Power of Metal.dk Review

Gamma Ray
Master of Confusion
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 15 March, 2013
Playing time: 55:18

At 5 minutes shy of an hour, “Master Of Confusion” must be the longest EP ever released. Anyway, marketing conundrums apart, let take a closer look at this release….


‘Empire of The Undead’ is one of the 2 brand new tracks from the Gamma Ray powerhouse. It’s also one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever heard from the band and at times it reminded me of “Painkiller” era Judas Priest. With fierce vocals and screaming guitar solos, it kicks off this release in grand style. The other new composition is the title track: a more melodic and anthemic affair - basically closer to what one would expect from Gamma Ray.


Over the years Gamma Ray have almost overdone it with the amount of cover versions they’ve recorded but they still throw in another two in “Master Of Confusion”. ‘Death Or Glory’ is not the first time Gamma Ray have covered from NWOBHM band Holocaust (‘Heavy Metal Mania’ is another). Structurally, the Germans have more or less remained faithful to the original version with guitars that are perhaps more pronounced and vocals rougher. It’s not exactly your typical Gamma Ray fare but I quite liked their take on this song. A 1970s Sweet classic - ‘Lost Angels’ – is also covered…..making it sound like a Heavy Metal version of Queen. Then the last part of this release is made up of half a dozen numbers from Gamma Ray’s classic repertoire recorded live in during a gig in Germany.


“Master Of Confusion” seems aptly-titled: it’s a mish-mash of live and studio recordings, originals and covers, heavy and melodic music. Consequentially the EP’s flow could be awkward at times. But maybe that’s why it is being called an EP, i.e. its dynamics are not meant to follow any logical structure.


Compared to the scene that spawned the band 25 years ago, it might be harder today for the band to stand out and in fact Gamma Ray have hardly broken any new ground since roughly the turn of the millennium. Yet, to their credit, the band has somehow always managed to come up with quality Metal songs.


Maybe with “Master Of Confusion” Gamma Ray are gauging the reaction to a few ideas before taking their next step. Whether or not this is the case, I suspect that the next proper album has got to be a notably strong one if Gamma Ray is to perpetuate its relevance. Personally I’d like to hear them take the heavier path but we’ll just have to wait and see how things will turn out.

01. Empire of the Undead
02. Master of Confusion
03. Death or Glory (Holocaust cover)
04. Lost Angels (Sweet cover)
05. The Spirit (live)
06. Wings of Destiny (live)
07. Gamma Ray (live)
08. Farewell (live)
09. Time to Break Free (live)

10. Insurrection (live)
Label: earMUSIC
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 8 April, 2013
Website: www.gammaray.org