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Review: Gamma Ray - Powerplant
Gamma Ray

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 63:27
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: July 8, 2001
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating

Rated 4.1/5 (81.96%) (51 Votes)

Anyone that is even slightly familiar with Power Metal knows the history and style of this band. For those of you who don't, Gamma Ray is the band Kai Hansen formed after his departure from the pioneers of the Power Metal genre, Helloween. Gamma Ray play power metal that is heavily guitar driven with more than a passing influence from the old school of pure metal.

"Powerplant" is the eighth studio release and ninth overall for the band. As always this is a very solid and well-played album with plenty of memorable songs that will stick in your head almost immediately. Kai Hansen once again leads the charge with some great riffs and excellent leads. Although Kai can shred with the best of them I really like his less is more approach to lead playing. I wish more guitarists would see that not every lead has to have 3000 notes in order to be memorable.

The only problem I had with the album is the tracks "It's a Sin" and "Heavy Metal Universe". "It's a Sin" is of course a cover song from of all bands The Pet Shop Boys. I didn't like the original pre-programmed techno pop crap of the eighties and I really didn't need to hear a power metal version of the song either. "Heavy Metal Universe" is in one word…embarrassing. I still don't understand the need that some bands have to write these over the top heavy metal anthems that are so obviously cheesy that no one outside of a 16 year old should be writing them. Then again I could be wrong, hell bands like Manowar have made an entire career of it.

Overall a solid power metal release from one of the leading bands in the genre and if you liked their previous albums you will definitely enjoy this one as well. Anybody that is not familiar with the band but enjoys power metal at all will certainly not be disappointed.

Track by Track

Anywhere in the Galaxy-8
Razorblade Sigh-8.5
Give me a Sign-9
Strangers in the Night-8
Gardens of the Sinner-8.5
Short as Hell-9
It's a Sin-5
Heavy Metal Universe-6
Wings of Destiny-8.5
Hand of Fate-8

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