Rating:
9.8
Gamma Ray - No World Order
10 September 2001


01. Induction
02. Dethrone Tyranny
03. The Heart Of The Unicorn
04. Heaven Or Hell
05. New World Order
06. Damn The Machine
07. Solid
08. Fire Below
09. Follow Me
10. Eagle
11. Lake Of Tears
12. Trouble [Japanese bonus]


I must say it is very difficult to write a review for this album - listening to it takes my mind off the task of writing the review. No World Order came out in 2001 and was projected to have a high success especially after the grand zenith Powerplant achieved in 1999 by selling more than 200 000 records worldwide. The group line-up has remained the same (after a series of unstable changes in the 90s) for this album, and let's hope it has finally stabilized for good. No World Order is a conceptual album about freedom; it is rich in solos, catchy riffs and powerful choruses, and of course has the hallmark of quality of every German power metal band.

No World Order starts with an epic introduction about the Illuminati (religious groups regarding themselves to be under enlightenment). The album is generally opposed to the Illuminati and their control: the almighty chorus accompanied with powerful drums serves as an introduction to what's going to follow in the rest of the album - a raging battle complemented by some ultra-fast melodic metal and Kai's piercing voice.

Dethrone Tyranny's catchy melodic riffs and plethora of rhyming lyrics is a call which pleads to how miserable life is under a tyranny of slavery and deprivation of freedom and paradise. Dethrone this tyranny, free us from the paranoia, free us from this pain. Lead us straight into the heart of the unicorn.

Kai doesn't miss a chance to strike a solo in the next track from the album, called The Heart of the Unicorn, however the aggressiveness of this song gives it a more thrash-like approach in contrast to the rest of No World Order. Additionally, Hansen's high-pitched voice strongly resembles that of Halford's in Painkiller.

Gamma Ray obviously have an intention to outshine Helloween, because the next track on the CD, Heaven or Hell, is the definite I want out rival. Both songs start similarly with a low voice which gradually increases to the chorus - a stout shout. Heaven or Hell is very melodic song, and its speed is relatively slower compared to the other songs, which implies it was intended for a single (although Eagle ultimately became the single). The song slightly drifts from the concept of freedom although it still pertains to the fact that freedom could be somewhat found in either heaven or hell.

Strangely, there is no song by the title No World Order. Instead, Gamma Ray gives us New World Order - a song that contrasts the whole album and shifts into the position of the Illuminati, the power they have and the fate that awaits us all. It is especially a contrast to the lyrics in Dethrone Tyranny, where one is running from someone in the dark - illuminati, who "In the darkness, shall await." Just as in all of Gamma Ray's songs, New World Order is abundant on catchy rhyming, powerful chorus and very fast guitar playing. This song can well serve as an example for all heavy/power metal bands.

After New World Order, a less powerful track follows: Damn the machine. The heavy start of Damn the Machine reminds me of Accept's songs but is accompanied with a double-bass drumming and strong solos. Zimmermann (drummer) who wrote the song seems to have a heavier and somewhat more gradual approach to the chorus which is mostly longer than usual and much slower.

Being the strongest power metal song on Gamma Ray's No World Order, Solid has got everything the album can offer. It starts classically like a power metal song (in contrast to Damn the Machine) - boiling drumming, screaming guitars, abundance of solos and a great build up to an outstanding chorus. If it were up to me, I'd name the album We Are Solid. Its lyrical content doesn't fall behind either - Kai Hansen is a rhyming magician, he is able have a rhyming content in the exact right words related to the concept of the album - the extinction of tyranny on our planet (represented by the menacing interstellar aliens in the song).

The flames in hell are burning and the body counts are rising. Prepare for the Fire Below! This is a song which sounds more like a heavy metal song from the 80s. The rhythm of the song is reminds me of Judas Preist's Metal Gods only that there are a few more solos scattered here and there and it is faster.

