BravePicks 2014 - GAMMA RAY's Empire Of The Undead #30
December 1, 2014, 4 years ago
Drum roll please … or maybe a hearty dose of blast-beats! Tis the season to commence the good, bad and ugly of 2014! Of course we’re talking about BravePicks 2014, where all the staff put their collective metal minds together to build the ultimate lists including individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments, Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2015? and Metal Predictions For 2015.
#30) GAMMA RAY – Empire Of The Undead (EarMusic)
In April, German heavy metal stars Gamma Ray, led by former Helloweenie Kai Hansen, stormed back with Empire Of The Undead, which earned them the highest chart position in their homeland ever! Gamma Ray worked on the new album during various sessions in 2013, during and in between their perennial tour with Eike Freese at the mixing desk supporting the ever precious work of bass player and co-writer Dirk Schlächter. It was just after landing in South America, that unbelievable news reached Kai Hansen & co.: Hammer Studio, their home, rehearsal place, studio and meeting point for many metal bands in Germany had been blown away by a terrifying fire-stroke, together with instruments, amps, tapes. Back in their hometurf the band needed to get an overview about their losses only to do what they do best – move on! With that usual Kai Hansen smirk he stated, "Life is too good to stop and moan. Nearly everything was destroyed, except the tapes of the almost finished new studio album. If this could not stop us... nothing ever will."
"On this album I think I found myself more than ever before," Hansen told BraveWords scribe Carl Begai earlier this year. "In some ways my voice is better than it was. Maybe it's because I don't try to sing in keys or ranges that I don't sound good in. I just let my voice sound the way it is; I don't try to make it sound nice (laughs). Maybe that's a good thing. I feel very comfortable and so far quite a few people have said that I sound much better. I think that's from training and smoking a lot of cigarettes (laughs), and I guess they can't all be wrong."
Read the entire article here.
In his review (here), Mark Gromen wrote:
Rather than open with a quick hitting rip-ride, as the Kai Hansen fronted Germans did on last year’s pre-release Master Of Confusion Ep (that title track appears here as well), the Rayniacs opt for ‘Avalon’, a 9+ minute mid-tempo march that holds hints of old school DIO, plus a wicked guitar solo. Through the early portion of new material, it’s obvious Unisonic and the Skeletons In The Closet project/tour freed the guitarist/singer/founder’s mind, as few of these would be considered “conventional Gamma Ray songs, stretching into other areas.
BravePicks 2014 Top 30
30) GAMMA RAY – Empire Of The Undead (EarMusic)
(Kai Hansen live photo by: Mats Andersson)