Gamma Ray - To The Metal! review



Reviewer:
7.5

348 users:
7.45
Band: Gamma Ray
Album: To The Metal!
Release date: January 2010


01. Empathy
02. All You Need To Know
03. Time To Live
04. To The Metal
05. Rise
06. Mother Angel
07. Shine Forever
08. Deadlands
09. Chasing Shadows
10. No Need To Cry
11. Wannabees [7" bonus]
12. To The Metal [demo] [7" bonus]
+ DVD: The Making Of To The Metal [limited edition bonus]


Almost as if the band as a whole sustained some form of brain damage from some tragic and unforeseeable accident, Gamma Ray have not been themselves since 2001's great No World Order. The last two albums saw the band as mere shadows of themselves blatantly and obviously ripping off other bands, none more than Judas Priest.

A new year, a new decade, a new Gamma Ray. To The Metal is a huge step towards recovery from this hypothetical accident. Still, the band don't break any new barriers but the overall quality of songs is much higher than their previous two efforts. The songs flow better, there are more original ideas, the whole album seems less forced and more relaxed, almost a throw back to the band's glory times of the late nineties.

In general the first half of the album is the worst, ending with the criminal rip-off of Judas Priest's "Metal Gods" with the title track. The good news is that after the title track, the rest of the album is fantastic.

"All You Need To Know" is like stepping back in time with it's chorus featuring none other than Michael Kiske, and the last couple of "Shine Forever" and "Chasing Shadows" are Gamma Ray at the very best they have been for a decade. The band sound as if they are once again having fun with this half of the album, and it is a pleasure to hear coming from such a respected and influential band that just seemed to loose it with their last two studio albums.

To The Metal is still far from Gamma Ray at their tip top, and suspiciously comes from behind a slightly muffled production. This is without a doubt a leap in the right direction however, and reason to rejoice. By far the band's best effort since 2001, and a sign that the band still have some creative juices locked away. The first half of the album until the abomination of a title track can be effortlessly and without guilt put to one side. Gamma Ray can still deliver the magic in this day and age, and it can be found here on the second half of this otherwise variable but good album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 5


 



Written on 04.02.2010 by Member of Staff since 2006.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 46   Visited by: 388 users
10.02.2010 - 06:30
Baz Anderson
Haha, you see where I come from calling the title track an abomination then. It is bad.
The last two tracks are the only reason to get this album. And "All You Need To Know" I guess.
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10.02.2010 - 15:32
alexxhighlander
As a Gamma Ray fan since the band started out I have to say I agree almost totally with the review, but I don't find the first half of the album weak at all, with the exception being the Metal Gods travesty. The ballad doesn't do anything for me either, as I find the chorus pretty awful (the rhyme, no need to cry, no need to die, is lame) and it sounds way too much like Lake of Tears. The rest is just absolutely wonderful, a real step forward, and the artwork is one of the coolest they ever had as well. So, I would have given it a much higher rating.
As for those who don't understand why their material form the last decade is not appreciated by so many, maybe you need to know a few more bands more thoroughly, and Gamma Ray themselves, in order to listen to those albums and realize they have no creativity whatsoever and just rip off every band from the 80's in practically every song. There's no way I can appreciate something like that, specially coming form the genius who invented power metal as we know it. It's just disappointing to say the least.
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10.02.2010 - 16:19
Lord_Regnier
Written by The Shape 1973 on 09.02.2010 at 21:56

The title track is so bad what was Kai thinking, I think they have now run out of talent.


Maybe not run out of talent but run out of inspiration. Since "No World Order", Gamma Ray's material is quite uninspired and their albums rather boring. But, let's face it, we could say the same about any other Powermetal band who started being active during the 90s or earlier.
This genre has spawned the best it had years ago. I would go as far as saying this genre has spawned all the good it had. I think there's nothing good to expect from PM anymore. The genre has turned into a ridiculous joke.
----
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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11.02.2010 - 16:47
JÄY
Metal slave
Written by Lord_Regnier on 10.02.2010 at 16:19

Written by The Shape 1973 on 09.02.2010 at 21:56

The title track is so bad what was Kai thinking, I think they have now run out of talent.