Another central point of the album is Follow Me. Again, extremely melodic with a fresh keyboard start, this song is a symbol of unity and a blend of beckoning lyrics supported by Kai's own chorus which is a slight deviation from the rest of the songs. Although there are parts where all the band members sing, they are not designated as the chorus. Richter (guitarist) gave this song a more solo approach for Hansen.

Selected as the single of No World Order, Eagle is a good competitor to Solid, it only selects a more heavy approach (with a spaceship departing in the video clip) and it fits excellently as a headbanger song. The idea of the eagle who flies free in the skies revolves at some point in almost all of the songs in the album and Kai Hansen says it all in different light. The melodiousness of the song makes it perfect for a single, yet it is nearly 6 minutes long.

There is a ballad in the album under the name of Lake of Tears. Unfortunately it is nothing supreme and I think is the setback for a full-scale power metal experience. Lake of Tears is rather something experimental for Gamma Ray, none of their older songs sound alike it. All albums (except in Japan) have this song as a closing. For the Japanese fans, Gamma Ray added a bonus track called Trouble. This is the song that should have replaced Lake of Tears. The song is very dynamic and shifts from fast to slow and vice versa (a bit like a short version of Heading for Tomorrow). Trouble is fast-paced song with a lot of spirit and can cheer you up quickly.

All in all, it is evident that Gamma Ray has put a lot of thought and effort into this album (Kai Hansen said that Gamma Ray is his first priority now) and it is definitely worth buying - if you are a power metalhead then having this album is a MUST for you!


Band profile: Gamma Ray
Album: No World Order


 


written by Demunarath | 02.04.2004


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Spyroid - 24.07.2006 at 17:00  
What a shame that Kai has to rip of so much. Compare the chorus in Dethrone Tyranny with the chorus in Land of the Free, Heaven or Hell with I Want Out, the New World Order intro with Heavy Metal Hamsters (Helloween) or Rat Bat Blue (Deep Purple), Solid with the Judas Priest song Rapid Fire from Brittish Steel... search for more yourselves.
Because of this I don't want to give the album more than 8 - it is great but sounds more or less like anything else they've done.
gabytzud - 29.09.2006 at 05:22  
Interesting, I find Lake of Tears one of the most interesting and original songs Gamma Ray ever wrote How odd to consider it a 'setback'
Baz Anderson - 02.10.2006 at 20:02  
i love this album to bits
its one of my favorite Gamma Ray albums and is always fantastic to listen to

when i first heard this album i didnt think it was all that spectacular but after a few listens i loved it, and i still do after plenty of plays
MrEddieG - 25.11.2007 at 01:19  
This is one of the best albums ever written, everything is brillant from Riffs to production but ESPECIALLY the lyrics!
nocolor666 - 12.03.2009 at 16:34  
Great band's masterpiece, Ive loved GR since I first listened this one
Hrothdane - 13.03.2009 at 05:21  
I love this album. Dethrone Tyranny, Heaven or Hell, and Damn the Machine are some of my favorite Gamma Ray songs.
Ellrohir - 13.03.2009 at 13:17  
I like some songs outta there, but i still prefer Powerplant as masterpiece
Cryzpin - 17.01.2011 at 16:50  
True power metal masterpiece, maybe #1 of the genre. The pinnacle of Gamma Ray and Kai Hansen particularly. No weak track at all, amazing...
Holy Man - 17.01.2011 at 20:23  
Yeah, definitely a brilliant album. Always a featured album in my Gamma Ray rotation.
Angelic Storm - 18.01.2011 at 18:00  
The last bona fide classic so far that Gamma Ray have released. Not a single weak moment, or filler track. Every track is awesome. xD
RavenKing - 24.01.2011 at 03:02  
Written by Angelic Storm on 18.01.2011 at 18:00

The last bona fide classic so far that Gamma Ray have released. Not a single weak moment, or filler track. Every track is awesome. xD


I fint it average and definitely below LOTF and SOIS.

Still, lightyears ahead of "To The Metal" (again, this album is awful and a disgrace for Gamma Ray).
Angelic Storm - 24.01.2011 at 03:06  
Written by RavenKing on 24.01.2011 at 03:02
I fint it average and definitely below LOTF and SOIS.


