|Review: Gamma Ray - To the Metal!|
|To the Metal!|
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 27, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:To the Metal!
Rated 3.59/5 (71.72%) (29 Votes)
I really, really hated Gamma Ray's last album, the horrible Land of the Free II, and so my hopes were low for this one to be even tolerable. Surprise, surprise – the silly title nonwithstanding, To the Metal! is not only much better than I expected, it is actually kind of good.
You're not going to get anything groundbreaking on a Gamma Ray album, but really who expects that? At this stage of their career, all GR have to do to sell albums is not suck too bad. This album may be a totally standard Gamma Ray album from beginning to end, but at least it is mostly enjoyable. "Empathy" is a rather tepid opener, but "All You Need To Know" picks things up, and by the time you get to the title track you no longer care how silly it is. Good Power Metal is all about rocking so exuberantly that listeners cannot help but overlook how cheesy you are. And if you rock with enough rousing enthusiasm then your cheese stops seeming like an impediment and becomes actually kind of awesome. Gammay Ray almost manage to achieve that here with songs like the energetic "Rise" and the fist-pumping "Mother Angel". "Shine Forever" is pretty dull, and the last part of the album trails down into increasingly faceless and unexciting tracks, culminating in the cringe-worthy ballad "No Need To Cry".
To the Metal! starts off with a lot of energy, and there is some stuff on here that is the best music GR have produced in almost a decade. But since No World Order is pretty much the only inarguably good album this band ever made, that isn't saying a whole lot. I guess the truth about this disc is that unlike Land of the Free II, this is not a complete waste of time. Make of that what you will.
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