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4.00 | 49 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1997

Filed under Power Metal


1. Beyond the Black Hole (6:00)
2. Men, Martians and Machines (3:52)
3. No Stranger (Another Day in Life) (3:35)
4. Somewhere Out in Space (5:27)
5. The Guardians of Mankind (5:01)
6. The Landing (1:17)
7. Valley of the Kings (3:50)
8. Pray (4:45)
9. The Winged Horse (7:02)
10. Cosmic Chaos (0:48)
11. Lost in the Future (3:40)
12. Watcher in the Sky (5:18)
13. Rising Star (0:52)
14. Shine On (6:52)

Total Time: 58:24

Bonus tracks:

15. Return to Fantasy (5:13)
16. Miracle (7:18)
17. Victim of Changes (Judas Priest cover) (7:24)


- Kai Hansen / guitars, vocals
- Henjo Richter / guitars, keyboards
- Dirk Schlächter / bass
- Daniel Zimmermann / drums


- Piet Sielck / guitars, vocals (track 12)
- Thomen Stauch / drums (track 12)

About this release

Release date: August 25, 1997
Label: Noise Records

Watcher in the Sky was recorded by Iron Savior, and appeared on their self-titled debut album.

The limited edition featured the bonus track Return to Fantasy.

Was reissued as part of the Gamma Ray Ultimate Collection with alternate artwork. This version featured the limited edition bonus track and two additional bonus tracks.

Thanks to rushfan4, adg211288, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Land of the Free was a great album, but I feel this one right here is where Gamma Ray finally proved they were one of the greatest Power Metal bands of the 90’s, and an even rival to Helloween. Seriously, all the musicianship here is phenomenal. Incredibly powerful drumming, absolutely loaded with double bass and giving Thrash Metal a run for it’s money at times. The guitars are, of course, a melodic current of catchy tunes and technical prowess. Vocally, Kai has improved yet again, and is in top form here. Even the bass is laying down some nice groove. It’s worth mentioning that this is definitely a bit heavier than the past Gamma Ray album, thanks in no small part to those pummeling drums.

This one has a loose focus on space and sci-fi, but it’s not really integral to the listening experience. At the end of the day, this is just prime Power Metal music. Even the interludes here are good, featuring an awesome drum solo and a nice piano piece. The ballad is strong as well, and even the bonus tracks were worthy of inclusion. The band were just pumping out pure quality at this time. I consider this one a classic.
Having rekindled my interest in the cheesier end of power metal through my discovery of Rhapsody, I decided to give Gamma Ray another chance, but unfortunately I still find them a bit too airy and cheesy for my tastes. Kai Hansen does a decent job as band leader, guitarist and vocalist, but I just find the proceedings here to be just a little bland, offering not quite enough surprises and compositional departures from Gamma Ray's business as usual to hook me. Essentially, Gamma Ray is quite clearly Hansen's project to continue the sound he hit on with Helloween come hell or high water, and nothing's going to dissuade him from that mission... I just can't help feel that I preferred this sound when it was Helloween doing it for some reason.
Somewhere Out In Space is the fifth full-length studio album from the German Power Metal band Gamma Ray. The album is a Sci-Fi/Egyptian themed concept album and like all Gamma Ray albums which preceded it, featured a change in the band’s line up, this time with the appearance of Dirk Schlächter on bass instead of guitar (who incidentally co-produced the album with band leader Kai Hansen) as well as Henjo Richter taking over the guitar spot and Dan Zimmermann playing the drums, completing a line-up which would last for a decade-and-a-half.

The album was released following up the classic Land Of The Free album, and follows on very much in the style with which that album was written. The long, slightly progressive songs are there, the Hard Rock/Hair Metal edges from their 2nd album are largely gone and the Keeper Of The Seven Keys style Power Metal is back in force.

The album serves as the perfect companion to the aforementioned Land Of The Free, and these two albums together sort of exemplify the Gamma Ray sound. Mixing the constant double kicks and speedy drumming of Thrash metal with the theater, song structures and character of Iron Maiden, the parts of Queen’s sound that would be called grandiose and majestic and basically everything else from Judas Priest.

