Kai Hansen & Friends – XXX – Three Decades in Metal

If you in any way has been listening to heavy metal sometime in the past three decades chances are that you have stumbled into the name Kai Hansen more than once… He is one of the founding fathers of the whole power metal wave; as an important part of Helloween and later on with his own band Gamma Ray.

“XXX – Three Decades in Metal” is actually his first solo album, unless you view the first Gamma Ray album as a solo album, and the approach on this album has been somewhat different that we have been used to from Kai Hansen. The whole idea came from Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) and Eike Fresse and they’ve even written all of the material and they have been in the drivers seat throughout the whole process: Alex took care of the bass on the album and Eike plays guitars as well as being the engineer and producer on the album. Kai Hansen and drummer Daniel Wilding (Carcass) completes the recording line-up. And to spice things extra up a few friends were invited.

And the list of friends is long: Ralf Scheepers, Piet Sielck, Dee Snider, Steve McT, Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, Frank Beck, Roland Grapow, Clémentine Delauney, Marcus Bischoff, Richard Sjunnesson, Michael Weikath, Hansi Kürsch and Tim Hansen. Some are rather obvious choices; people Kai has worked a lot with in the past, while others are a bit surprising. They all contribute to make this album something else than we are used to from the hands of Mr. Hansen.

Sure it’s metal when in say so, and sure you can pick out Kai’s voice easily, but the song structures, heaviness and sound differ some from his normal confinements. This is a lot more basic metal, not as powerful, and at times even a bit modern as well as straight forward metal. All of the friends involved makes this sound like a big, happy gathering of friends making music and having fun.

And it works; this fine melting pot of metal is a lot of fun to listen to as well as being serious. A solid piece of metal!

Best moments: “Enemies of Fun”, “Contract Song”, “Fire and Ice”  and “Follow the Sun”.

Tracklist:

  1. Born Free (4:07)
  2. Enemies of Fun (7:57)
  3. Contract Song (5:33)
  4. Making Headlines (4:23)
  5. Stranger in Time (6:02)
  6. Fire and Ice (8:28)
  7. Left Behind (4:26)
  8. All or Nothing (5:12)
  9. Burning Bridges (3:40)
  10. Follow the Sun (4:33)

Playing Time: 54:45

Release date: September 16, 2016

Label: earMUSIC

Website: Kai Hansen @ Facebook

Kenn Jensen
About Kenn Jensen 480 Articles
When I kicked this site off back in 2003, I had no idea that it would turn into what it has become. I am very proud of what we've done and achieved over the years. Musically I have a soft spot for 80s inspired hard rock, but my favourite music and bands are all to be found in the progressive universe these days.

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