After a one year break where Kai Hansen concentrated on his side project Iron Savior, the band assembled once again in the studio to record "No World Order". It was clear that Hansen wasn't interested on following the same route as he did with the previous trilogy of albums, instead he took inspiration from his idols of the NWoBHM movement and carved together some of the heaviest tracks that Gamma Ray has even conceived.
Unfortunately for Kai, the rest of the band weren't really in the same frame of mind as him while writing for the album, thus "No World Order" still has quite a few traditional Power Metal moments. This fact actually works surprisingly well in the record's favor. Just the fact that it was the record that drew me to Gamma Ray and thus the whole Power Metal movement back in 2001 is clearly a testament to the record's chameleon quality. A perfect gateway Power Metal album, if you will!
To me, this album also clearly marks the moment when Dan Zimmermann finally came into his own as a songwriter who could challenge and sometimes even outmatch the band's great frontman. Songs like "Dethrone Tyranny" and especially "Damn The Machine" are two of my all time favorite Gamma Ray tracks, both composed by Zimmermann! Henjo Richter also contributes two of the album's great classics "Follow Me" and the mighty power ballad "Lake Of Tears". These four Power Metal tracks are combined with six Traditional Heavy Metal tracks from Kai Hansen (+one excellent intro track) was a lethal combination for my young teenage mind back in the day, hence the record got some heavy rotation in my collection!
Fortunately I wasn't the only one who got under the Gamma Ray spell here in Scandinavia since the album reached some of the band's highest chart positions both here in Sweden and also in Finland. The two nations were clearly taken by storm which also paved way for all the consecutive chart records for Gamma Ray. I highly recommend "No World Order" to both fans of Power Metal and NWoBHM since both parties have something to gain here.
Easily one of the better albums that the Power Metal genre has to offer!
***** star songs: Induction (1:00) Dethrone Tyranny (4:14) Damn The Machine (5:04)
**** star songs: The Heart Of The Unicorn (4:48) Heaven Or Hell (4:19) New World Order (5:03) Solid (4:23) Fire Below (5:34) Follow Me (4:43) Eagle (6:05) Lake Of Tears (6:47)