Gamma Ray - Land of the Free 2

1. Into The Storm
2. From The Ashes
3. Rising Again
4. To Mother Earth
5. Rain
6. Leaving Hell
7. Empress
8. When The World
9. Opportunity
10. Real World
11. Hear Me Calling

Kai Hansen - sång & gitarr
Henjo Richter - gitarr
Dirk Schlächter - bas
Daniel Zimmermann - trummor

Heading for Tomorrow (1990)
Sigh No More (1991)
Insanity and Genius (1993)
Alive '95 (1995)
Land of the Free (1995)
Somewhere Out in Space (1997)
Powerplant (1999)
Blast from the Past (2000)
No World Order (2001)
Skeletons in the Closet (2003)
Majestic (2005)

Recorded at: High Gain Studio Hamburg
Produced & engineered by: Dirk Schlächter & Kai Hansen
Mixed by: Tommy Newton at Area 51 studio, Celle
co-produced by: GammaRay
Cover painting by: Herve Monjeaud
Booklet-Graphics & Layout by: Dirk Illing


German band Gamma Ray has returned once again with a follow up album to Land of the Free, follow-ups makes me think about the latest Queensrÿche offering, the follow up to the amazing Operation Mindcrime. That was a really awful offering, poorly made and so forth, the figure #2 behind the title makes me think twice since it often falls flatter then the original offering like Aliens (Alien 2), Terminator 2, Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn and on and on like Home Alone 2 and Star Wars 2. And sure Land of the Free 2 cannot really reach the originals heights you know with tracks like Rebellion in Dreamland and Man on a Mission, but 2007s effort #2 is not as bad as Wrath of Kahn or Star Wars; in fact it is a very good album still it cannot match the previous peaks like Majestic, No World Order, Land of the Free, Insanity & Genius, Powerplant and Somewhere out in Space, but it is an excellent album.

The music is pretty regular heavy metal with a more melodic side with a big emphasis on the guitar harmonies. Think Deep Blue Sea and then forget Deep Blue Sea. Heavy Epic Metal would be the LMP labelling of the Gamma Way. Fast, bright, huge, deep and powerful are the words that comes to mind when hearing this album, or Blast From the Past, any other album by Gamma Ray for that matter.

Compared to the back catalogue this is not really one of the tops as I have already stated, I will soon tell you why I keep it lower in the list then other albums I have listed. Heading for Tomorrow is slightly behind LOF2, since LOF has better vocals and production of course, but it hasn’t those timeless classics like Heading for Tomorrow, Heaven Can Wait and Lust for Life as I hold as three of the greatest, at least when Kai Hansen sings it. The same thing goes for Sigh no More where the timeless are Dream Healer, Changes, One With the World and Rich & Famous, it is the old sound that makes the new offering better then the old. Insanity & Genius is another matter, it is so diverse and deep and has a lot of very interesting and insane stuff, an album I really enjoy and still holds over the slightly flatter LOF2. Then we arrive at the predecessor to this album, with songs like Rebellion in Dreamland, Man on a Mission and on and on and on and on for the entire album, it may be the best Gamma Ray album, the successor isn’t even close actually. Somewhere Out in Space is also an amazing heavy metal album with faster songs then the other bands and it is strong, strong and astronomical, LOF2 is not close to that one. Compared to Powerplant it also falls flat also because of the lack of the top songs that are very present on Powerplant. It can’t stand up to No World Order’s great songs like Dethrone Tyranny, Heaven or Hell, Lake of Tears, it is in Trouble when compared to No World Order. Majestic is the previous album, a great deep and dark, powerful album that I actually just recently started to get into, it is way stronger then this album as well.

Following this segment it is likely that you think that Land of the Free 2 is a poor album, but then you are mistaken. It is not as great as most other albums by Gamma Ray, but it holds its own very well in the competition. There are great songs like for instance Empress and To Mother Earth and Into the Storm. The great songs are just not the timeless pieces as a song like Black Religion from Majestic, Heaven or Hell from No World Order and so on.

I guess you feel like I am dwelling a hell of a lot on past times and rightly so, I always enjoy new things since change is good, but comparing this album doesn’t stand up to the previous.

Thinking of that it is better to get Majestic or No World Order, better yet Blast From the Past but as a completion of the Gamma Ray collection it is excellent, and as a stand alone album it is a great choice to have in your collection it is a good album.

I recommend this album for anyone, peasant or pleasant will all get great value for the money.

Gamma Ray are a rock solid choice and will never make you disappointed.

official website

Label - Steamhammer
Three similar bands - Helloween/Iron Savior/Freedom Call
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm