on 12 July 2006
This is what Helloween should be doing (gave up on them a while back). Anyway, Land of the Free and Powerplant constantly seem to be voted as the best Gamma Ray albums. While Land of the Free is certainly worthy of this mantle, I reckon Somewhere out in Space knocks the spots off Powerplant.
"Beyond the Black Hole" is probably my fave GR tune of all time. In a similar vein to Lust for Life back on the debut. The title track is just as brilliant as are, The Winged Horse, No Stranger and pretty much the rest of the album. Nice to hear Piet Sielk guesting on Watcher in the Sky.
Also, this is also the first outing for Dirk to show what an amazing bass player he is. Shame he and Jan never managed to switch instruments as planned. Still, people come and go, and Jan chose to go. Welcome to Henjo and Dan, cementing the most stable line-up of the band's history.
Just gotta say this, being a drummer myself, I obviously pay extra attention to the drums. Having listened to Dan playing live (Skeletons in the Closet) it really gave me goosebumps. He is amazing. Not to take anything away from Thomas, Uli and Matthias (his predecessors), but his presence is just right in-yer-face from start to finish. Good stuff.
In short, if you like the Helloween's early stuff (pre Kiske) and the Keepers I & II albums, buy this. It won't disappoint. Get yourself a copy of Land of the Free while you're at it!