Rating:
8.5
Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II
19 November 2007


01. Into The Storm
02. From The Ashes
03. Rising Again
04. To Mother Earth
05. Rain
06. Leaving Hell
07. Empress
08. When The World
09. Opportunity
10. Real World
11. Hear Me Calling
12. Insurrection
13. Blood Religion [Live In Montreal] [Japanese bonus]


It's been a long time that we didn't have a real great album from the Gamma Ray team. "Majestic" was not a bad album but it was a bit disappointing for me, not really original and just too generic to become a classic. I can tell you that it will be different this time because this "Land Of The Free II" is a great album and I'm happy to see that Kai, Henjo, Dirk and Daniel had a good reaction after the previous album. In my opinion, Gamma Ray is back in business for real and this album will become one of their classics!

"Land Of The Free II" is the perfect mix between Power Metal and Heavy Metal. Really this new release is classy as hell with a ton of super catchy choruses but with also some really big influences from bands like Iron Maiden (just check the two first songs of the album and you'll understand what I mean). I really like "Land Of The Free II" because it's jut well balanced, some songs like "From The Ashes" are pure Heavy (powerful) Metal ones when some others like "To Mother Earth" just follows the musical genre and first loves of the combo with all the ingredients of the Power Metal from Germany. It's really catchy and ok, it's Power Metal from Germany which means that it's a bit commercial and really "we're happy and super friendly" but after all we already know that and I think that the fans of Gamma Ray (and Helloween) want this kind of music anyway. They will not be disappointed here, we have all the kind of songs that we want to listen to in an album of Gamma Ray, from the dark and powerful ones to the "radio" ones like "Rain".

If you thought that Kai Hansen and his mates were a bit sleepy and not so really well inspired in the past years be sure that this time their performances on this album are perfect. The band is back to a classic Gamma Ray cover for this album (and we like it this way!) and the sound of this new album, as always with the big German combos is perfect. AIn the end I didn't find anything wrong on this release, sure it's not really original and "Land Of The Free I" will probably still remain better than this release but even if Gamma Ray didn't try to play something new with this album I can tell you that they've released a top-notch album of Power Metal. The more I listen to this release, the more I headband and enjoy it…

If you're looking for something a bit more complex maybe that the last album of Helloween will be better for the fans of these two bands (which are and will ever be the same ones anyway) but "Land Of The Free II" is definitely more direct, more in your face and I like it! "Land Of The Free II" is a great album of Power Metal and Gamma Ray is better than ever this time with this release. You'll maybe not be surprised by this new CD but you'll be happy to hear that Gamma Ray is back to the top level!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Gamma Ray
Album: Land Of The Free II


 


written by Jeff | 14.12.2007



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 24  
Users visited: 148  
Search this topic:  


White Winter Sun - 14.12.2007 at 14:33  
Very good review and which describes well this album.

The powerful titles make this album very pleasant with songs like 'Into The Storm', 'From The Ashes', 'Rain' or 'Leaving Hell'.

And the song 'Insurrection' which conclude this album in a masterful way (with enormous tunes and brilliant breaks).
Alonso Therion - 14.12.2007 at 21:43  
Great review!!! All songs in this album are perfect, and has a huge feeling that I can't see in the past albums, for me, it is far better than LOTF, cause of the true n pure feeling of the songs!
One thing i did'nt understand is why LOTF 2 didn't receive 10?!!! But it's ok, this one is their masterpiece and sure will be one of the great Heavy Metal albums of this decade, that's for sure!
Spyroid - 15.12.2007 at 01:03  
I don't get this album. I really don't agree with you, Majestic was much better. It's ten times more original than this album. I still think it's annoying that you talk about the songs with a more simple structure (suitable for singles?) as "radiosongs" and "commercial". I don't get that. Gamma Ray is not a radioband and will never be.
By the way - check out the latest Helloween and see how many "super friendly" songs you find. If you are a fan of new Helloween, you definately aren't just wanting super friendly songs. Helloween and Gamma Ray are very different bands, Helloween has a totally unique sound of power metal while Gamma Ray IS the definition of pure power metal. That's my opinion.

