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Review: Gamma Ray - Somewhere Out In Space
Gamma Ray
Somewhere Out In Space

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1997
Duration: 63:38
Tracks: 15
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: August 26, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Somewhere Out In Space

Rated 4.09/5 (81.74%) (69 Votes)

Well, this is a much-lauded album, and not just by Tony. No, this is an album beloved by Gamma Ray fans the world over, so I expect to get some shit for saying it is kind of boring. But if I'm going to say that Gamma Ray are overrated and this album is really pretty mediocre, then I have some explaining to do.

I could say that I don't care for the production on this CD, that the guitar is too weak and the keys too upfront, but that would be nitpicking. No, my real problem with this is the songwriting, which in places is just brilliant, and in others defines dull with a capital D. The album opener "Beyond The Black Hole" is pretty typical of this album: a big riff ruined by too much keyboard silliness and a chorus that is catchy, yet irritating. "Men, Martians And Machines" is one of the good songs here, as it keeps the metal front and center and the syrup in the background, and the chorus is actually good. "No Stranger" is just terrible. A dull, dull song that goes on way too long. I skip this one so fast every time.

The title cut is a good tune, but it has too many parts crammed into it to have any cohesion, and the chorus is not as strong as it could be. That part after the titular line, when they go "And it's time for deliverance!" and the music goes all hyperactive is so fucking annoying. "The Guardians Of Mankind" is another boring as Hell tune that I still cannot remember even after dozens of listens, just a blur of generic speed metal. "The Landing" is really like part one of "Valley Of The Kings", and these two tracks together justify the whole CD, as they rule pretty fucking hard.

The rest of the CD is just faceless Power/Speed Metal blandness, with a good riff or melody here and there, but it's mostly just an unmemorable mishmash, with the exception of "Lost In The Future", which might be a decent tune if the band didn't break into "Oh Susanna" right in the frigging middle of it. I am not kidding. I come so close to turning the whole mess off when that part hits. It is so obviously a raised middle finger to any and all real metalheads that it's like getting spit on. They couldn't have found a better way to show their contempt for their listeners unless they had recorded a CD of someone saying "We don't care, just send us more money." So this is a very, very overrated CD from a very, very overrated band.

Other Gamma Ray albums may be better, but I doubt I will like them any better after this one. "Somewhere Out In Space" is a decent Power Metal album with an overinflated reputation.

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