Gamma Ray
No World Order



by Altmer USER (175 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2007 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

After Kai's departure from one of the other classic German power metal bands, Helloween, he founded his own band, Gamma Ray. To me this band has always been like "that other band from Germany that plays power metal." Helloween defined the genre with Keeper, and Blind Guardian are just killer, but Gamma Ray have simply never attracted my interest. Then I got this album, No World Order. And I will have to say, despite the fact this disc has its moments, it simply doesn't convince me of the classicness of Gamma Ray.

In fact Gamma Ray prove how they can play power metal by numbers on this one. Everything, and I mean everything, is speed/power metal grandiosity, bar the closing Lake Of Tears. The drums thump out like double bass, just like Stratovarius does it. The vocals are the typical Halford/Dickinson wannabe style. In fact, I think Kai Hansen is inferior to these guys. The aforementioned singers just have more range than Hansen, and sound less thin.

The lyrics and titles are the standard power metal trite. I mean, "The Heart Of The Unicorn"? Come on. The bass isn't there. The guitar riffs are straight from the speed metal booklet, I swear that on The Heart Of The Unicorn Kai is emulating Halford both on the guitar AND the vocals front. The riff is taken straight from All Guns Blazing, and so are the vocal lines. I admit, the line is a good one, but this is blatant plagiarism. But at least Hansen has the sense to pilfer some of Priest's best material.

That isn't to say this disc is bad. Sure, if you are a power metal fanatic, this one will have you headbanging for quite a while. Speed metal monsters like Dethrone Tyranny, Heaven Or Hell and Damn The Machine are typical strong power metal anthems. The guitar lines, despite cliched, are still excellent and uptempo. The vocals, despite not uber high quality like usual in this genre, still are never offkey or grating. Kai Hansen can at least sing. I still won't call him the best vocalist in the genre, but his performance is decent.

And that is exactly the strength of this record. It's solid. It's simply ten songs, of which nine are power metal anthems, one is a slower balladesque track, there's no bull***ting around except for the standard guitar solo antics we're used to. No nonsense, just straight up power metal, like we want it. Again, like most bands it's an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of attitude, but for Gamma Ray it has worked admirably, and no doubt that that has cemented this band at the top of the power metal heap. They played this style first, and they kept true to their roots, never went out of their way, or did something totally out of style. Never experimented. Boring, generic, but it still works.

All in all Gamma Ray is for all you old power metal lags out there. This is just a straight up heavy rocking power metal disc. Not fancy, not exquisite, just metal and no bull***. Recommended for fans of the genre, or of the old bands like Maiden and Priest, this one will satisfy your headbanging needs quite well. But if you want originality, Gamma Ray isn't your band. They stick to the tried-and-tested formula, and give their old fans something to be pleased about. Oh well, the classics live on for a reason.

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user ratings (359)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 2nd 2007


If you want a real classic, get Somewhere Out In Space.

Good review otherwise.This Message Edited On 04.02.07

April 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Or Land of the Free.

August 27th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album

3.5 sounds like a high rating, compared to your review, though

3.5 means great!

and it is!

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