Gamma Ray
Somewhere Out in Space


5.0
classic

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
September 23rd, 2006 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


With 1995's Land of the Free, Gamma Ray proved to the metal world that they were a force to be reckoned with. The soaring vocals of Kai Hansen; the heavy, aggressive riffs; the memorable song writing; the powerful soloing; everything went their way. But despite this, change was in the air for the Gamma Ray camp. In a musical chairs of band members, bassist Jan Rubach and drummer Thomas Nack left the band. Guitarist of the time, Dirk Schlachter picked up the bass guitar and the Rays found a man by the name of Henjo Richter, who took Dirk's vacant position. Finally, Drumming duties were given to Freedom Call drummer Dan Zimmermann. This has proved to be the most stable line-up in the band's history, as the line-up has not changed ever since. 1997 rolled around, and with it came the newly renovated band's first chance to prove themselves. The album, titled Somewhere Out in Space, once again failed to disappoint.

This time around, Gamma Ray expands on the approach the used on Land of the Free. The elements that made Land of the Free so good are once again found on this album, only this time there is more focus on melody than aggression. Harmonies and leads are even more evident on this album. Like you would expect from a Kai Hansen lead project, these melodic elements are second to none, the kind of material that influence a generation of similar bands. A big part of the album's sound comes from the lyrical subjects. The main themes of the album deal with Sci-Fi inspired stories and as a result, the music has that epic, space-ish feel to it. Two very obvious examples of this come in the form of songs Somewhere Out in Space and Beyond the Black Hole. Both tracks are energetic outings that perfectly define Gamma Ray's musical style.

With their fifth album, Kai and friends seem to have discovered a new interest. Space. Many of the album's lyrics deal with the topic of space in one way or another. Whether it be Star Trek inspired story of insanity during a space mission in Somewhere Out in Space; traveling through black holes in Beyond the Black Hole; space colonization in Men, Martians, and Machines; and so on. However, some tracks such as No Stranger (Another Day in Life) or Pray, the band's lyrical approach turns its gaze towards real life subjects similar to earlier Gamma Ray albums. While you couldn't exactly call Gamma Ray excellent writers in terms of lyrics, for a power metal band, they are satisfactory. They don't destroy the competition, yet at the same time, they don't disappoint.

With Somewhere Out in Space, Kai Hansen shows that he will only get better as the years go by. With Land of the Free, I felt he had a very strong performance, positively affecting the band in ways that former vocalist Ralf Scheepers couldn't dream of doing. With this album, Kai delivers an even more powerful effort. Sure, he doesn't top performances in albums like Majestic, No World Order, or Blast for the Past, but his singing is still top notch. Definitely one of the most enjoyable listeners in the genre. Hansen spends a fair bit of time singing in mid range, but he can hit the high notes with relative ease. During the choruses (and pre-choruses) is where he really shines. Gamma Ray writes some of the catchiest vocal lines in metal, and Kai is the perfect vocalist to sing them. Listen to just about every track (especially the single, Valley of the Kings), and you'll have it stuck in your mind for days at a time.

Along with Land of the Free, Somewhere Out in Space is an excellent representation of the elements that make up the German power metal scene. With Powerful riffs, mind-blowing soloing, heavy double bass, and strong singing, Gamma Ray once again creates an album which reaches standards which only the greatest of bands ever match. I definitely recommend this album to both newer and…not so new listeners to metal, as it is very enjoyable and there is very little to dislike.

Recommended Tracks:
Somewhere out in Space
Beyond the Black Hole
Watcher in the Sky
Men, Martians, and Machines



Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (226)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Venpts16 (5)
Somewhere Out in Space is an essential Power Metal album, where Gamma Ray expands their sound to som...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
September 23rd 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Yay, 50 reviews.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

metallicaman8
September 30th 2006


4677 Comments


Happy 50th, Mikey.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 30th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Heeey a comment. :o

Thanks again, man.

Lunarfall
March 25th 2007


3179 Comments


I didn't know how good power metal could become...until I heard this album. This is the pinnacle of power metal! /cheesy

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 25th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Sure is. Same with Land of the Free. If you like this you'll like that one as well.

Listening to this right now, I forgot how much I loved it.

Dragonforce89
March 6th 2009


331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kai is sick one of the best vocals, but i found Gamma Ray repetive and little inaccurate.
One thing Beyond The Blackhole is one of the best song i ever herd , but some editing on the album and i would be glad. Kai voice is quiet on other tracks and that is not so hot, but i think im gonna like this album if i give it some more tries.

Now i give it 3.
This Message Edited On 03.06.09

gaslightanthem
March 6th 2009


5209 Comments


"Yay, 50 reviews."

baha

VTK
December 17th 2009


76 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Keeper of the Seven Keys, Land of the Free and Somewhere Out In Space. Is there really anyone that could come even close to Kai Hansen in terms of importance and excellence in the realm of Power Metal?

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 17th 2009


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

No. It's all you'll ever need really

baha
lol inorite

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2012


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Apart from the fillers(I.e. the songs that barely reach a minute) that cut the flow of the album a great deal, what the band have on offer here is something truly original. I haven't heard of many metal bands touching on the subject of space, let alone the whole genre of power metal. That said, the title track is an absolute beast, and vocals are something special.

TheNotrap
April 3rd 2012


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Very enjoyable album.

Dreamflight
April 3rd 2012


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Valley of the Kings remind me of Sonic the Hedgehog OST. eheh

RunOfTheMill
April 5th 2012


1505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best Gamma Ray album, just unfortunate it doesn't have many standout tracks, but that is to say, that's because just about everything here is awesome.

Except Pray. Pray is really annoying.

manosg
February 23rd 2014


6258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album flows perfectly and is highly melodic.

Digging: Acrimony - Tumuli Shroomaroom

RunOfTheMill
February 23rd 2014


1505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Except Pray. Ugh.

Everything else rules m/

VermTheImpaler
February 23rd 2014


1360 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5 this or die

KILL
February 23rd 2014


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this aint no land of the free bitch

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

VermTheImpaler
February 23rd 2014


1360 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

But is kooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool. Still land of the free is like rate this with 6/5 or die

hikingmetalpunk
February 26th 2014


1056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuckin gamma ray m/

facupm
February 27th 2014


8068 Comments


after land of the free i should jam this

Digging: Dissect - Swallow Swouming Mass



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy