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Gamma Ray – Hell Yeah

Label: SPV USA
Format: DVD / CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Sean Quigley
For over 20 years guitarist/ vocalist Kai Hansen has become synonymous with German Power Metal. Having started the band Helloween along with guitarist Michael Weikath in the early 1980's, he has carefully carved a niche for himself and in turn constructed a genre in the process. After leaving Helloween in 1988 he quickly formed its fraternal twin Gamma Ray and in 1989 released the debut “Heading For Tomorrow”. Eighteen years and eight albums later we are finally given a comprehensive 2 disc DVD (3 in Europe) release that spans the history of the band. Sold separately is a two cd set from the live show taped in Canada.
What we have here is simply put, a great package. The first DVD contains the entire 120 minute concert recorded live in Montreal Canada on May 6th, 2006 at The Medley. The video quality is crisp and clean while the camera angles are simply perfect. The use of split screen seems to enhance the songs at times. Stand outs include “Land Of The Free” and “Rebellion In Dreamland” which are considered classics by the fans and the band, “Send Me A Sign”, and “Gardens Of The Sinner” just cement the fact that Gamma Ray are a band that “should be” bigger than they are. “Heavy Metal Universe” further exemplify that the band are at their best with live audience interaction. From beginning to end a fantastic live experience.

The second DVD is a bonus disc of sorts. It contains quite a bit of “other stuff” that is great to the longtime Gamma Ray fan, but may put off a newer one. The “HistoRay” portion of the disc brings us back to 1994 when Kai Hansen assumed vocal responsibilities in the band. It also takes us through the personnel changes that occurred soon afterwards. The addition of Henjo Richter (Guitar) and Daniel Zimmermann (Drums) is done quite nice. Be on the lookout for the clip of Kai Hansen diving into the crowd which given the angle and his choice of a launch pad is pretty insane.

There are also seven music videos spanning the entire career of the band. This is a very nice treat, especially for old fans. Finally a crisp clear DVD quality representation of the videos. Many longtime fans had these videos on fifth generation VHS tapes with poor video and audio. Especially worth noting is the “One With The World” video with the impressive audio and video. To round out the disc is a simply hilarious Road Movie that needs to be seen to be believed and five songs taken from two separate Wacken shows. All told a real nice treat.

Overall this Gamma Ray 2DVD set covers all the bases. From the live show to the bonus disc it shows Gamma Ray at their best. A definite high recommendation.

Track Listing – DVD:

DVD 1 – Montreal Show 2006

1. Welcome
2. Gardens Of The Sinner
3. New World Order
4. Man On A Mission
5. Fight
6. Blood Religion
7. Heavy Metal Universe
8. Dreamhealer
9. The Heart Of The Unicorn
10. Fairytale
11. The Silence
12. Beyond The Blackhole
13. Valley Of The Kings
14. Somewhere Out In Space
15. Land Of The Free
16. Rebellion In Dreamland
17. I Want Out
18. Send Me A Sign

DVD 2:

Road Movie:

* Documentary from the North American Tour

Video Clips:

* Space Eater
* One With The World
* Gamma Ray
* Rebellion In Dreamland
* Send Me A Sign
* Heavy Metal Universe
* Eagle
* Into The Storm

Live At Wacken Open Air 2003 * One With The World
* Last Before The Storm

Live At Wacken Open Air 2006
* Rebellion In Dreamland
* Heavy Metal Universe
* Somewhere Out In Space

HistoRay: Over the years private movies, backstage scenes and live performances
Unplugged: Kai and Henjo unplugged in Japan

DVD 3 (Bonus, only Europe)

Four songs from "Land Of The Free II" recorded live in Barcelona during the "Hellish Rock" tour with Helloween in January 2008:

1. Into The Storm
2. Empress
3. From The Ashes
4. Real World

Plus Backstage scenes, soundchecks, etc...
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