Maybe I should just listen to the album more? Well, every other Gamma Ray album has taken maximum two plays before I liked it. This might be my least favourite Gamma Ray album.
jacut - 15.12.2007 at 12:23  
I agree with Alonso Therion (haha strange name btw), this album is for me the best Gamma Ray album, even better than LOTF 1, Powerplant and NWO. Yes it's more direct and probably easier to listen, but at the same time there's no bad song and every piece is just perfect in its own style, which makes the album really varied. The sound is just too good to be true and there's everything a power fan wishes to hear in LOTF 2 (good composition, awesome vocals, great rhythm, influential lyrics, even the guitars are better than the usual Gamma Ray !) no more, no less. For me, it's a top5 power metal album of all time, the best Gamma Ray album by far and probably the best metal album I've listened to in the last 5 years or so. It's to Gamma Ray what The Keeper Legacy is to Helloween, and even more.
Baz Anderson - 15.12.2007 at 15:33  
well, this is Gamma Ray here - one of my all time favourites so I am always going to be biased towards liking an album..
this album is better than "Majestic" - it does have good, catchy songs on it but the thing that really gets me is its originality. basslines, riffs, all kinds of things are totally ripped from Iron Maiden songs at parts - and that makes it a little ugly in my opinion - it crosses the line between influence and copying
this isn't particularly a new thing Kai has gotten into either though - just listen to the track "Heading for Tomorrow" and how it starts is exactly Judas Priest's "Victim Of Changes" riff

but still, this is Gamma Ray and 90% of this album is really great stuff but something inside of me just doesn't think they will ever be able to light the fires under them that they did for "Somewhere Out In Space, "Powerplant" and "No World Order" - so in comparison to these albums I am again a little disappointed, but ignoring everything else - this is still a great album!
Spyroid - 17.12.2007 at 00:51  
Written by Baz Anderson on 15.12.2007 at 15:33

well, this is Gamma Ray here - one of my all time favourites so I am always going to be biased towards liking an album..
this album is better than "Majestic" - it does have good, catchy songs on it but the thing that really gets me is its originality. basslines, riffs, all kinds of things are totally ripped from Iron Maiden songs at parts - and that makes it a little ugly in my opinion - it crosses the line between influence and copying
this isn't particularly a new thing Kai has gotten into either though - just listen to the track "Heading for Tomorrow" and how it starts is exactly Judas Priest's "Victim Of Changes" riff

but still, this is Gamma Ray and 90% of this album is really great stuff but something inside of me just doesn't think they will ever be able to light the fires under them that they did for "Somewhere Out In Space, "Powerplant" and "No World Order" - so in comparison to these albums I am again a little disappointed, but ignoring everything else - this is still a great album!


He does it all the time! I have never found it annoying until on this album, because it's so frequent in this album that you almost can't allow it. My favourite example is New World Order with Heavy Metal Hamsters by Helloween - compare them! And then listen to Rat Bat Blue by Deep Purple...
Completely agree with your opinion. Just that I haven't really found the greatness of this album yet, guess I have to listen to it more. But some tracks like Real World are really great!
Stalker - 17.12.2007 at 12:52  
Sounds good (the review).. Heard few songs live, must check out the rest soon!
Hyvaarin - 18.12.2007 at 15:30  
"01. Into The Storm
02. From The Ashes
03. Rising Again
04. To Mother Earth"

