December 20, 2017

Gamma Ray - Insanity & Genius (1993)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal
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© 1993 Noise International
Reviewed by Shane for Metal Reviews.com
Insanity & Genius is an appropriate name for this album. Well, maybe Goofiness & Genius would be better as many parts of this album are genius while many are just plain goofy but I find that is often the case with older Gamma Ray.
The songs on this album are unpredictable as they contain many different tempo changes and complex parts. This is a blessing as well as a curse. It seems that Kai and the boys often seem to mix and match different riffs and tempo's and cram them into a song and sometimes it works resulting in interesting songs with depth and other times it seems forced and disjointed. Tribute to the Past, which is as overrated a Gamma Ray song as they come, is an example of the latter. Also, I can't stand it when Gamma Ray includes operatic falsetto in their songs. Tribute to the Past and Heal Me remind me of listening to a bad musical and it sucks that Hansen insists on putting these songs on the best of album. However, this album definitely has its moments of genius.
As always when listening to Kai Hansen, he absolutely shreds on guitar. Ralph Scheepers is also here in all his psuedo-Halford glory. On Future Madhouse he even rolls his tongue for a few of the R's!! The band is tight, and most of the choruses are extremely catchy and you're a better man than I if you can refrain from attempting to sing along (Only when I'm by myself of course!). All the songs feature blazing solos, riffs and complex melodies and even a bit of funk. However, the goofy bits appear from time to time on this album. If you don't take yourself too seriously, you should be able to headbang right through them. Honestly, in time they actually grow on you and provide some of the charm of the album. The track Gamma Ray is a perfect example of this as it features some weird vocal breakdowns and sound effects. The synthesizer in the chorus reminds me of some Mortal Kombat techno music. However, this odd track has grown on me and is now one of my favourites.
Get this album. It is everything except dull. The songs you like, you will like a lot and the songs you don't, you really won't like. One bit of advice though, just listen to tracks 2 through 9 as this album truly is a mixed bag.

tags: gamma ray, insanity and genius, 1993, flac,

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