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Gamma Ray: Sigh No More [25Th Anniversary Edition]

Album Notes

The first three records from Kai Hansen's band tried to follow a certain innovation/ evolution within German power metal's restricted scene. Sigh No More, the second of them, does not escape to this noble intention of the former Helloween guitarist. The record shows a band finding its identity through 11 cuts where various influences mark the route all along its path. It takes a series of bumps, where the peaks mark the creative apex of the group and the low ones border the dullest mediocrity. Probably, Sigh No More is the most innovative and imaginative effort from the German band, and the one that the passing of time digests with greater pride. The work begins with "Changes," a tune with a magnificently constructed refrain. Also, the haunting title song, the experimental "The Spirit," and the powerful "As Time Goes By," a song in which Ralf Scheepers' vocal skills are demonstrated to be enviable, stand out as the album's highlights. But overall, "One With the World" must be recognized as the record's indisputable masterpiece, a wrenching, rather old-fashioned anthemic tune à la Manowar, with a perfect feeling to be shouted at the shows from the band. The rest of the record rambles along some similarly ambitious tracks, but with less brilliant results. After Sigh No More would come the irregular Insanity & Genius and later on Land of the Free, where the German guitarist and his troupe would finally find their longtime sought-after sound, a melody-based power metal sound that would definitively win them fans across genres. That would lead them to release more accessible and predictable albums year after year, less fissured than Sigh No More and surely without the same surprise capacity. [In 2002 the first seven Gamma Ray records were digitally remastered and enriched with bonus tracks, in addition to being displayed in digipack format, with some important visual changes in the original covers. Sigh No More bonus tracks are the unreleased "Heroes" and "Who Do You Think You Are," and a pre-production version of "Dream Healer"]. ~ Robert Aniento



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