Gamma Ray – Insanity And Genius

August 5, 2012 in Artist Rewind, Reviews by Kylie

Gamma Ray
Insanity And Genius

Ok, I knew I had this coming when I decided to take on the entire Gamma Ray catalog. Simply put, this album is awful. But, being the objective, unbiased, and totally unopinionated person that I am (*snerk*), I shall give it my all to provide critical analysis…even if I’ll enjoy nailing shut the casket on the Ralf Scheepers era of the band.

The opener, “Tribute To The Past” is, unfortunately, very much unlike the openers of the Helloween albums of yore (hey, even “Changes” off of Sigh No More managed to kick ass). It’s almost like Ralf is Leech from the X-Men universe…his presence, however humble it may be, sucks the power from even the most awesome people around him. It really culminates on this one, as the first two Gamma Ray albums had their moments. “No Return” is more generic mid-tempo power metal.

 “Last Before The Storm:” this is probably the best Ralf Scheepers/Gamma Ray song. It’s catchy, has some killer riffs, and packs an energy that is completely absent from the rest of the album. The Dirk Schlächter-sung “Your Turn Is Over” is also a great rocker (lack of Ralf, perhaps?). Rare salty language from the awesome foursome (although they were a fivesome here). “Brothers” isn’t bad, either. Which is more than I can say about the rest…

The Cave Principle” puts Plato to music. Yeah, I read The Republic in college, and I’ve reread it every few years because it’s an important piece of socio-political literature. This song is not. The bad songs from Heading For Tomorrow and Sigh No More think this song is an atrocity against all beings, living, unliving, living dead, mostly dead, and even inanimate objects brought to life by necromancy.

The rest of the album is a bit better, in the same way described by George Carlin…”Well, Jim, I don’t see why you shouldn’t live another thirty to forty years. Of course, you will be bleeding constantly out of both eyes.” So yeah, Inanity And Genius is more like it. Alright, I’ll admit that the last bit of “Heal Me” is really awesome.

Bonus tracks this time? You get a painfully longer version of “Gamma Ray,” Ralf making Michael Kiske cry with his rendition of “Save Us,” and a not-as-bad-as-that cover of Judas Priest’s “Exciter.” Nothing mindblowing or anything. So yeah, stick with Blast From The Past since it has an amazing rerecording of “Last Before The Storm.”

 Kylie’s rating: 1.75 out of 5