Gamma Ray - Empire Of The Undead (2014)

More than twenty years ago when Helloween split Kai Hansen from their unit, it was actually the beginning of Gamma Ray, a band that will later supply the power metal world with many great songs. They are one of the band that defined the genre. Cut the story short, on their last four years of busy activities, since To The Metal! (2010), Skeletons & Majesties (2012), Kai Hansen and corps are back in business with full album, Empire Of The Undead. On the promotion blurbs, Kai Hansen promised more thrash metal vibe into it.

Strangely, the first track Avalon is kind of Iron Maiden mid tempo and lengthy story telling number. It is heavy, epic choruses and of course several minutes spend on solos improvisation. Not a bad opening at all. The riffs factory then back on Hellbent. This is none other than Gamma Ray classics, honestly, this even  reminds me  to the echo of Keeper of Seven Keys era. Pale Rider is rather humorous number, kind of mixing between oldies heavy metal riffs with glam metal singing style. With Kai Hansen on the vocals parts, this at least an interesting stuff to listen. Master of Confusion is another strong power metal feel with energetic vocal line. This follow by Empire of the Undead, a catchy song in the vibe of Judas or Save Us. There is only one contrasting point in the album, Time for Deliverance is a calm lamenting ballad.

On the whole, Empire Of The Undead has enough to satisfy fans whom may be letdown by Gamma Ray's latest previous albums. It's got Avalon, Hellbent, Master of Confusion and Empire of the Undead for recommendations. There also parts of album that playing variation of heavy metal from old Judas Priest-like track to ... well, Helloween. You can listen to the last track I Will Return as the compilation of cameos Gamma Ray wanted to put in. On the formation, Michael Ehre is the newest guy. As a quartet, all members are busy on their parts with significant duties. Beside the two dominating guitars, bassist Dirk Schachter also can be heard busy with his bass thumbing line.

Metal Harem class: ********** eight stars out of ten

Gamma Ray - Empire Of The Undead (2014)
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01. Avalon 09:21
02. Hellbent 05:22
03. Pale Rider 04:23
04. Born to Fly 04:31
05. Master of Confusion 04:54
06. Empire of the Undead 04:25
07. Time for Deliverance 05:10
08. Demonseed 06:38
09. Seven 05:07
10. I Will Return 06:55
11. Men, Martians and Machines (Live from the Final Studio Sessions) 3:5

Kai Hansen - guitars, vocals
Henjo Richter - guitars
Dirk Schlächter - bass
Michael Ehré - drums

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