Lol, could those song titles be any more generically power metal?
sinister - 18.12.2007 at 20:04  
I agree 100% with this review. I too was a little dissapointed with Majestic, especially after No World Order but Land Of The Free II is a great album!
enumaelis - 22.12.2007 at 04:49  
Well, I think I will be the first one that wont agree with the review. I found it boring. It recalled me a mix of drops of Maiden with drops of all the albums of Gamma Ray. I could guess where or how the songs will go on and I didnt like that.
Then I have found terrible similarities with other songs, I will explain it with examples:
If when they say "Into the storm" they say "Heaven or Hell"... it would be almost the same!
The first minute of "When the world"... I'm sorry but this is almost plagiarism of "Flash of the blades" of Iron Maiden! Someone tell me that I am not the only one who noticed that!
I cannot recall the song of Maiden, but at the minute 3:30 and going on of "Opportunity"... that's Maiden for sure!(like if Gamma Ray did a cover song of Iron Maiden)
"Real World" for me it sounded like Gamma Ray did "I want out" with drops of "send me a sign"
And my last example, "Insurrection", the last song... it's like "Rebellion in Dreamland" but with some changes. The first time I listened that song .. when at the first minute Kai shouts.. it was so predictable that he would shout again higher...I was listening that with one friend who is a good fan of Gamma and he also told me the same.
I think this is an album that only very fans of Gamma Ray can like.
Sorry if I am complaining too much hehe, but it's only constructive critic.
This is my view. Greets!
IronAngel - 23.12.2007 at 00:39  
I can't say I enjoyed LOFT2 at all. I wasn't a big fan of Majestetic either, though. NWO remains my all-time favourite Gamma Ray album, both the newer albums have sounded like "been there, done that" to me. There's not much new, and their style is getting old.

I was thoroughly put off by the title, too. Whether there's a good story to support it or not, it still seems cheap. Just like Symphony of the Enchanted Lands II or Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy, this album has very little to do with the original. It seems to me more like a marketing trick, and even if it isn't, it's still a put-off. Let's say they indeed succeeded in making an album to parallel LOTF and warrant the name; I still don't want a band to make the same album again after 12 years, I want them to move on. Gamma Ray should move on.

Suffice to say, I'm disappointed with this album. I did't expect much, though.
Timsen - 04.01.2008 at 17:09  
I still have to buy this album...
enumaelis - 09.01.2008 at 18:40  
The prove
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=rnvmGvY-Qsw&feature=related
Scream8tor - 30.01.2008 at 02:40  
I'm a big Gamma Ray fan, but I'm struggling to try and like this album. I want to like it, but why should I have to try so hard? I can't find much here that excites me. "To Mother Earth" certainly does nothing for me except makes me want to press the NEXT button. I have a feeling that in a month from now, this album will be totally off my radar, but I'll still be listening to "Sigh No More."

I haven't been totally satisfied by Gamma Ray since Powerplant. Everyone thinks NWO is great - and it is - if it is the first GR album you have ever heard. For me, it was the point when they started rehashing their songs - nothing new there for me. Yes - It rocks, but nothing new.

Come on, guys, let's get more creative. I agree with IronAngel - time to move on. I want something exciting and I know Gamma Ray can do it. I was hoping it was this album, but now I'll have to wait for next one…
LeChron James - 19.02.2008 at 13:14  
Written by enumaelis on 22.12.2007 at 04:49

Well, I think I will be the first one that wont agree with the review. I found it boring. It recalled me a mix of drops of Maiden with drops of all the albums of Gamma Ray. I could guess where or how the songs will go on and I didnt like that.
Then I have found terrible similarities with other songs, I will explain it with examples:
If when they say "Into the storm" they say "Heaven or Hell"... it would be almost the same!
The first minute of "When the world"... I'm sorry but this is almost plagiarism of "Flash of the blades" of Iron Maiden! Someone tell me that I am not the only one who noticed that!
I cannot recall the song of Maiden, but at the minute 3:30 and going on of "Opportunity"... that's Maiden for sure!(like if Gamma Ray did a cover song of Iron Maiden)
"Real World" for me it sounded like Gamma Ray did "I want out" with drops of "send me a sign"
And my last example, "Insurrection", the last song... it's like "Rebellion in Dreamland" but with some changes. The first time I listened that song .. when at the first minute Kai shouts.. it was so predictable that he would shout again higher...I was listening that with one friend who is a good fan of Gamma and he also told me the same.
I think this is an album that only very fans of Gamma Ray can like.
Sorry if I am complaining too much hehe, but it's only constructive critic.
This is my view. Greets!


