Gamma Ray has decided to revist the days of their hit album Land Of The Free with this release, properly named Land Of The Free II. Many who have heard the first disc in this now little mini-series will know what to expect, but be aware that this happen to fall in the rather generic column as far as the music on this one goes.
Much of the album is just your typical power metal release, but at least it’s done right. “Into The Storm” is a killer track comprised of riffs you probably heard before. But you also get songs like that blended with some speed metal, such as “To Mother Earth” which may remind you of Rhapsody, especially with the semi-chanted and sung chorus in unison with the keyboards, and the deep, somewhat off key royalty-esque vocals prior to it. The vocals on this song, as well as other tracks, may even remind you of the band Symphorce, especially the higher pitched ones that sound a bit forced.
But there are some good moments on the release aside the aforementioned tracks, and the absolutely pointless “Rising Again” track, and they pretty much hit all at once. The next clump of songs, from “Rain” to “Empress”, are just heavier and darker tracks that sound great, and not like every other freakin’ band out there every second of the song. “When The World” falls into the group of the aforementioned songs, but, while still a killer track, is not all that dark a song. But the real stand out song on this release is the extremely slow paced “Opportunity”, which is more of a ballad track then anything. You’ll either love it, or hate it. It does, however, seem a bit drawn out a while, and changes between slow paced ballad to upbeat power metal more times then you can count on one hand.
All in all, the album is pretty good. One wouldn’t go so far to say it is a suitable “sequel”, though. Much of the music on here does sound really great, it’s just that much of it sounds like something you’ve heard in the past, and the first four tracks are perhaps the worst out of the entire album, and the two longest tracks on here just sound drawn out after a while. If you’re a fan of the band, you’ll probably enjoy this release. It’s fast, it’s heavy, and it definitely has it’s darker moments, but much of it is as generic as can possibly be.