Gamma Ray – Land Of The Free (Review)

Gamma Ray – Land Of The Free (1995)

With vocalist Ralf Scheepers out the band, hell bent on joining Judas Priest, Gamma Ray guitarist (and former Helloween guitarist/lead vocalist) Kai Hansen decided to make a surprise, and welcome, return to the mic. The re-jigged German band found a renewed sense of vitality and their fourth album, 1995’s Land Of The Free, proved to be their best yet. It’s a definitive power metal classic: humungous, anthemic heavy metal goods properly delivered by a band on a mission.

2017 Anniversary Edition with 7 bonus tracks

The opening track Rebellion In Dreamland is metal at its gloriously epic best and tracks like Man On A Mission and All Of The Damned feature precision hooks. The band’s earlier albums often stumbled into silliness but this is a more serious and consistent effort. The only overly jolly moment comes when, yet another former Helloween vocalist, Michael Kiske joins the band for Time To Break Free. But it’s a very minor grumble and, for the most part, this has all the stately riffage, wild soloing, singalong choruses, fairy feller interludes and last-ale balladry you could possibly want. Gamma Ray achieve hero status for persevering with bombastic trad metal at a time when it was totally out of fashion and their musical bravado found the perfect home in Land Of The Free.

35 thoughts on “Gamma Ray – Land Of The Free (Review)”

  1. Nice point about the sound of a band on a mission – there’s a fine line between funny and silly, and it’s disappointing when groups descend into the latter.
    So nice to hear they reclaimed hero status here!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They should realise that metal is a very serious business indeed. Nobody involved in Manowar has ever even smiled once, ever, not even by accident – that’s just the way it has to be.

        I blame funk metal, it’s when rockers started wearing shorts that everything started to go wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Danzig is all I need. Nothing else. Just Danzig.

        … and Lanegan, Whigs, STP.

        … Homme & Co.

        … and Iggy Pop, Johnny Cash, ZZ Top.

        … quite a bit, actually. But Danzig, too.

        And aye, many MP3s. I’m not totally vinyl, but I rarely buy CDs these days. Only if it’s something that’s cheap and I can’t bring myself to spend £25-£30 on it. Speaking of which, I spotted that Sleep album in Fopp for £31 today. I was ever so tempted.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My problem is I’d like the first four Danzig albums on vinyl, as I already have them digitally. I’d have to sell my entire collection, stereo, record player, telly… sell everything, actually, to own them.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yeah, a good pal threw me a whole bunch of stuff a few years ago (including all his Metallica and Satriani CDs) a few years back and Danzig was in there. Hooked.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! I have no idea! Don’t stop, though!

        I don’t have any Misfits, though. I guess that’s the replacement for “get some Danzig”?

        Liked by 1 person

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