December 23, 2017

Gamma Ray - Land of The Free II (2007)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal, Heavy Metal
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© 2007 SPV, Steamhammer Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Given the way Gamma Ray have remained stubbornly committed to '70s/'80s-style power metal, one would think that all of the people attending their concerts in the 21st century would be people over 40. But in fact, Gamma Ray acquired a lot of new fans in the '90s and 2000s -- people in the Gen-X and Gen-Y/Echo Boomer demographics -- and those post-'80s converts have really connected with their old-school approach regardless of how dated it sounds. Actually, the fact that this 2007 release sounds like it could have been recorded 25 years earlier might be a big part of its appeal to children and grandchildren of baby boomers. Someone who was 18 or 19 in 2007 wasn't old enough to remember the heyday of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio or Queensr├┐che -- hell, 2007's college freshmen weren't old enough to remember when Nirvana and Pearl Jam set off the grunge/alternative rock explosion in the early '90s -- and artists who stick to old-school power metal give them a chance to experience something from an era that they missed. Of course, there is nothing wrong with sounding dated if you are good at what you do; quality, not whether artists sound modern or old-fashioned, is the main thing, and Land of the Free II is clearly a solid example of the classic power metal sound. Gamma Ray do not alter their musical recipe one bit on this 65-minute CD; they remain firmly committed to that old-school Judas Priest/Iron Maiden/Queensr├┐che/Helloween aesthetic, which means larger than life lyrics, soaring melodies and choruses, and a big dose of fantasy and escapism. Land of the Free II is not about keeping it real; it is about keeping it in the fantasy realm, and Gamma Ray do that with plenty of passion on this enjoyable, well-crafted addition to their catalog.

tags: gamma ray, land of the free ii, 2, 2007, flac,

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