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Land Of The Free Pt. II

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Album Review

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 Queensrÿche — 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/Queensrÿche/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. [SPV issued a limited-edition version of the album in 2007.]

Customer Reviews

Best album ever!!

Was looking for their live recording in Berlin 2011, noticed nobody has written a review for this album. Ok here it is... Land of the Free 2 is probably Gamma's finest hour let alone one of the best albums in heavy metal history! If you don't already have it better pick it up.


Formed: 1989

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Kai Hansen formed Helloween in 1984, playing guitar and singing on the speed metal band's first four albums. He left in early 1989, however, and founded Gamma Ray with vocalist Ralf Scheepers (formerly with Tyran Pace). The duo intended to record a one-off project that Hansen originated while in Helloween, so they recruited bassist Uwe Wessel, drummer Matthias Burchardt, and several other musicians. The album, Heading for Tomorrow, was released in 1990 and proved a hit with fans and critics, so much...
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Land Of The Free Pt. II, Gamma Ray
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