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Gamma Ray's Evolution Continues - 94%

WishmasterTheDark, April 17th, 2012

Most of these songs have overdriven hard rock sound, except Rich And Famous and One With The World, which are on the borderline between rock (hard rock) and heavy metal (classic heavy metal), (We Won't) Stop The War which has some jazz elements and Dream Healer which is the only 100% intense heavy metal (classic heavy metal) song with darker tone. Rich And Famous has cool aggressive riff which could have been more powerful with more distortion, and if they put louder guitar tone while mixing it in the studio. Same thing for One With The World, 'cause that could have been another heavy metal song, but overdriven guitar tone and decreased volume, with keyboards moment decreased chances of being heavy metal song. Father And Son and The Spirit have acoustic guitar touch, and create progressive feel. Progressions are notable in most songs, and it depends on their structure.

For example: Changes has slower tempo, but ending blazing riffs appear, and they put lots of aggression. Father And Son changes the mood from slow, acoustic ballad with piano into much more aggressive with blazing riffs, and that song is power ballad as a whole. One With The World is notable because of blazing riffs made of repetitive power chords which are powered up when faster parts come, and that combination with drums is absolutely killer. Dream Healer is full of dramatic changes in mood, ambient and tempo. Other lesser progressions are related to variations in tempo like in Rich And Famous. Besides lots of bloody amazing riffs, Kai and Dirk made amazing guitar solos almost in each song, with Gamma Ray's signature technical guitar work. Although Changes is updated version of demo song Heroes, lyrics are changed while riffs and epic, majestic neoclassic guitar solo ares till here.

Rich And Famous, besides good combination of riffs and leads, has technical solo, and As Time Goes By and Dream Healer as well. Technical doesn't mean soulless shredding, these guys have lots of feel for their music. Just listen to One With The World, and hear that pleasant technical solo which perfectly fits mood of the song, and Father And Son with excellent acoustic guitar solo. Besides guitarists, bassist Uwe did great job too, and his work is very notable in Changes, (We Won't) Stop The War, Start Running, As Time Goes By and Dream Healer. He follows the drums very often, but he had some soloing, nice lines in some parts etc. Ralf is one of the best singers of heavy metal music, so naturally he sounds fantastic in each song. Highlights of his insane high-pitched performance are Rich And Famous, As Time Goes By, Father And Son, One With The World, Start Running and The Spirit.

Good sides of this release:
Besides outstanding electric and acoustic guitar work, drums and bass guitar are equally impressive. Perfect vocals are not unusual for Gamma Ray, they always had top-notch singers. Lyrics are well-written, and describe the problems which were caused by New World Order, and other things in life which are difficult because of those bastards. Almost all of them are kick-ass sing-along songs.

Bad sides of this release:
This one could have been masterpiece studio album, but (We Won't) Stop The War Weak is boring, not impresive and not special at all. It could have been more energetic, with more heavy metal elements, not cobination of jazz and rock.

Highlights:
Changes, Rich And Famous, As Time Goes By, Father And Son, One With The World, Start Running, Countdown, Dream Healer and The Spirit.