User:TheKaplan/new Gamma Ray article draft
Gamma Ray originated in 1988 as a project of former Helloween guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kai Hansen and his long-time friend Ralph Scheepers of Tyran Pace. This two-man project grew into a four-man band with the addition of Uwe Wessel (bass) and Mathias Burchard (drums).
The original line-up released the album Heading for Tomorrow in February of 1990, although by the time the Heaven Can Wait EP, was released later that year, they had a new guitarist, Dirk Schlächter, and new drummer, Uli Kusch,.
In September, Gamma Ray, along with Rage, Helicon and Conception embarked on the Melodic Metal Strikes Back tour. The tour contributed to the release of the double CD Power of Metal, and the videos Power of Metal and Lust for Live, in December.
After 5 years, Scheepers left the band on good terms. Several factors contributed to the decision, including his geographical distance from the rest of the band and the fact that he percieved his position of separate vocalist to be extraneous, since Hansen wanted to resume the role of vocalist that he had held in the early days of Helloween. With Scheepers' departure, Hansen did indeed resume his role as vocalist.
In 1995 the fourth album, Land of the Free, the first one featuring Hansen on vocals, was released. Critics around the globe were ecstatic. The following tour, Men on a Tour, brought the recording and release of the live album Alive '95 in 1996.
Soon, both Hansen and Schlächter decided that yet another change was needed. Out went Jan Rubach and Thomas Nack (both leaving for the band they left earlier, Anesthesia), and in came new drummer Dan Zimmerman, that's also the drummer of the band Freedom Call. Schlächter decided to drop the guitar and pick up the bass duties. Henjo Richter came in to fill the second guitar spot. The ultimate Gamma Ray, and still current, line-up was formed.
Work started for the next full-length album, and 1997 saw the release of Somewhere Out In Space, which started the band's fascination with space. After two years of touring came the album Powerplant, which was a continuity to Somewhere Out In Space's lyrical approach, but a new direction musically. The album was highly acclaimed throughout the world.
The time came for a "Best Of..." album, and Hansen decided to do things differently; the band went back to the studio to re-record old classics. Blast from the Past was the name chosen for the album.
After the break, where Hansen concentrated on his side project Iron Savior, the band was ready for the recording and release of the album No World Order!, with a lot of heavy riffs like classic 80's bands, just as rumored. Yet again the album was highly praised. The No Order World Tour saw the band visiting dozens of countries throughtout Europe, and a few gigs in Japan. After resting from the tour, the band went on with the Skeletons in the Closet tour. The Skeletons tour saw the band performing songs that they never or rarely played live before. The setlist was voted by the fans on the band's website. Only a few shows were played but two of those were recorded for the live album Skeletons in the Closet, their finest live album to date.
Gamma Ray's latest studio album, "Majestic", was released on September 23, 2005.
- Uwe Wessel - Bass
- Ralf Scheepers - Vocals
- Jan Rubach - Bass
- Mathias Burchard - Drums
- Uli Kusch - Drums
- Thomas Nack - Drums
- Heading for Tomorrow (1989)
- Heaven Can Wait EP (1990)
- Sigh No More (1991)
- Insanity and Genius (1993)
- Land of the Free (1995)
- Silent Miracles EP (1996)
- Alive '95 (1996)
- Somewhere Out In Space (1997)
- Valley of the Kings EP (1997)
- Powerplant (1999)
- Blast from the Past (2000)
- No World Order (2001)
- Skeletons in the Closet (2003)
- Majestic (2005)
- Gamma Ray official website
- Dan Zimmermann's personal website
- Blind Guardian official website
- Iron Savior official website
- Helloween official website
- Gamma Ray discography