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4.0 out of 5 stars
Land Of The Free Pt. Ii
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 21 May 2014
Land Of The Free II, from 2007, is the ninth full-length studio album by the legendary German Melodic Power Metal band Gamma Ray. It is titled as a sequel to the band’s seminal classic album Land Of The Free, and musically it sometimes picks up a few riffs and melodies from that record and reworks them into new tracks.

This record is not held in high esteem by a lot of the band’s fans and critics. Partly that is because the idea of doing a sequel to Land Of The Free (which isn’t even a full on concept album to begin with so the need for a story sequel isn’t even necessary) after such a big gap just seems like an off-putting idea, and forever-doomed to negative comparisions to the fantastic original from the offset and secondly because the band are accused of running out of ideas.

How much you enjoy this record will depend primarily on how much you don’t mind hearing the band rework old music (or indeed nick Iron Maiden breakdowns almost wholesale and your opinion on whether it is tribute or theft). Do you enjoy a sense of familiarity or not?

If we overlook those issues, there are some absolutely blinding moments on this record, including the flashy eleven minute album-closer “Insurrection,” as well as the ridiculously catchy ode to atheism that is “Real World” and the exciting, chunky “Rain.”

Add to these strong songs, an absolutely flawless slick production, some of Kai’s most polished vocals to date and the fact that actually the band do explore some new territory here and try things at a slower pace than usual. Top it all off with the lush sing-along choruses, glorious uplifting lead guitar melodies and delicious drum fills you would expect from Gamma Ray and you have a very solid record.

Overall; historically, this album will be viewed alongside Majestic as a sort of down-point in the band’s discography, however this is very far from a bad record on its own merits and there is much enjoyment to be found here if you are willing to overlook its flaws.
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on 19 November 2007
Gamma ray have released many great albums, including land of the free, powerplant and somewhere in space. even their not brilliant albums such as no world order and insanity and genius and majestic have had an all around great sound, with some brilliant songs. I was looking forward to this album very much as, well, its a new album by them simple as that, and gamma ray have never before really made a bad or even average album. On the first listen i gave it i enjoyed it quite a bit. there was the usual gamma ray variety and mix if sounds (usually in the one song!), such as hard rock, pwoer metal, melodic heavy and so on, and the melodies were very decent, but on listening to it again i have found it extremely lacking in substance.

On the surface, like i said, everything is fine, but when you dig a little deeper, you find that this album lacks passion. not only that, but the songs have very little power or any good hummable or memorable tunes at all. I could have put up with sub par songs, but the production is also a disappointment, it somehow feels like every instrument is looking for attention, all at the same time and sometimes it feels like things (especially the guitars) get buried in the mix a little bit. As well as that, the actual guitar riffs and melodies, like the melodies of the full songs pale in comparison to ,really any album gamma ray have made in the past.

To sum it up, this album has everything a gamma ray fan would normally like, great variety and typical (little TOO typical this time though, it feels like a lot of the melodies have been completely recycled)power metal/heavy metal melodies, but although it is an enjoyable listen, it is also a little depressing one, as this lacks the passion of any previous gamma ray album, without any great standout songs or melodies whatsoever (the only stand out i can pick from the bunch is the really very good "into the storm"), and the usual shiftng of melodies and tones gamma ray usualy does so well becomes boring, as none of the melodies featured in the songs are brilliant, and this time the progrssive touches make it feel fairly cluttered. a going-through-the-motions album which lacks passion or any stand out melodies or riffs. decent, but for gamma ray, a travesty. though, i guess the band has been churning out non stop greats since the original land of the free, and have had a remarkable run. we can put up with one good rather than great album for just now cant we?? we better!, its the first one we have ever actually HAD to put up with.
Basically what im trying to say is that every single gamma ray album since the first land of the free has been a melting pot of stunning pwoer, awesome vocals and amazing melodies, and this one simply isn't.

Best song: Into the storm
Worst song: Opportunity
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on 4 November 2009
No! Absolutely not! What is Gamma ray doing?
They have obviously run out of ideas. How else can we explain ripping off (100% rip off!) Maiden, Accept and...themselves!
It's true that Gamma ray have not written a good album since 'Somewhere out in space'. To make a long story short here is some facts about this album:
-Gamma ray needs a singer! Period! These 'not-so-good' songs could be 'lifted up' if they had a great voice. But no...This ego trip will destroy Gamma ray
-'Empress' is a fantastic song i admit
-'Leaving hell' has the same chorus as 'Road to hell' from B.Dickinson! The same!
-I have heard all these melodies somewhere throughout the history of h. metal (maiden, accept, helloween, gamma ray)
-this album is not the successor of LOTF P.1, it's its ugly brother!

Please Gamma ray, believe me that i still care about this band so...pls...get a singer and write something original!
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on 24 November 2007
2007 has been a fabulous year for traditional sounding metal ( Helloween, Megadeth, Symphony X, Iced Earth, Manowar ) but Gamma Ray may well have pipped them all to the post for best of the year. Full of strong, infectious and melodious songs in typical euro power metal style...there really isn`t a weak track to be found. Kai Hansen`s vocal and guitar work are top notch as ever and there are so many stand out tracks...it`s one of those albums where you`re disappointed that each song ends and then excited as the next starts.

If you`ve never heard the band before think 80`s Maiden with a strong dose of early Helloween...this band have been banging out quality albums for years now and with Land of the Free II show no signs of slowing down.
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on 24 December 2013
Listening to Gamma Ray stuff is a bit like a time travel for me. There is a bit of the old stuff mixed with quite dense sound. There is something special about Kai and his team and it's no different this time. Classic.
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on 27 July 2014
Killer German power Metal! These guys never fail to impress! Quality music magic from start to finish! Hail the Gammaray!!!! J Counsell.
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on 5 February 2008
For me Gamma Ray are THE melodic power metal band and have been for quite some time. This album is quite superb and has everything a Gamma Ray fan could possibly want.
"Majestic" was a definite move towards melodic metal which some fans didn't like - personally I thought it showed how variable and talented their song writing can be be and loved it.
Back to this album. The title is rather stupid as are most titles called II. Better titles could have been Return To The Land of The Free or I supose Land of The Free Chapter II.

However this album is not really a continuation of Land of The Free but more of a return to their tried and proven melodic power metal style.

If one wanted to be critical there are a few melodies and cliches 'stolen' from other songs / artists but it doesn't matter as it simply sounds great played by very talented musicians.
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on 12 July 2010
This is a real treat for those who like powerful rock but with melody and style. Not a weak song amongst the cannon here. Kai Hansen's vocals are accessible, with generally strong lyrics. I can never understand why bands like Gamma Ray are so criminally under-rated compared with the rubbish played on most radio stations etc (but what's new there?).
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on 22 December 2007
This album has the Rays at their melodic best. If I had to recomend a Gamma Ray album it would be this one. Worst Gamma Ray album - no way. Some of the earlier stuff was dubious such as Sigh No More but this is the pinical album of their career so far - they just keep getting better.

Up the Rays
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