I definitely dont find it average, but it's not as good as SOIS, no. That is my fave album by them, and I don't think they will ever top it. I think LOTF has a very slight amount of filler, but its more adventurous and not as straightforward as NWO. "Powerplant" is a very strong album as well IMO. I feel "Majestic" was the first album that they did that was noticeably weaker than previous albums, though LOTF II was the first Gamma Ray album that really disappointed me overall.
RavenKing - 24.01.2011 at 03:26  
Written by Angelic Storm on 24.01.2011 at 03:06

"Powerplant" is a very strong album as well IMO.


At some point during the last summer, I listened to all Gamma Ray albums from LOTF to LOTF II.
In my memories, "Powerplant" was an excellent album (last time I listened to it was over 7 years ago) but damn I had a hard time listening to it. I think if it would not be for the fact that I was walking the main street with earphones on my ears and listening to the album in a distracted way, I would have hit the stop button. I found it so boring I could hardly believe there was a time, long ago, when I liked this album very much. Apart from the first and last song, the album bored me.

It made me realize even more how far from Powermetal I am now. It's quite hit and miss nowadays.
I really enjoyed LOTF and SOIS but all the rest ranged from average at best to plain painful to hear.
I would say as soon as it strays away a bit from old school melodic Speed Metal, it becomes cringeworthy for me.
Angelic Storm - 24.01.2011 at 03:43  
Written by RavenKing on 24.01.2011 at 03:26
At some point during the last summer, I listened to all Gamma Ray albums from LOTF to LOTF II.
In my memories, "Powerplant" was an excellent album (last time I listened to it was over 7 years ago) but damn I had a hard time listening to it. I think if it would not be for the fact that I was walking the main street with earphones on my ears and listening to the album in a distracted way, I would have hit the stop button. I found it so boring I could hardly believe there was a time, long ago, when I liked this album very much. Apart from the first and last song, the album bored me.

It made me realize even more how far from Powermetal I am now. It's quite hit and miss nowadays.
I really enjoyed LOTF and SOIS but all the rest ranged from average at best to plain painful to hear.
I would say as soon as it strays away a bit from old school melodic Speed Metal, it becomes cringworthy for me.


I have a feeling that if Gamma Ray were to release "Powerplant" now, you would be heavily critical of it. Would you say that because your tastes have changed so much as regards to power metal, that is the reason why most power metal now does nothing for you? When even albums that you enjoyed before are now boring to you? It does seem like now, any power metal aside from the old style melodic speed metal is not something you're interested in.

It is quite interesting I guess, that SOIS is my fave Gamma Ray album, when that one is closer in spirit to the early Helloween material than any of their other albums. Its certainly not as raw as "Walls Of Jericho", but it does have a level of overall intensity that it is kind've like a modern version of it. It does have stuff in common with the Keeper albums as well, but I definitely feel the early Helloween spirit in a lot of that album's material. Maybe it's just me. lol
RavenKing - 24.01.2011 at 04:00  
Written by Angelic Storm on 24.01.2011 at 03:43

I have a feeling that if Gamma Ray were to release "Powerplant" now, you would be heavily critical of it. Would you say that because your tastes have changed so much as regards to power metal, that is the reason why most power metal now does nothing for you? When even albums that you enjoyed before are now boring to you?


I would say the reason why I hate new Powermetal albums so much is a combination of reasons.
First, I think that PM quite simply sucks in general since the millenia. Even if I compare recent albums to albums released around 1995-2000, I already see a big difference. The new stuff is simply awful.
Second, I think the reason why I can't even enjoy stuff I liked a decade or so ago is due to a change in my tastes. I find it not as bad as more recent stuff but I find it quite boring.

I also think I'm so used to more intense music now that anything but the most raw, fast and rough Powermetal simply pales in comparison and thus bores me.



Written by Angelic Storm on 24.01.2011 at 03:43

It does seem like now, any power metal aside from the old style melodic speed metal is not something you're interested in.


It does not only seem. This is how it is now.

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