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Remember when Gamma Ray used to write awesome, original and catchy riffs? Well, that time is long gone... They always used to sound like some other bands, but with this album its even worst!
I've listenned to the album four times and right now I think its pretty good, but damn, I don't think I've ever heard an album with as much recycled and 'ripped off' riffs than this album... Some riffs sound exactly like some of Priest's, Helloween's and Maiden's riffs. There's even a part in one song that doesnt only sound exactly like the slow part in The Sentinel from Judas Priest, but that also has almost the same lyrics! Of course, some riffs are great, but most of the riffs sound recycled... A good exemple of a great riff is the intro riff from From The Ashes. Awesome riff clearly influenced by Maiden!
Anyway, the best song is probably Insurrection. This one's a bit original atleast. Ok, like in every song you can find a couple of unoriginal riffs, but the chorus is very catchy and is probably the best part of the entire album! I don't think there's any weak song on the album, but some songs like Leaving Hell sound pretty uninspired... The chorus from Leaving Hell is a typical power metal chorus and I think I've heard it atleast 20 times before... The other songs are all pretty good, but most of them are all very typical and sound like songs any power metal band could write... I guess the album would be a lot better if it wasnt a Gamma Ray album... I mean they used to write awesome original songs... Oh well...
I don't think I need to talk about the musicianship... If you know Gamma Ray then you already know that they are great musicians... Well, I guess I should mention that some of Richter's solos are really great! Some of his solos on this album are filled with fast tapping techniques and simply sound great.
If you forget how unoriginal the album is, I guess its pretty catchy and pretty nice to listen to...
Overall, a pretty good album, but far from awesome... I'm being pretty nice because I usually can't fucking stand unoriginality!
I don't want to sound negative, but honestly, I don't think Gamma Ray's next albums are gonna be very good... Their last 3 albums (including this one) all have been pretty unorignal and uninspired... Not bad, but just nothing special... No World Order and Majestic were filled with Priest's riffs and this album is filled with Maiden's riffs and etc...
Anyway, here's a list of some of the 'ripped off' parts I noticed:
-'To Mother Earth' at 0:36 and 'How Many Tears' from Helloween at 0:47.
-'When The World' at 2:23 and 'The Longest Day' from Iron Maiden at 1:33.
-'When The World' again at 0:00 and 'Flash Of The Blade' from Iron Maiden at 0:00. Ok, its not really similar, but it starts exactly the same way with the same exact drumming and etc... and even the first verse starts a bit in a similar way!
-'When The World' AGAIN at 4:40 and 'The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner' from Iron Maiden at 3:25.
-'Opportunity' at 3:32 and 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' from Iron Maiden at 7:41.
-'Opportunity' again at 4:19 and The Clairvoyant from Iron Maiden at 0:38 (That's the most obvious one).
-'Insurrection' at 0:19 and 'Out Of The Shadows' from Iron Maiden at 0:46.
-'Insurrection' again at 0:50 and 'Second Love' from Pain Of Salvation at 0:44.
-'Insurrection' again at 7:03 and 'Exciter' from Judas Priest at 3:36.
-'Insurrection' again at 1:15 and some part from a Gamma Ray song I can't remember for now, but I'm sure about it.
-'Empress' at 3:42 and 'Balls To The Wall' from Accept at 3:28.
-The beginning of 'Real World' and the beginning of 'I Want Out' from Helloween are structurally similar.
-'Real World' at 4:15 and 'The Sentinel' from Judas Priest at 3:11. (Musically and lyrically)
If those parts were removed from the songs, I think I would rate the album 10% higher, but what can I do? I guess Kai wanted to give tribute to Maiden and Priest because some riffs sound just way too similar to some of Maiden's and Priest's riffs to be coincidences.