It’s an absolutely constant array of lead guitar work, from shred to character to melody. It’s got an awful lot of character, there are a fairly good mixture of tempos, vocal approaches and riff styles and structurally the album flows together very well as a whole.

Admittedly; if you aren’t accustomed to it, at first listen this sort of thing may seem unforgivingly over-the-top and cheesy, but hopefully you should be won over by the sheer quality and enjoyable nature of the music.

Standout tracks include the brilliant ‘Men, Martians & Machines,’ the immensely fun ‘Valley Of The Kings’ and ‘Watcher In The Skies’ which features guest appearances by Iron Saviour’s Thomen Stauch and Piet Sielck.

Overall, Somewhere Out In Space is a fantastic record and if you are into Gamma Ray or Power Metal at all, then this is definitely an album you should at least consider checking out. It satisfies on a number of levels; it’s well made, well produced, it’s got a lot of variety, its musically impressive and it’s just a lot of fun as well. I highly recommend it.

Members reviews

Gamma Ray could pretty much do no wrong after the release of "Land Of The Free" and so they decided to continue exploring the same ol' themes but this time with the addition of a loose cosmic storyline embedded into the arc.

Unlike it's predecessor, this release doesn't waste any time on prolonged epic openings and instead jumps straight into action with "Beyond The Black Hole". This is exactly how a great Power Metal record should start in my opinion, another great example of a memorable opening is "Misplaced" on Sonata Arctica's "Reckoning Night". Things get a bit more stale with "Men, Martians And Machines" but the great streak of "No Stranger", the title track and "Guardians Of Mankind" really more than makes up for any loss of momentum. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is a bit more shaky with quite a few moments that don't quite manage to hit melodic and rhythmic nerve with me. There are of course a few exceptions to the statement with the great "Valley Of The Kings", somewhat long but still highly enjoyable "The Winged Horse" and "Watcher In The Sky", which was co-written by Piet Sielck and was release a few month prior by his band Iron Savior.

The bottom line is that "Somewhere Out In Space" is another great album from Hansen and his band. There aren't any real surprises here, but why would you want to ruin a perfect formula? A great album well worth your time!

***** star songs: Beyond The Black Hole (6:00) Somewhere Out In Space (5:27) Valley Of The Kings (3:50)

**** star songs: No Stranger (Another Day In Life) (3:35) The Guardians Of Mankind (5:01) Pray (4:45) The Winged Horse (7:02) Watcher In The Sky (5:18) Rising Star (0:52) Shine On (6:52)

*** star songs: Men, Martians And Machines (3:52) The Landing (1:17) Cosmic Chaos (0:48) Lost In The Future (3:40)
Following up Land of the Free wasn't going to be easy. While Kai had finally pulled it together, a significant line-up change had occured in the wake of the album's tour. It ended up being nothing to worry about as the new musicians gelled perfectly and have stayed with the band ever since, for better or worse. Despite a production which leaves the material feeling thin and lacking a certain charge, Somewhere Out in Space is another fine Gamma Ray offering. Henjo Richter (guitars) and Dan Zimmerman (drums) make their mark very evident early into the album, which helps propell the songs onward in a defiant charge (power metal indeed!). Beyond the Black Hole is an incredible opener, laying down the GR cards firmly on the table with its combination of melody, rollicking riffs and grandiose approach to songwriting.

Kai has never been tempted to swerve from his continuing the style he helped pioneer in Helloween, but with this mid period Gamma Ray he refines it so much it ceases to matter. Most of the tracks are standard heavy metal fare but carefully put together with lush presentation. The start, title track and climactic ending to the album give us a little bit more, leaning on the progressive "lite" approach of the best old Helloween. The album as a whole is weakened during the middle, starting with the corny ballad "Pray" (and Farwell on the previous album was so good as well...), moving through the bland The Winged Horse, a throwaway drum solo and the far too abrasive (in the album's context) Lost in the Future. After all that we're treated to a preview of Kai's side project Iron Savior with the track Watcher in the Sky, but I find that drab and uneventful as well.

Even with that problematic patch, Somewhere Out in Space is still slap bang in the middle of the band's best years, and it shows.

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