Maybe not run out of talent but run out of inspiration. Since "No World Order", Gamma Ray's material is quite uninspired and their albums rather boring. But, let's face it, we could say the same about any other Powermetal band who started being active during the 90s or earlier.
This genre has spawned the best it had years ago. I would go as far as saying this genre has spawned all the good it had. I think there's nothing good to expect from PM anymore. The genre has turned into a ridiculous joke.

sad, but true..erhhm, troo
It sucks...i love power metal and i realize 90% of my favorite PM albums are from the 80/90's and the 00's are over!
I have hope though..... a new generation will come in and reboot the genre
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14.02.2010 - 13:19
Warzsia
My favorite Band the Gamma Ray!But this new album isn't good!
I am not happy!:noidea:
I hope better in the future...
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22.02.2010 - 21:23
acidbasement
I initially agreed with the reviewer, but now after several listens I really like the album. There are some bloody catchy songs in there!

Come on guys, it's power metal, not artsy post-rock whose sole purpose is to be different and make the listener think. Power metal doesn't have to be groundbreaking or thoughtful; it just has to rock and emote awesomeness. This album flat out rocks. Give props to Kai for inventing the genre and stop whining about how he hasn't invented another one with every album since.

By the way, I notice that your track listing is incorrect. Did you buy this album before bashing it, or just steal it from the net?
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01.03.2010 - 20:27
Epyon
Well i really enjoy the album, its not as bad as some people said,
people expect another somewhere out in space from gamma ray, other painkiller from judas priest, etc etc etc. we always want to hear the best album when a new release comes, but compose masterpieces is not something that you can just do always.
Mr hansen kreate a genre and great albums with helloween and then with gamma ray, and not even one of them is a crap as you said.
the fact is that not all can be perfect, just enjoy the rest becouse it is good enough
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18.03.2010 - 22:48
Robstar
As sooI was really waiting to this album cause I really like gamma was waiting something more heavy riffs I'll give it a 7 not too bad not that great...
----
Nothing is unreacheable
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06.01.2011 - 14:05
jimmy
"I dont understand how any gamma ray fan could think land of the free II and majestic were bad....or even not as good as their older stuff, but i hear it over and over again...so it must just be me
So far, i think this isnt as good as the last 2, but time will tell ya know?
its still gamma ray and i love their style"


i totally agree with that statement. i love both of those records. they're certainly better than 'sigh no more' or 'insanity and genius'. i really dont see why those two albums get such a bad rap.
and this review kind of comfuses me. it's actually the only good review of this album that i've read. every other review talks about how bad this album is yet, this guy says it's better than 'majestic' and 'lotf2'? ummmmm......yeeeaaaah.......ok.
i haven't heard the album yet so i cant say with any certainty that it is a bad album or that it is, or is not, better or worse than other albums. but it just seems weird to me.
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06.01.2011 - 16:04
beyondtehdarksun
I consider myself a fan and I liked Majestic too, but LOTF2 sounded to me like that not a single idea for the whole record. I heard mostly positive reviews about the new one though, and I think it can be compared to Majestic in terms of quality.
----
"We are blind to the world within us, waiting to be born"
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06.01.2011 - 16:22
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by jimmy on 06.01.2011 at 14:05
i totally agree with that statement. i love both of those records. they're certainly better than 'sigh no more' or 'insanity and genius'. i really dont see why those two albums get such a bad rap.


Emm... "Sigh No More" probably has the worst rep of all Gamma Ray albums. Certainly in my experience of fellow Gamma Ray fans, this appears to be the case. There are even some who have the opinion that all of the Ralf era albums are inferior to all the ones that came afterwards. As for "Majestic" I really like it, and think its pretty underrated. LOTF II for the most part though, sounded pretty tired to me. There's a small amount of standout tracks on it, but overall, I find it to be a weak GR album. I certainly prefer all the Ralf era albums over it.
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07.01.2011 - 02:06
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 06.01.2011 at 16:22

Written by jimmy on 06.01.2011 at 14:05
i totally agree with that statement. i love both of those records. they're certainly better than 'sigh no more' or 'insanity and genius'. i really dont see why those two albums get such a bad rap.


