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The Great Collection Rediscovery

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adg211288 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2020 at 11:40am
Artist: Gamma Ray
Album: Land of the Free
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Probably Gamma Ray's most famous album for good reason, being the point that the true Gamma Ray (that fronted by Kai Hansen) was born, likely back in 1995 something old school Helloween fans had waited a decade for. I'm personally perhaps a tad more partial to Somewhere Out in Space (but watch this space for its own entry in The Great Collection Rediscovery), but this is a very close second. Lots of great power metal songs here. As much as I like Helloween I am also a bit more partial to Gamma Ray of the two. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2020 at 1:16am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Black Hand Inn
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Confession time: I used to think of Running Wild as a distinctly B-Grade metal band. That changed when I finally heard Black Hand Inn in full and it set me on a path to making them one of my favourite bands. This is still my favourite album by them; full of great memorable songs that mash up old school heavy metal vibes with power metal speed. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2020 at 1:19am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Port Royal
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Perhaps not the most technically accomplished Running Wild album, but I've a real soft spot for Port Royal that has kept it one of my favourite Running Wild albums, currently only second to Black Hand Inn, though it's possible that could change with these current re-listens - they certainly have several contenders to get bumped up to five stars.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2020 at 9:26am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Pile of Skulls
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: Okay, this one fully deserves the top tier recognition from me. Running Wild perhaps get a few cynical looks because of the pirate thing, but they were really the top of the power metal game for a long time, fully deserving recognition alongside all the other major German bands of the time. Pile of Skulls is another album laden with great, memorable songs.

New Rating: 5/5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 4:31am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Death or Glory
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: Sometimes singled out as Running Wild's best work, Death or Glory does certainly sound more polished compared to their usual rawer edges heavy/power metal material, but for me it just doesn't have the same amount of their best songs on it that certain other RW albums do, though it does still have its share.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 4:33am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Under Jolly Roger
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: The title track is my most played Running Wild song. This is a rawer, shorter album that exists between their more speed metal influenced early work and the power metal classic period, but over time it's become one of my favourites from them in spite of its clear transitional status.

New Rating: 5/5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 5:47am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Blazon Stone
Old Rating: 4/5



Verdict: For me a very slight blip in an otherwise exceptional run of albums that lasted over a decade, Blazon Stone is still better than most of what they've put out since 2000 and is perhaps now better known as the Running Wild album that gave its name to a certain a band who are by all intents and purposes a copycat act yet sound stronger than Running Wild does these days, even on the quite solid Rapid Foray. Most fans would be content for modern Running Wild to be on Blazon Stone's (meaning this album, not the band) level, but instead its a lesser entry in their classic years, stuck in between the much more essential Death or Glory and Pile of Skulls. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 5:50am
Artist: Running Wild
Album: Masquerade
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: I find it quite sad that Running Wild seems to lose a lot of people after Black Hand Inn rather than stick with them for the remainder of their 90s output. While Masquerade is far from their most classic work, it's still also a very strong release that sees them more firmly embracing the power metal sound that was by that point becoming more distinct from traditional heavy metal. Not one to be passed over.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 1:42pm
Artist: Running Wild
Album: The Rivalry 
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: Okay so this is the only Running Wild album I own that will be taking a small rating hit, since it doesn't hold up to a 4.5 star for me now. Not enough of their best songs, just like Blazon Stone, for my money, but still some great choice cuts. Their last solid album until Rapid Foray's return to form. 

New Rating: 4/5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 1:46pm
Artist: Rebellion
Album: The Cleans Are Marching
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: Rebellion's cover of their namesake Grave Digger song is the main reason to own this EP. I actually prefer it to the original, but then I also prefer the band to Grave Digger despite the other also being among my favourites. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 1:49pm
Artist: Rebellion
Album: Miklagard
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: An all time favourite album of mine. If it weren't for albums like Ayreon's The Theory of Everything and Beyond Twilight's For the Love of the Art and the Making with their high track counts this would be my fifth most played album on Last.fm. I've had it for ten years and its still lost nothing. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 1:52pm
Artist: Rebellion
Album: Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Rebellion's last album of the Viking trilogy is also their hardest album - about as hard as a Euro power metal release could really get without entering extreme metal territory. While not the all time favourite among favourites that Mikalgard is, I also like this one hell of a lot too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2020 at 2:24am
Artist: Gamma Ray
Album: Somewhere Out in Space
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Probably my favourite Gamma Ray album, although I do seem to have played Land of the Free more. I find it a really sad state of affairs for metal that this is just so damn hard to get in the UK, both when I got it and even more so now. Land of the Free had an anniversary reissue in 2017 (an odd 22 years after release) but Somewhere Out in Space has received no such treatment. Which kind of sucks for me, as I found on my relisten to this that the mp3 files ripped from it have some corruption, which hints as serious problems with the actual disc. An album I need to replace. Which doubly sucks because I have owned two copies of it before, and sold the other. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2020 at 9:32am
Artist: Grave Digger
Album: Excalibur
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: Continuing the current German power metal theme, we have my favourite album from Grave Digger, which is just as good as I remember it and also just as bad on the pronunciation of some of the lyrics as I remember as well (I'm sure he's singing 'Ravalon' in the final track for example, not 'Avalon'). Love it all the same though. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2020 at 9:32am
Artist: Fejd
Album: Eifur
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: My favourite Fejd album. It's a combo and then new songs and re-recordings from their early demos, which is actually the material I largely discovered the band with. Fejd eventually became a metal band on their fourth album, but on this one and other early releases they sit between Nordic folk music and folk rock and always fit in with the folk metal scene, no heavy guitars required. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2020 at 5:03am
Artist: Scanner
Album: Hypertrace
Old Rating: 5/5



Verdict: The only Scanner album I own, though I have heard most of the rest. This is clearly their best work though. A classic of early German power metal that shouldn't be forgotten and holds its own alongside better known bands. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 7:32am
Artist: Gamma Ray
Album: Power Plant
Old Rating: 4.5/5



Verdict: While I've never found Power Plant to be as strong or interesting as Land of the Free and Somewhere Out in Space, it does represent Gamma Ray still riding a strong wave of material and an important album for any power metal fan to have in its own right. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 3:03pm
^ I consider it the third part of one of those excellent album trios that the artist who made them will never top, like Powerslave / Somewhere in Time / Seventh Son of a Seventh Son are for Iron Maiden.

No World Order is excellent too, but after that I find the Gamma Ray albums merely decent, never outstanding. Same for the early ones. Mid to late 90s though is power metal gold and for me, stronger than what Helloween were putting out at the same time (though I really like Better Than Raw).
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