Who doesn’t remember the crazy “Hellish Rock Tour” in 2007/2008? HELLOWEEN and their Very Special Guests GAMMA RAY played 95 shows in 34 countries and left ecstatic metal fans in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America in their wake! Those who didn’t have the chance to be there, can now breathe in deeply and make the ‘Remake’ twice as unforgettable! The conditions are right: Booking wires are running red-hot for the “Hellish Rock Tour Part II”, which will start in March 2013 in Europe and go around the globe, once again featuring GAMMA RAY. Watch out for the full-on ‘Metal Ax Made in Germany’ and you can start betting on what kind of awesome final Weikath, Deris, Grosskopf & co. together with Hansen have come up with this time!
Michael Weikath: “The atmosphere on stage and backstage was very special last time, we will be repeating the party and are looking forward to the tour already!” … and his former companion Kai Hansen adds: “‘The Hellish Rock Tour’ definitely was a highlight of our band’s history, we’ll absolutely go wild once again!”
The below update on the departure of Daniel Zimmermann has been posted to the band’s official site www.gammaray.org:
You might have heard it through the grapevine already or asked yourself why Dan didn’t play on the recent shows this year.
We are very sorry to announce that since January 2012 Dan has left GAMMARAY to change for a more settled lifestyle that doesn’t take him away from home so often.
Here’s his statement to all of you:
Thank you very much for your never-ending support and the countless magic moments with you during the last 15 years. You are the best !!! (Eh kloar)
Being the drummer of Gamma Ray was an eventful, exciting, challenging and very emotional time and I would never want to miss it.
Now it is time for me to try out new avenues.
Stay Metal forever in eternity
We have waited with an official statement to leave open the chance for a change of heart and because we didn’t really want to start an official search for a new drummer.
Meanwhile, the guy who has played all the shows with us this year has grown so much into the band that now we can proudly present him as our new drummer,
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome …..
Mr. Michael Ehré !!!
Gamma Ray 2012
Michael is already known in the scene for his work with “Uli Jon Roth”, “Metalium”, “Firewind” and his band “Love Might Kill” where he proved that he is not only a great drummer but an excellent songwriter aswell.
We have already started working on new material for the next GAMMARAY album together and we are very much looking forward to enter this new era of the Rays with a fresh wind in our sails and go around the world together with a new, hopefully killer album.
Here’s a recent interview with Kai talking about guitars, amps, modern technology and a bit about Gamma Ray (approximately from 8:15 onward). The new DVD should be out in August, September, October… in autumn. And apparently, Kai checks GR’s Facebook posts, Amazon comments, Myspace….
The self-titled debut studio album from UNISONIC — the band featuring former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) alongside guitarist Mandy Meyer (Asia, Gotthard and Krokus), bassist Dennis Ward and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (both of Germany’s Pink Cream 69) — will be released in North America on May 22, 2012 via Eagle Rock imprint Armoury Records.
Unisonicwas recorded at ICP Studios in Brussels, Belgium. The offering features 11 tracks, plus a bonus live version of Helloween classic “I Want Out” only available on the domestic edition, cover art by Martin Häusler (Meat Loaf, Gotthard, Helloween, Motörhead) viewable HERE, and marks the first musical union between Kiske and Hansen in 23 years!
Unisonic Track Listing:
2. Souls Alive
3. Never Too Late
4. I’ve Tried
5. Star Rider
6. Never Change Me
8. My Sanctuary
9. King For A Day
10. We Rise
11. No One Ever Sees Me
12. I Want Out (Live)
Check out the band’s video for album opener/anthem “Unisonic” below. The clip was directed by Häusler in Heidelberg, Germany.
UNISONIC released its debut EP, Ignition earlier this year. After the addition of Hansen to the group’s lineup in early 2011, UNISONICcontinued the songwriting process for its debut release, incorporating Kai’s talent for writing great anthemic rock songs into its existing material. Hardly Keeper Of The Seven KeysPart 3, the UNISONIC collective effortlessly fuse the many sides of heavy music they know and love. The band’s music is versatile and takes a broad approach to heavy rock without sacrificing the power and strong, catchy melodies that characterized the band members’ previous projects.
UNISONIC: Michael Kiske – Vocals Mandy Meyer – Guitar Kai Hansen – Guitar Dennis Ward – Bass Kosta Zafiriou – Drums
The following updates comes from Gamma Ray’s official Facebook page
unfortunately we are forced to deliver the bad news that Henjo Richter had a bike accident and broke three ribs and the collarbone, so he will not be able to play on the cruise. Since we couldn’t find a replacement and did not want to cancel the show and leave our fans disappointed, we have decided to play the show nevertheless and give our longtime live keyboarder Mr. Corvin Bahn (Crystal Breed) some extraspace and a distortionpedal for his organsounds. So if you’re on the boat and around 1:45 am hear something that sounds like Deep Purple playing Gamma Ray songs, its us. Hope you’ll enjoy this ‘Show beyond the ordinary’ .
