Gamma Ray - Blast From The Past

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Noise Records
Catalog Number: N 0332-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 121:14:00

This is either the most difficult CD to review or the easiest. Here we have an established band with a well-known history releasing a best of CD. We also have, with their current line-up of Kai Hansen (g/v), Dirk Schlachter (g), Henjo Richter (b), and Dan Zimmerman (d), re-recording over 70% of their earlier material.

After recently interviewing Kai about Blast From The Past, he said he wanted to put a best of CD together but to give something back to the fans. He didn't want to do what everyone else had done; namely that of releasing a bunch of our best of tracks on one CD. Nor did he want to add a couple of bonus tracks to it. After consultation with those involved, these four Germans went ahead with re-recording and re-mastering Gamma Ray material with their fans nominating their favourite tracks from each of their 6 full-length releases.

Granted, it does sounds strange not hearing Ralf Scheepers (currently with Primal Fear) on tracks such as "Heading For Tomorrow," "Dream Healer" and "Lust For Life" but Kai has such passion in his voice that it all sounds extremely fresh. Does it sound "better" than the old material? I guess it depends on your perspective. I love it; with its creative approach, the current line-up putting their slight influence on the previous material, and Kai is obviously happy on guitars and vocals to put his name and his voice to it. The final 30% of the material has been re-mastered to the point of no-return.

To sum up ? this is the most monumental best of CD I've ever witnessed ? a double CD, 20 tracks, and 120 minutes of pure Gamma Ray. New fans will lap it up, purists may be cynical at the idea. For my mind, and I consider myself both. Get it, sit back, turn out the lights, crank it up, and reminisce. It beats the hell out of any other best of CD around. And a special mention must go to the artwork of one Derek Riggs. If he hasn't out performed himself on this release ... then I don't know what else this master could do.


[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site.]

CD One: Welcome (0:56) / Lust For Life (5:25) / Heaven Can Wait (4:29) / Heading For Tomorrow (14:59) / Changes (5:28) / One With The World (4:48) / Dream Healer (7:34) / Tribute To The Past (4:46) / Last Before The Storm (4:56) / Heal Me (7:34)

CD Two: Rebellion In Dreamland (8:46) / Man On A Misson (5:43) / Land Of The Free (4:36) / The Silence (6:28) / Beyond The Black Hole (6:00) / Somewhere Out In Space (5:26) / Valley Of The Kings (3:50) / Anywhere In The Galaxy (6:35) / Send Me A Sign (4:05) / Armageddon (8:50)

Kai Hansen - vocals & guitars
Dan Zimmermann - drums
Dirk Schl?chter - bass
Henjo Richter - guitars & keyboards

Heading For Tomorrow (1989)
Sigh No More (1991)
Insanity And Genius (1993)
Land Of The Free (1995)
Alive '95 (1996)
Somewhere Out In Space (1997)
The Karaoke Album (1997)
Powerplant (1999)
Blast From The Past (2000)
No World Order (2001)
Skeletons In The Closet (2003/2004)
Majestic (2005)
Land Of The Free II (2007)
Hell Yeah! Live In Montreal (2008)

Heading For The East (VHS/DVD) (1991/1998)
Lust For Live (VHS/DVD) (1994)
Hell Yeah!!! The Awesome Foursome (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1410
Language: english


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