Monday, February 2, 2015
GAMMA RAY: "The Best (of)"
Label: earMusic 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Promoted with a slogan that reads '25 years of Heavy Metal - 25 essential songs', this impressive 2CD best of compilation is a cut through all the years of Gamma Ray according to your former Helloween guitarist/singer, Kai Hansen. And why not? I can't say that I miss too many 'best of' tracks other than your personal favourite or two. It's been nicely remastered and the booklet include all of the lyrics and liner notes by Hansen in which he talks about the true meaning and story behind each and every track. Actually, it's constructive and informative stuff about all of the songs on CD 1 and it gets slightly less interesting with each track on CD 2. The lack of stamina?
For instance, about "Heaven Can Wait" and I quote: "It's in a similar vein of what I did with Helloween. It has quite a pop approach and an uplifting spirit, a very positive view of life. Basically it says that there is no need to be depressed, just look to the sky and say 'come on, it's not the time to die now. Neither physically nor mentally. So cheer up and live on. Also, it reflects a feeling that I had when I left Helloween. I'm not going to die now. The world will go on, so will my own life", end quote. Compare this to what he wrote about "Master Of Confusion" and end up feeling slightly disappointed.
But seriously... do I need to add anything more to the title for you to figure out what this is all about? No. Of course not. We're all too familiar with the concept of best of compilation and the sound of Germany's Gamma Ray. If not, regarding the latter, it's uplifting, 'German Power Metal' at its best (along side Running Wild, Helloween, etc). The perfect start to the Gamma beginner.