Gamma Ray

Wacken - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The pressure was unreal when Germany’s own Gamma Ray entered the True Metal Stage in the early afternoon. No further introduction should be needed here; like them or not, anyone in their right mind ought to know who Gamma Ray are, and what they stand for.

And what they stand for, extremely sing-along friendly heavy metal, is exactly what we were given.
Even though they only had an hour of stage time, they played us both of their flagship songs of this style; Heavy Metal Universe which opened the show (featuring a part of Ride The Sky in the middle), and Somewhere Out In Space which ended it, if you don’t count the encore that is.
Gamma Ray even presented a brand new song called To The Metal, a very nice mid-tempo song with a fairly dark bridge which moves over into an epic chorus. It was easy to hear that this song will be yet another sing-along mastodon, in the exact same vein as the former two.

As a new feature, Gamma Ray had also expanded their entertainment part of the show from audience singing to showing different video collages on Wacken’s large screens during every song. For example, Rebellion In Dreamland featured the band members in a fictive middle ages world which was highly amusing, Man On A Mission showed Spongebob Squarepants in various situations in time with the music and for Into The Storm the guitar solo was shown as a part of Guitar Hero. The only place where humour was put to the side in preference of harsh reality was with the clips of the Afghanistan/Iraq war shown in New World Order.

The sound may not have been the best (it was pretty awful actually), and it was clear how Kai Hansen couldn’t get as high a vocal pitch as he could in his younger days, but Gamma Ray are so vital and present at any stage they never let you down, or leave without a having had a good time.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show, with my only real objection being that I had to stand so far away from the stage. These are the conditions of Wacken nowadays however, and you just have to live with it.


Heavy Metal Universe / Ride The Sky
New World Order
Rebellion In Dreamland
Man On A Mission
Into The Storm
Heaven Can Wait
To The Metal
Future World / I Want Out
Somewhere Out In Space
Send Me A Sign

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