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A confusing selection of songs. - 83%

Vaibhavjain, June 27th, 2008

“Rebellion In Dreamland” is one of those songs that by itself can define the musical style of band. It was this song due to which the band “Gamma Ray” shot to fame and so it is only fitting that the song be released as a single as well. The single consists of four tracks – Rebellion In Dreamland, Land Of The Free, Heavy Metal Mania (Which is a cover of heavy/progressive metal band Holocaust) and As Time Goes By.

"Rebellion In Dreamland" portrays Gamma Ray at their finest. The song has a slow intro and the tempo gradually increases throughout the song. It ends with guitar solos by both guitarists one after the other. The first one by Kai and the other by Dirk, with Dirk literally OUTCLASSING Kai here. The track encompasses the definitive German power metal sound and strongly proves why Gamma Ray are the one of the forefathers of power Metal. An abridged version of the track also had a music video made for it.

The next track is “Land Of The Free”. This track probably appears on the single because the previous track has been taken from the album Land Of The Free. This song pretty much continues from where the previous track left and is very fast paced as well as catchy. The track has Michael Kiske of Helloween as a guest during the chorus and things don’t get much better if you are a power metal fan.

The next track is a cover of Holocaust and the track they cover is “Heavy Metal Mania”. This cover is pretty good and is not a surprise because many band cover those bands which they considered as an influence to their music and release them as part of the single, and the band says Holocaust is the reason they got into music in the first place.

The last track is what confuses me. This track is “As Time Goes By” and had appeared on a previous album (Sigh No More) and has no connection what so ever with this single or the album on which this single appeared. Not only that but this track was one of the weakest on the album and even the production was weak.

If you ask me then adding a live version of “Rebellion In Dreamland” or maybe the acoustic version of the song which they played live would have been a much better addition than the track “As Time Goes By”. This track which they chose instead fails to battle my logic in the least. If it would not have been for this oddity of an addition I would have rated this higher.

Introduction to the Land of the Free - 95%

EG_Power, March 25th, 2008

A single from the immortal classic “Land of the Free”. A very beautiful introduction to the foregoing album. The title track is no doubt one of the greatest epic power metal hymns ever! A nice calm beginning but then the song is speed ups with every minute and reaches its culmination with the solo. Song is about fighting for freedom and this is the main theme of “Land of the Free” album. I think it’s not necessary describe this in details – every power metal fan should certainly know them.

Second number – another song that became classic. It is not as strong as first track to my mind but this number is a GR trademark. I think that comments are also unnecessary.

H. M. Mania. The name of this song is shortened, but everyone understand that is about Heavy Metal! The mighty and powerful version of old Holocaust song is much better than original. Song begins with awesome classical intro following by True Metal Anthem of all times! Mid-tempo but very solid riffs, words for heavy metal glory (“I've got Heavy Metal Music in my blood and I'd like to get it to you if I could”), wonderful high-pitched Hansen’s screams in chorus. Possibly the best song covered by Gamma Ray. 10 years ago I purchase this single mainly because of studio version of H.M. Mania. Originally song was not found in album (except of vinyl version), though live version was placed in “Alive’95” a year ago and re-release also contains it as bonus.

A preproduction version of As Tome Goes By differs from that was in “Sigh No More”. The lead vocal was done by Kai, and its good, though to my mind Ralf performance was slightly better. And it’s a little longer. But there are no major differences. Fast and typical song. Good but not a masterpiece as previous tracks. It’s interesting that Piet Sielk is co-writer of the song, though at that time Piet was only a musical engineer and help Gamma Ray in recordings.

The material of this release is very good, first 3 songs are really great. And I rate this release for the music. However, now all tracks can be found on reissue of “Land of the Free” and there is almost no reason for purchasing this single – for fans and collectors only.