Gamma Ray apparently want to know it again, because on "Empire Of The" they are more heavy and biting than they have been for a long time. The first album with new drummer Michael Ehré is a clear increase compared to their predecessor "To The Metal", which was rather mixed in many places. And this despite the fact that the band's studio fell victim to a fire in November in the middle of the production. Happiness in misfortune: At least the material created up to then could be saved, including the gigantic nine-minute bombast opener "Avalon". Two songs are already known from last year's "Master Of Confusion" EP: The title song is (just like the almost thrashy "Hellbent") a speedy speeder, whose opening riff reminds of Metallica's "Hit The Lights". And "Master Of Confusion" itself turns out to be a typical Gamma-Ray melody bonbon ("Born To Fly" and "Seven" hit a similar notch) that has what it takes to become a live classic. The ballad "Time To Deliverance" on the other hand can be described as the only real failure. Still: Strong album!
Top track: Avalon