if youre noticing plagiarism, did you notice the Judas Priest rip off in Real World? the line "all around, a silence falls" is from the Priest song "the Sentinel" from the Defenders of the Faith album...
Kib Thanyarath - 05.03.2008 at 22:22  
Written by enumaelis on 09.01.2008 at 18:40

The prove
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=rnvmGvY-Qsw&feature=related


( ^^; )

tho i still love this album and prefer it much more than Majestic
IRON MAIDEN and Helloween are just great! i love them too.
Abattoir - 24.04.2008 at 16:25  
Great album, no doubt...as it was said, this is a very good mix of power and heavy metal. It sounds amazing...
BitterCOld - 14.06.2008 at 00:05  
the opening riff to "rain" is Bathory's "The Return"... i can hear Iron Maiden's "Back in the Village" clearly in another song.
Lord_Regnier - 18.04.2009 at 15:37  
One of the best Powermetal albums released in the last years, even though it borrows much from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in terms of riffs. Yes, I hear "Flash Of The Blade" in one song. Yes, I hear the slow part of "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" in "Opportunity". I also hear some influences from old Helloween songs but I think it's normal, as those songs have been written by Kai himself.

An artist needs to take inspiration somewhere, anyway. At least Kai has been able to make a very good old school Powermetal album. We can't say the same for many other bands nowadays.

Those who don't enjoy real Powermetal like what Gamma Ray does always have the option to listen to Tobiass and the Edgays, if they like mediocre hard rock so much.
Helloween - 28.06.2009 at 01:44  
Lord_Regnier , you are right . and also I see "The Clairvoyant" in "Opportunity", "The Sentinel" for Judas Priest in "The Real World","Exciter" for Judas Priest in "Insurrection","To Tame A Land" for Iron Maiden in "When The World","Power" and "A Million To One" for Helloween in "Rain",But although of these sounds alike ,this album is amazing and better than "Majestic" .
davidharris - 28.07.2009 at 18:55  
Originality: 7 ???????????? looooooooooooooool

People shouldn't be afraid to give 2s or 3s in this aspect. I love GR but their albums have 0 originality since the middle 90s.

It's full of Iron Maiden riffs and sections, BTW
JÄY - 28.08.2009 at 00:17  
Yes! best Gamma Ray album imo!
Ellrohir - 28.08.2009 at 00:24  
I seriously gotta check this one...so far i consider Powerplant to be their best...
Sepulnation - 04.09.2010 at 06:53  
Written by enumaelis on 22.12.2007 at 04:49

Well, I think I will be the first one that wont agree with the review. I found it boring. It recalled me a mix of drops of Maiden with drops of all the albums of Gamma Ray. I could guess where or how the songs will go on and I didnt like that.
Then I have found terrible similarities with other songs, I will explain it with examples:
If when they say "Into the storm" they say "Heaven or Hell"... it would be almost the same!
The first minute of "When the world"... I'm sorry but this is almost plagiarism of "Flash of the blades" of Iron Maiden! Someone tell me that I am not the only one who noticed that!
I cannot recall the song of Maiden, but at the minute 3:30 and going on of "Opportunity"... that's Maiden for sure!(like if Gamma Ray did a cover song of Iron Maiden)
"Real World" for me it sounded like Gamma Ray did "I want out" with drops of "send me a sign"
And my last example, "Insurrection", the last song... it's like "Rebellion in Dreamland" but with some changes. The first time I listened that song .. when at the first minute Kai shouts.. it was so predictable that he would shout again higher...I was listening that with one friend who is a good fan of Gamma and he also told me the same.
I think this is an album that only very fans of Gamma Ray can like.
Sorry if I am complaining too much hehe, but it's only constructive critic.
This is my view. Greets!


I think the same, but it's an excellent album too xDDDD

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free 10 04.12.2006 by iaberis
Albums Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II 9 07.02.2010 by Ellrohir
Reviews Gamma Ray - Hell Yeah! The Awesome Foursome 9 29.10.2008 by ArcesseEum
Albums Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free 9 30.11.2010 by JÄY
Reviews Gamma Ray - Skeletons In The Closet 7 13.11.2006 by Spyroid



Hits total: 9712 | This month: 51