German power metal veterans Gamma Ray, with legendary Kai Hansen at the helm, have been confirmed for the Sweden Rock Cruise, sailing from Stockholm October 6th-7th! The line-up for the Sweden Rock Cruise is thereby complete and looks as follows:
Kai Hansen is one of the most iconic and influential characters in heavy metal history. As the founder and leader of Germany’s legendary Helloween he all but created one of the 80s’ most recognizable sounds, giving life to the new genre power metal. Upon leaving Hellowen, the guitarist teamed up with future Primal Fear vocalist Ralf Scheepers – Gamma Ray was born. The band picked up where Helloween left off and has continued to produce one classic album after the other since 1990, most recently “To the metal” in 2010. Since “Land of the free” (1995), Gamma Ray’s arguably most heralded album, Kai has also re-assumed vocalist duties. Follow-up and major break release “Somewhere out in space” (1997) introduced the classic line-up completed by Dirk Schlächter (bass), Henjo Richter (guitar) and Daniel Zimmermann (drums). This cruise is extremely proud to present one of the most celebrated bands on the metal scene, and one that never fails to bring down the house.
Today AOL Music portal Noisecreep is hosting a stream of the powerful GAMMA RAY anthem, “Brothers,” along with an interview with band frontman Kai Hansen. Check it out HERE!
While not a new track from the band, “Brothers” is the second track from the band’s upcoming release, Skeletons & Majesties, a collection of older and rare GAMMA RAY songs being re-released as part of this special fan-based promotion for the band, including a full-on karaoke contest where fans can enter to actually appear on the next GAMMA RAY album! Check out the details for the contest and more at this location.
Skeletons & Majesties is set for release in North America via Armoury Records/Eagle Rock on May 31. Review copies of the record are available now, and more interviews with GAMMA RAY will be announced in the coming days.
Stay tuned for much more updates on GAMMA RAY over the coming months as the band prepare for their upcoming Summer tour where they’ll be filming in HD for a brand new live DVD/CD to be released later in the year.
Armoury Records proudly unleash the details on the new release from German power metal kings GAMMA RAY!
Set for release in the US and Canada on May 31st via Armoury Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment, Skeletons & Majesties is a collection of songs GAMMA RAY gathered from previous albums represented in two completely different styles. The purpose of the disc is simply to have fun, and to give fans a heads-up on what is in store for the band in the coming months, as well as involve their fans in the upcoming actions.
The first two tracks are the “Skeletons,” featuring brand new versions of some of GAMMA RAY’s songs rarely (if ever) played live, including “Hold Your Ground” (from their Heading For Tomorrow album) and “Brothers” (from the Insanity And Genius album). The second section, “Majesties,” is where the band display two more new versions of rarities, ”Send Me A Sign (originally on the Powerplant release) and “Rebellion In Dreamland” (originally on Land Of The Free), both performed in a new acoustic presentation.
Additionally, GAMMA RAY have also included some bonus tracks, including the ultra rare track “Wannabees” — previously only released on the To The Metal! 7’’, and available here on CD for the first time – as well as an extended version of “Brothers.”
And to top it off, the final track on the EP is another version of “Rebellion In Dreamland,” this time KARAOKE style! The band have launched a special contest, where they’ll be integrating a “choir” of their fans’ voices on the upcoming album version of the song! Diehards and wailers can take part in the competition by submitting a recording of their version of the song via physical demo submission or digital sound file. Full album details are available at this location.
Skeletons & Majesties Track Listing:
1. Hold Your Ground
3. Send Me A Sign
4. Rebellion In Dreamland
Former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske’s website has revealed that Kiske and GAMMA RAY frontman Kai Hansen (ex-Helloween) have teamed up again, with Kai joining UNISONIC.
Says Michael Kiske: “After so many years of abstinence I had a lot of fun doing my first live shows with Unisonic in summer 2010, so I agreed to do the short world tour with AVANTASIA. It was a great experience to be on stage with all those great artist, but with Kai it was something different: We instantly felt the magic again and had a lot of fun together on and off stage. We both realized that we want to be together in a band again. He was interested in the open musical concept of Unisonic and finally asked me if he could join the band. I talked to my bandmates and they all felt great about it. His talent as a guitarist and songwriter is an enrichment for the band and we are looking forward to his contribution for the music of Unisonic.”
