Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds
Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

by Matt Hensch

.
"Empire of the Undead" is Gamma Ray's "The X Factor" (the Iron Maiden album for the unacquainted). I'm not being facetious: the similarities are striking. Maiden, during that strange, conflicted period, had lost the integral Bruce Dickinson; "Empire of the Undead" shows Gamma Ray without drummer Dan Zimmerman, who had been a surprisingly vital factor in the band's progression. And like that misguided records, "Empire of the Undead" boasts a handful of wonderful songs that are clogged up by sizable chunks of filler, which stick out like yellow teeth on a Brazilian supermodel. Above all else, it's darker and faster than the usual Gamma Ray output, and it continues the evolution of Gamma Ray's discography justly.

One of the unsung glories of Gamma Ray has been the band's diversity between albums-no two Gamma Ray records are exactly identical. The band's structural integrity has remained the same, yet the outer appearance has changed considerably between records. "Empire of the Undead," compared to "To the Metal," which was more of a basic chorus-based record, boasts long, multi-faceted anthems. Some are fairly standard Gamma Ray cuts with no secrets or layers hiding in the shadows. "Master of Confusion" and "Born to Fly," for instance, pitch at the listener familiar melodies, choruses, riffs, and structural ideas-they play it safe, and in turn sound that way. I'm fonder of the album's darker anthems and its elaborate, multilayered tracks.

"Avalon," the record's opener, is an outstanding piece of epic power metal that displays proudly the finest traits of the Gamma Ray squad: excellent riffs, luscious lead guitar work, and a juicy chorus to boot. "Hellbent" and the title track are faster and heavier than the bulk of the band's extensive discography; ripping riffs galore! I like "Seven" and "I Will Return" as well, though they don't have the same stopping power as the aforementioned songs. "Pale Rider" and "Demonseed" are fairly lame and uneventful, and "Time for Deliverance," the record's ballad, is a strong reminder that Gamma Ray needs to stop with the goddamn ballads. I couldn't shove it off a bridge quick enough.

The real cherry on the sundae happens to be the factors unrelated to songwriting. The production gives the album a crisp, clear bite, and boasts the finest sound quality the band has ever had; and Kai Hansen, whose vocals are always fantastic, sounds awesome as expected. "Empire of the Undead' is also a passionate, fiery record with sharp claws and pointy teeth; the faster numbers are especially hostile. I like "Empire of the Undead" for what it is, and for a band like Gamma Ray that has been spitting out records since the dawn of time to continue to release quality albums, what more could a casual fan or diehard prophet ask for?

Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead
Rating:



More articles for this artist .


...end




.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Alice Cooper Band Legend Dick Wagner Dead at 71- Alleged Chris Cornell Stalker Arrested- Foo Fighters Complete 'Epic' New Album- Slipknot Announcement On Friday?- more

Day in Pop 17-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Raped At Keith Urban Concert- Justin Bieber Gets Punched By Orlando Bloom?- Morrissey Denies Ordering Assault On Fan Site Owner- Lady Gaga- more

B-Sides: Led Zeppelin Reunion Too Much Pressure Says Robert Plant- T.I. Showing Dead Body On MTV Could Cost Network Millions- Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP Hits Go 8-Bit- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

God Macabre - The Winterlong

Powerman 5000 - Builders of the Future

Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning' Turns 30

Annihilator - Feast Box Set

RockPile: California Breed- Pistol Day Parade

Yes - Heaven & Earth

RockPile: Broods- Neomythics

Colt 45 - The Tide Is Turning

Toto - 35th Anniversary Tour Live from Poland

Rob Zombie - The Zombie Horror Picture Show

Rock Reads: Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs

Michael Franti and Spearhead's Soulshine Tour

Tom Keifer - The Way Life Goes

Live: Fall Out Boy and Paramore Monumentour

Road Trip: Kentucky's Bluegrass Country- Don't Miss These Five Attractions

Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual 30th Anniversary Special Edition

Ted Nugent - SHUTUP&JAM!


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

Alice Cooper Band Legend Dick Wagner Dead at 71

Alleged Chris Cornell Stalker Arrested

Foo Fighters Complete 'Epic' New Album

Lostprophets Would Have Killed Singer Over Child Sex Crimes

Slipknot Announcement On Friday?

Metallica's Ulrich Predicts AC/DC Will Headline Music Festival

Geoff Tate Reveals New Band Details and Album Plans

Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Epica and Battlecross Tour

As I Lay Dying Offshoot Wovenwar Release New Song

Portnoy, Morse Supergroup Flying Colors Releasing New Album

Ace Frehley Fires Back At Former KISS Bandmates

Former Iron Maiden Singer Previews New Live DVD

Slash Nominates Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi For Birmingham Honor

Jack White Throws Out First Fitch At Detroit Tigers Game

Tom Keifer Says Illegal Downloading Is The Accepted Norm

Spock's Beard Reveal September Tour Dates

Alt-Fest Canceled?

Motley Crue's Tommy Lee Discusses Smashing Pumpkins Contribution

Electric Wizard Release New Song 'I Am Nothing'

Singled Out: Jon Allen's Falling Back


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

17-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Raped At Keith Urban Concert

Justin Bieber Gets Punched By Orlando Bloom?

Morrissey Denies Ordering Assault On Fan Site Owner

Lady Gaga Wedding Rumors Response From Her Parents

Smokey Robinson Releases Mary J. Blige Duet

Garth Brooks Reveals Another Tour Date

Kenny Chesney Producing Documentary On Football Coach Steve Spurrier

Britney Spears Previews Lingerie Line

Iggy Azalea Cast In Fast & Furious 7

Nick Jonas Releases Video, Confirms Demi Lovato Collaboration

Jessie Ware Debuts New Song 'Champagne Kisses'

Lana Del Rey Releases Ultraviolence Video

Brad Paisley Reveals More 'Moonshine in the Trunk' Details

DJ Mustard Enlists 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla Sign for 'Down On Me' Video

Janelle Monae's 'Electric Lady' Video Features T.I. and Estelle

Danielle Bradbery Releases Great Big World Cover

5 Seconds of Summer Announce U.S. Headline Tour

Rick Ross Doesn't Want Customers Packing At Wingstop

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
The Screen Door A Journal of Musical Things Lloyd Zeffler blog Demolish Mag Nightwatcher's House of Rock CJ Chilvers Deja Voodoo The 1st Five thecopycat.biz Hard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2014 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.