Gamma Ray To The Metal

Gamma Ray To The Metal
As expected, the 20th studio effort from German power balladeers Gamma Ray contains every bit of the fluffy vocals, searing guitars and sense of an epic saga they've been pouring forth since 1988. At that, the album features few changes overall, with vocalist Kia Hansen (and guest singer Michael Kiske) ranging from moody low-end crooning to modestly raspy rager, keyboards creating a rich background and guitars that rarely come out to play unless its for a hole-shot solo or lick here and there. Again, the quartet prove they are some incredibly gifted musicians and songwriters, yet there's something lacking when testosterone is sacrificed for chant-alongs. Offering up a general sense of Steve Vai-era David Lee Roth solo album material mixed with something you'd hear playing in an early '80s sci-fi fantasy, To The Metal is extraordinary, yet kind of laughable at the same time. Great effort, solid songs, yet features a severe lack of the cajones real metal needs to stay, well, ballsy. (earMUSIC/Edel)