Well…I never thought that a review to a Gamma Ray would be so difficult for me. I never deny to myself or to the people who followed me in my radio show all these years or my close friends that I was a huge fan of this kind of music and especially of Kai Hansen. The fact that this man was the founder (with few others) of Power Metal was a strong feeling for me, but I guess that the glory days are gone.

Listening this new album a big question came to my mind: does this band have a future glorious as the past or the need of Kai Hansen to be on the stage becomes stronger than the inspiration that every artist needs to create?

I’m very sorry to say these words but the new album “To The Metal” doesn’t have something new to offer to Heavy Metal music, the fresh air…the push that this music needs to go on is missing. Basically the album is split on 2 parts, the interesting part and the “same ol’ situation” part. Please let me explain what I’m saying…songs like “Rise”, “Deadlands”, “Mother Angel”, “Empathy” and the title track “To The Metal” does not belong to be on a Gamma Ray album, maybe in the old days would be useful as b-sides tracks but these are gone.

The bad feeling that these songs creates stops for a few minutes when the song “No Need To Cry” touches my ears and makes me feel better and hope for the best but for the next 2 tracks the bad feeling comes back…and suddenly a familiar voices appears and makes me have a huge smile….the band on it’s website says something for a mysterious singer but my heart and my ears say one name…MICHAEL KISKE!

The song “All You Need To Know” is playing and the Power Metal is back again…is Michael Kiske or not? I believe that he is the mysterious singer, a glorious track reminds me the good old days and this is the beginning of the big surprise! After the disappointment of the first half the next songs are Gamma Ray songs, are metal songs that deserves to be a o an G.R album and makes me wonder what the hell is going on.

Why this album has two parts? Is it because that the band doesn’t have enough inspiration, is it because the need to release an album to keep the band on the spotlight? Maybe do you have a better explanation because the result of listening this album is the same question that I ask my self in the beginning but… I still hope for a better future!

Track List Line Up
01. Rise
02. Deadlands
03. Mother Angel
04. No need to cry
05. Empathy
06. To the metal
07. All you need to know
08. Time to live
09. Shine forever
10. Chasing shadows
Kai Hansen – Guitars & Vocals
Dirk Schlachter – Bass
Henjo Richter – Guitars & Keyboards
Daniel Zimmerman – Drums