Gamma Ray – 30 Years Live Anniversary (Live Album)

You are currently viewing Gamma Ray – 30 Years Live Anniversary (Live Album)

Year: 2021
Total Time: 01:35:02
Label: Ear Music / Edel

In the age of the pandemic, with the thousands of restrictions and the longing of many artists to remain active and creative, one of the elements that undoubtedly emerged, was ingenuity. In this context, many different means were utilized to keep artists and management in the spotlight, and one of them, as awkward as it may seem, was the release of live recordings.

GAMMA RAY, leaders of the teutonic power metal scene, are celebrating 30 years since their formation (I still can’t get over the extremely positive surprise when I first heard the monumental “Heading For Tomorrow” back in early 90’s) with the release of an extensive live recording. Moreover, “30 Years Live Anniversary” comes to serve as an internal reconstruction, as the band has been inactive in regards to studio albums since 2014’s “Empire Of The Undead”. Since that year, GAMMA RAY have been shooting us mercilessly with unnecessary anniversary releases (excuse me for being critical to them, but I think I have the right, being a fan of the band for so many years) such as remastered and “best of ” releases, so hopefully with “30 Years Live Anniversary” we close with any kind of celebration and finally see a good new album from our favorite band.

No more (for now at least) criticism, and let’s get to the release itself, which I happen to have in my hands. “30 Years Live Anniversary” was recorded – without a live audience, of course – at the Issdome in Dusseldorf in August 2020. It was a live streaming event, and was released last September in multiple – and really satisfying – editions. The cd comes to us in a triple digipack edition, including the concert dvd, and the release is completed by a 12-page booklet with photos from that night.

It includes 14 tracks from all the band’s periods, with admittedly very good performance on most of them and with quite an emotional vibe throughout the set, especially on the tracks featuring the “old friend” of the band (and current PRIMAL FEAR frontman) Ralf Scheepers. Best moments are “Dethrone Tyranny”, “Land Of The Free”, “Lust For Life”, “Armageddon”, “Heading For Tomorrow”, pleasant surprises are “The Silence” and “One With The World”. However, the absence of material from “Somewhere Out In Space” is disappointing…

The production is at a very high level, the sound is crystal clear, referring more to studio album (for sure there is a low level of difficulty due to the lack of audience). I liked the fact that the band “tweaked” a little bit some compositions (typical example “Heading For Tomorrow” in guitars and keyboards), giving us that something extra that we expect from such releases. Finally, watching the video of the concert, which is the strongest part of the release, a special mention must be made to Frank Beck. Frank has been a new addition to the GAMMA RAY roster for a few years now on lead and backing vocals, accompanying Kai Hansen. The guy is phenomenal and I personally can’t wait to hear him in a new album.

In conclusion, the release is aimed at a fan audience and just works entertainingly and emotionally. No one is going to get to know the band through it, moreover, those who already follow GAMMA RAY have experienced their live performances many times over, in admittedly better phases of their career, and with higher quality setlists than this one. So, in anticipation of a new studio album… Which might be destined for 2022.

Rating: N/A
Editor: Kostas Kafritsas
Related Link: GAMMA RAY – Official Page

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