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Gamma Ray
Somewhere Out In Space
September 1997
Released: 1997, Noise Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: The Wildman

From the first bass riffs to the last ebbing sound of guitar, Gamma Ray`s SOMEWHERE OUT IN SPACE is a heavy metal music explosion. The music is classic Kai Hansen and company; fast rhythms, lots of double-bass drums, sing-a-long choruses, and plenty of keyboards. With this album we also get two new band members and a line-up change: Henjo Richter comes on board as guitarist/keyboardist, Dan Zimmerman takes over on drums, and Dirk Schl├Ąchter moves over to bass (as this was the original instrument he played many moons ago).

The main theme of the album is outer space. You can tell this by titles such as "Beyond The Black Hole" (a very fast song about what it would be like to journey in a black hole), "Cosmic Chaos", "Watcher In The Sky", and the title track, which kicks serious metal butt. The disc opens with "Beyond The Black Hole" and goes into "Men, Martian and Machines", a mid/fast-tempo number with cool vocals and a catchy chorus. I know I find myself singing the chorus even after I listen to the CD. (I`m even singing it in my head as I write this review!) The song "Somewhere Out In Space" is a octane pumped, high-speed roller coaster that is inspired by the old Star Trek series. It`s fast, technically amazing, and just incredibly cool. It is one of my three favorite songs on the CD. It flows smoothly and just plain sounds great! Another set of tunes that stand out is Henjo Richter-penned, "The Winged Horse" and the first single from the disc, "Valley of The Kings". Both songs are mid/fast tempo with Dan Zimmerman`s amazing drum work, cool keyboards, and of course Gamma Ray`s infamous sing-a-long choruses.

The only disappointment on the CD is the song "Watcher In The Sky", which is a song from the Iron Savior CD. It`s an okay song but it too repetitive and is flat. It fits fine on the Iron Savior disc but it feels out of place on this CD. My one request would have been not to include this song but it`s there because Kai Hansen worked on the Iron Savior disc and I believe that they wanted to include it on SOMEWHERE OUT IN SPACE to inspire Gamma Ray fans to purchase Iron Savior.

This is one of the better power metal albums to be released in 1997. It has all the melody, speed and power you would expect from the genre and Gamma Ray. Somewhere Out In Space showcases the talent of four very good musicians and fans will not be disappointed with this release.
Track Listing

1) Beyond The Black Hole
2) Men, Martians And Machines
3) No Stranger (Another Day In Life)
4) Somewhere Out In Space
5) The Guardians Of Mankind
6) The Landing
7) Valley Of The Kings
8) Pray
9) The Winged Horse
10) Cosmic Chaos
11) Lost In The Future
12) Watcher In The Sky
13) Rising Star
14) Shine On


Kai Hansen: vocals & guitars
Henjo Richter: guitars & keyboards
Dirk Schl├Ąchter: bass
Daniel Zimmermann: drums

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