Kai Hansen will stay a member of his band Gamma Ray and play all scheduled shows. Currently he is writing songs with the Unisonic guys for the long anticipated debut album, which is planned to be released at the end of 2011.
Gamma Ray - Live @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London. 8th January 2008
German power metallers GAMMA RAY have issued the following update:
“You might have heard through the grapevine that the Rays have something cooking again, …..and yes, we do have.
Since the Skeletons In The Closet album was so well received some time ago, we thought it might be time to do an encore. While going through all previous albums we found that there is still a ton of songs that we either never or barely played. So we decided to do a bit of touring with a total different set and revive some of these songs with our nowadays chemistry and vibe.
But that’s not all… while jamming around with acoustic guitars we discovered that it’s actually much fun and that we have a good amount of songs that are cool to listen to as unplugged versions. So these special shows will consist of live un- or rarely heard stuff in full metal gear (Skeletons) and a good choice of our most famous hits in a different way (we chose to call them Majesties) …and presto: here we go with Skeletons And Majesties!!!”
LIVE REVIEW AND PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
German power metal pioneers Helloween have been a regular visitor in Finland since 1987 when the band made its virgin visit in Hameenlinna’s legendary Giants of Rock festival with Dio among other acts. Since then band has faced many up and down hills in its career. The band has gone through many changes including a number of lineup changes and they have had problems with record companies but they have survived and, in fact, during the past few years Helloween’s success has increased tremendously. In 2008 Helloween played two gigs with their colleagues Gamma Ray on the HELLISH ROCK tour and venues were entirely packed. Obviously, due to the highly successful package tour, Helloween have now asked Finnish power metallers Stratovarius to take part in their tour. Doing this tour, without having the new album released, was quite an interesting choice from Stratovarius. However a package consisting of two leading power metal names on the bill turned out to be another great success and the two Finland shows were quickly sold out again.
In support of their 10th studio album To The Metal!, German Metal powerhouse GAMMA RAY will do five shows at the start of 2011 in North America. These will be the only dates the band play in North America all year, so make the trip to join the party! Tickets are on sale through Enterthevault.com. Also, as a special bonus, the band will offer VIP tickets, which give the fan entrance to the venue 1 hour before doors and a special meet & greet opportunity with GAMMA RAY.
GAMMA RAY North American Tour Dates:
1/28/2011 Gramercy Theater – New York City, NY
1/29/2011 Cafe Campus – Montreal, QC
1/30/2011 Imperial – Quebec City, QC
2/01/2011 Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
2/03/2011 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL By far one of the strongest offerings from GAMMA RAY in their storied history, their tenth studio album To The Metal! proves there is no band better when it comes to classic heavy metal! The special edition of the album features a bonus DVD, The Making of To The Metal!, filmed in HD with interviews, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 video clips!
To The Metal! is out now in North America on EarMusic through Dismanic Distribution/Knife Fight Media.
News from one of 70000TONS OF METAL’s scouting parties in Germany: They made their way up North. When they passed through the city of Hanover, a young female fronted band by the name of CRIPPER caught their attention. Then they proceeded further north to the city of Hamburg where they got almost hit by a deadly ray: GAMMA RAY!
28 out of 40 bands on board 70000TONS OF METAL, The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival
The confirmed 28 out of 40 bands are:
Uli Jon Roth
70000TONS OF METAL will sail Monday, January 24, 2011 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami FL to Cozumel, Mexico and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, January 28, 2011.
Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma’s cruise. It’s also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It’s like everyone has a backstage pass!
Ticket prices start at US$666 plus US$249 taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, all meals, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and 24 room service!
What are you waiting for? You might even need a vacation from this vacation when all is said and done! Check out http://www.70000tons.com/ for more information and book your cabin NOW!
INTERVIEW with interview with Daniel Zimmerman and Dirk Schlächter
Interview by MARKO SYRJALA & ARTO LEHTINEN
Technical support by Robert and Sandra
The German power metal squad Gamma Ray made their debut gig in 2000 at the Tuska festival. Since then the German power metal tornado has been a regular visitor up in Finland. The band has gained the solid fanbase resulting gigs have been quite packed and even sold out. The latest album titled TO THE METAL presents the true Gamma Ray power metal from the beginning to the end. It aint wonder why the editor-in-chief worships. However before Gamma Ray got on the stage at Nosturi, we had an opportunity of chatting both Dirk Schlächter and Dan Zimmerman .