and “Men, Martians and Machines” are both leisurely-paced compared to songs like “Land of the Free” and “Lust For Life,” focusing more on melodic structures than fast-paced or heavier riffs. Both of these songs succeed in this regard, as Kai’s vocals sound almost foreign to listeners in “Men, Martians, and Machines,” and “Valley of the Kings” is a very worthy listen for its bombastic, energetic chorus. “Beyond the Black Hole," though another example of a vocally-based track, certainly has technical instrumentation to compliment Kai's singing with solos on drums, bass, and guitar.

Other experimental tracks include the use of pianos, or creating some of the most heartfelt or melodic tracks in the band’s history. “Pray” might not be the band’s first ballad (behind both “The Silence” and “Farewell”), though it is certainly the most inspired ballad they released. Though I’m personally not a fan of many of their ballads, this one still provides an enjoyable listen and works as breathing point after about half of the album. “Shine On,” though not an epic album closer like many of Iron Maiden’s or Iced Earth’s releases, provides yet another enjoyable listen by providing almost symphonic elements into the band’s style. The song quickly opens up with a flurry on piano, and, while quickly segue’s itself into a familiar Gamma Ray track, has one of the musically cheeriest choruses in the band’s career.

The biggest thing that sets this album apart from its competitors is one song: “Somewhere Out in Space.” The incredible amount of emotion and creativity makes it a highlight of not only Gamma Ray’s or Kai Hansen’s discographies, but throughout the entirety of Power Metal. Each additional minute adds more swerves to the song, containing aggressive verses, melodic bridges, and a symphonic chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Blind Guardian release. Every member of the band, from the rhythm section to the guitars and vocals, stand out remarkably, and leaves nothing more to be desired when the final shout of the song's title brings closure.

From the drum solo at the beginning of “Beyond the Black Hole” to the end of “Shine On,” it is without a doubt that Kai Hansen has released his best work. Mr. Hansen has found a way to erase detractor’s statements by one-upping not just Land of the Free, but anything he has recorded with Helloween. The energy, creativity, emotion, melody, and power really set this album on a level far beyond any of Power Metal’s bests; and deserves a listen by any fan who wants a taste of Power Metal.



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Mike Stagno EMERITUS (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Venpts16
April 9th 2012



283 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Undoubtedly; they released a lot of good stuff over the past 20 years.

Venpts16
April 9th 2012



283 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That was the first one I listened to, and it is incredible. I love Rebellion in Dreamland, Afterlife, and Man on a Mission.

Ending
April 9th 2012



1888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel like this is their best. Land of The Free has higher peaks (Rebellion In Dreamland) but as an album this is consistently better in my opinion. Sick band though, that's for sure.

Venpts16
April 9th 2012



283 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I agree with that. Gods of Deliverance, Salvation's Calling, and Time to Break Free, though good songs, aren't quite as good as a lot of the stuff from this.

Though I think Somewhere Out in Space is a better song that Rebellion in Dreamland, both songs are classics.

Eunuch
April 10th 2012



1227 Comments


I prefer Land of the Free but this is good for power metal, albeit a tad on the cheesy side.

TheNotrap
April 10th 2012



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"...The energy, creativity, emotion, melody, and power really set this album on a level far beyond any of Power Metal’s bests..."
Well in my humble opinion Helloween's Keepers still remain the best power metal albums ever released, but to each his own.

Somewhere Out in Space is indeed an enjoyable album.


Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Venpts16
April 10th 2012



283 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

As much as I love Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1, I just can't give it a classic rating because of the extremely short length of the album (especially with two throw-away songs under two minutes in length) and "A Tale That Wasn't Right;" a ballad I consider far too cliched.

That said, everything else on it is awesome; especially Halloween. That song was the first Power Metal song I ever listened to, and I'll always consider it one of metal's finest moments.

ksoflas
April 10th 2012



343 Comments


The album is ok but by no means better than land of the free or top Helloween releases!


RunOfTheMill
April 11th 2012



1422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this one more than Land of the Free, but both are fucking awesome.

Venpts16
April 30th 2012



283 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Both Land of the Free and Somewhere Out in Space are some of the best Power Metal albums I have ever been lucky enough to listen to; even though I would throw in Majestic and No World Order with them as well. Those four Gamma Ray albums are almost unbeatable compared to the vast majority of Power Metal; and are only stood up in comparison to some of Blind Guardian's stuff, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy, and Burnt Offerings (which I personally would say hardly qualifies as Power Metal).

warlordfun
January 21st 2013



383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The winged horse is one of the most unique and solid tunes that i've ever been lucky enough to listen to in my life

Digging: Lords Of The Crimson Alliance - Lords Of The Crimson Alliance

warlordfun
January 21st 2013



383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

WATCHER IN THE SKY!!!!!!!!



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