2017 is proving to be a goood year for fans of Kai Hansen. Earlier this year we had the release of two live albums – Unisonic’s “Live at Wacken” and Kai Hansen and friends “Thank you Wacken”. Now we have another release from Kai Hansen. In this case it’s a re-release of Gamma Ray’s fourth album, “Land of the free”.
The original album was the first to feature Kai Hansen on lead vocals following the departure of Ralf Scheepers (who went on to form Primal Fear after failing to get the Judas Priest job he’d hoped for), and despite being released in 1995 at a time when Metal was out of fashion and Grunge was still popular, the album went down well with fans and critics alike.
For this re-release the album has been remastered by Eike Frees. As well as the remastered version of the original album there’s a second disc which features seven bonus tracks. Of these, four are instrumental tracks which have been recorded in the last year or so. There’s also a cover version of Holocaust’s “Heavy metal mania”, a pre-production version of “As time goes by” and “The silence’95”. Those last three tracks were previously included on the 2003 re-release of “Land of the free” as well as either the “Silent miracles” or the “Rebellion in dreamland” EP.
The remastered album sounds great and really doesn’t feel like a 22 year old album, and it’s got plenty of power. The bonus material is good – the instrumental tracks were a surprise to me as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy them anywhere near as much as I did. Often instrumental versions of songs can sound like they’re missing something (i.e. vocals) and don’t have as much impact as a finished song, but when the music is good enough as it is here, the instrumental songs can sound great in their own right.
A great re-release.
Land of the free will be re-issued on 29th September 2017 on earMUSIC.
1. Rebellion in dreamland
2. Man on a mission
4. All of the damned
5. Rising of the damned
6. Gods of deliverance
8. Salvation’s calling
9. Land of the free
10. The saviour
11. Abyss of the void
12. Time to break free
1. Heavy metal mania (Holocaust cover)
2. As time goes by (Pre-production version)
3. The silence ’95
4. Dream healer (Instrumental – live at Chameleon studio 2017)
5. Tribute to the past (Instrumental – live at Chameleon studio 2017)
6. Heaven can wait (Instrumental – live at Chameleon studio 2016)
7. Valley of the king (Instrumental – live at Chameleon studio 2016)