Emm... "Sigh No More" probably has the worst rep of all Gamma Ray albums. Certainly in my experience of fellow Gamma Ray fans, this appears to be the case. There are even some who have the opinion that all of the Ralf era albums are inferior to all the ones that came afterwards. As for "Majestic" I really like it, and think its pretty underrated. LOTF II for the most part though, sounded pretty tired to me. There's a small amount of standout tracks on it, but overall, I find it to be a weak GR album. I certainly prefer all the Ralf era albums over it.


I like "Majestic" and LOTF II much more than "Sigh No More" and "Insanity And Genius". SNM has really boring songs and parts but I still prefer it to IAG. Imo, IAG is the worst album Gamma Ray ever released, apart from "To The Metal" (which is a pile of shit, imo). I hate the sound on IAG and I've never been able to get used to it. It just sounds like crap with extremely annoying drums (snare, especially) and nasal vocals. I'm not fond of the Scheepers era and never listen to those albums nowadays.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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07.01.2011 - 08:02
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by RavenKing on 07.01.2011 at 02:06
I like "Majestic" and LOTF II much more than "Sigh No More" and "Insanity And Genius". SNM has really boring songs and parts but I still prefer it to IAG. Imo, IAG is the worst album Gamma Ray ever released, apart from "To The Metal" (which is a pile of shit, imo). I hate the sound on IAG and I've never been able to get used to it. It just sounds like crap with extremely annoying drums (snare, especially) and nasal vocals. I'm not fond of the Scheepers era and never listen to those albums nowadays.


I do think your opinion there is probably the same as for most Gamma Ray fans, which is why I objected to the idea that those albums ("Majestic" and LOTF II) have a "bad rep". They perhaps do, but certainly not as much as I&G and especially "Sigh No More". I&G does have pretty lame production, I'll give you that. Ive always loved songs like "Tribute To The Past" and "No Return" though. It is quite patchy, but I still prefer it to LOTF II. "Sigh No More" is an album I didnt like the first time I heard it. I went back to it after some time had past and listened to it a couple of times, and began to really enjoy a lot of the songs on it. I certainly do have a lot of appreciation for the Ralf era stuff, and feel it is underrated. "Majestic" is the only Kai era album I think which is underrated. I wouldnt put it up there with something like SOIS or "No World Order", but its certainly a lot better IMO than a lot of people give it credit for. xD
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10.01.2012 - 12:57
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Lol I'm listening to the title track, what the hell is this? could this be any more an obvious "reference" to Metal Gods?
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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11.01.2012 - 00:30
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by Valentin B on 10.01.2012 at 12:57

Lol I'm listening to the title track, what the hell is this? could this be any more an obvious "reference" to Metal Gods?


It could be, other than that "Metal Gods" is a better song in every way. It's one thing to be inspired by your idols, and another to start making inferior versions of their music. Kai is certainly capable of much better than this.
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06.06.2014 - 16:59
JÄY
Metal slave
Written by deadone on 06.06.2014 at 07:30

Written by JÄY on 04.02.2010 at 20:15

I dont understand how any gamma ray fan could think land of the free II and majestic were bad



Majestic is great. Land of the Free is alright but it's where the "tribute/rip off" cancer starts to set in.

Problem with To The Metal is all the rip offs. And it's also prevalent in Empire of the Undead. It all seems superfluous - why listen to Gamma Ray rip off Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queen, Rush and Helloween etc when you can just listen to the originals.

Especially as the actual Gamma Ray bits don't sound that inspired.


In the 4 years that have passed since I posted that comment I would def. say my opinion has changed to be closer to yours, for sure!
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