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I was so excited about finally hearing a new Gamma Ray album after such a long wait since "No World Order". I just knew this would turn out to be my favorite album of 2005 even before I heard a single note. Thankfully I was able to purchase this one at my local Best Buy. From the opening track "My Temple" right up to the final abrupt conclusion of the epic "Revelation" I just love everything about this album. Gamma Ray will always be Gamma Ray and not alter their sound too drastically; but there was just something different about this release. As I listened to it I felt a haunting presence as if Kai was expressing his frustrations, anger, and rage. This just could not be true since Gamma Ray is often referred to as "Happy Metal" by other jealous musicians, who have not taken the time to remove Gamma Ray from the thousand contenders to the throne. I always enjoyed Gamma Ray's positive outlook in their lyrics; but this time something just felt different. I could not wait to put on my headphones and listen to the album with the lyric booklet in hand.
My friend had already played his copy several times and prepared me for the overall style; but, once again I really wanted to read the lyrics and see what Kai was alluding to with such vitreolic contempt. Just like their previous album, the music really demonstrated their influences from blatant Priest & Maiden then to Sabbath and Accept this time; so I loved each song from the initial listen, but when I read the dark brooding lyrics, at first glance, I must admit I was shocked. I thought that I had overcome my fixation on lyrical themes, but this was Gamma Ray saying, "Satan"; something Kai had not referred to since "Victim of Fate" with Helloween. So why the dark lyrics this time around? After several listens with the booklet on hand I finally understood the meaning behind each song and its overall concept, and realized that this time Henjo was the positive dreamer and Kai the bitter misanthrope; but that was alright by me because this time the music was angrier and more intense. Kai's spirit and mine were one again as I just felt in my heart what he was so vividly expressing.
My favorite song on this album by far is "Blood Religion", but I just love every song sincerely. At this time everyone was praising Helloween's new "Keys" release which I enjoyed but not as much as the new Gamma Ray. Once again ten years later Kai and company had succeeded in senders shivers of pure delight throughout my entire body for weeks to come. Once I placed the CD in my car stereo, my wife would not let me take it out for a month straight. I love metal, but some bands just get boring after the 15th listen, not the new Gamma Ray or Hibria for that matter; each new song is still written on my heart presently.