Released: 2001, Sanctuary Records
I have a biased opinion on Gamma Ray and anything Kai Hansen related. Everything he’s a part is godly; from his Helloween material to the Iron Savior songs he’s written and of course to his main focus - Gamma Ray. I knew before hearing this album that it was going to be awesome. Usually I’m surprised when a band consistently delivers quality material like this. However with Gamma Ray I would be surprised if they released something that was not a masterpiece. Kai’s history and background demand it. Second-rate material from a power metal forefather would just not be right!
NO WORLD ORDER has a bit of everything in terms of comparisons to previous Gamma Ray material. There are songs on here that seem like POWERPLANT material and perhaps more so to material from the LAND OF THE FREE album. Gamma Ray’s Judas Priest influence is clearly evident on some of the songs. There is a part in “Heart of the Unicorn” that sounds like it was lifted right from “Metal Meltdown”. It’s only a part of the song and the other riffs are original. The chorus to “Heart of The Unicorn” is perhaps the most memorable on the album and after one listen you’ll feel compelled to sing along. Judas Priest’s song “Rapid Fire” must of also made an impact on Kai because on the song “Solid” you can easily tell it was an inspiration for some of the riffs. It’s fun to be able to hear a bands influence like this because it’s only small elements that you hear and it’s clear they are more or less paying tribute and not ripping them off due to a lack of their own talent or vision. The track “New World Order” steps into a more groove rock feel like Deep Purple with a rocked out Stratocaster (yes the guitar of the very same name) sounding riff. Don’t worry, Gamma Ray are not about to go all classic rock on us! It’s just another sound that adds to the power metal mix. The lyrics are about the Illuminati – the secret group who supposedly exists within society that have influenced society’s fate. As any fan knows, Gamma Ray doesn’t just sing about the “sword and sorcery” stuff. They cover the unexplained, conspiracies, aliens / Sci-Fi stuff etc. The Helloween classic that Kai wrote has been re-written under a new name – “Heaven or Hell.” The drumming and especially the chorus is clearly a major nod to “I Want Out.” But so what? He wrote the damn song and if he writes something that is reminiscent of the original song he wrote, then so be it! “Fire Below” sounds like an epic 80’s metal song. Mid-tempo with no double kicks, lots of guitar fills and some riffs that make me think of classic metal. The song “Eagle” (for which a video is being made) proves once and for all the Kai has some sort of unnatural fascination for this winged creature! “Fly high like an eagle in the sky” – how many variations can you come up with for that rhyme? Not as many as Kai! All kidding aside, another great song and I don’t mind riding the sky like an eagle…keep it coming. The solo section in this song is godly as it cuts from the solos to a Iron Maiden-ish harmony section. The album ends with the semi ballad “Lake of Tears.” Listen closely to the intro and see if you can place from what Helloween song it’s from!! The doubled voices throughout this song are done very nicely!
Another chapter has been written in the glorious Gamma Ray history. Fans of heavy metal bands such as Judas Priest should have no problems getting into Gamma Ray. Drop by the band’s official site at http://www.gamma-ray.com
for more information on the band.