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Gamma Ray’s new song “Hellbent” gets a lyric video

Gamma Ray Empire of the Undead

In a continuing display of the dominance of German metal, Gamma Ray have been making excellent power/speed metal for more than two decades now. Formed after Kai Hansen left Helloween, Gamma Ray are, along with Blind Guardian, one of the quintessential German power metal groups combining speed, riffs, catchy melodies, and a searing intensity.

It took a couple of albums and a singer change for Gamma Ray to truly find their way, but after the breakout Land of the Free, which saw guitarist Kai Hansen assume vocal duties, the band has not looked back. In March, they will release their 11th studio album, titled Empire of the Undead, despite an unfortunate incident where their studio burned down.

To celebrate, yesterday the band unveiled a new song from the album in the form of a lyric video! The track is called “Hellbent” and it is exactly the kind of blood-pumping, adrenaline overdriven heavy metal track we have come to expect from Gamma Ray. Kai Hansen is as fantastic as he always is; his voice is immensely enjoyable, and his guitar work is masterful. At first, the song sounds like it might be about some sort of apocalyptic event, but as it gets into the chorus, it becomes clear that it is, in fact, about heavy metal. Normally, that kind of subject matter is pretty cliched and ridiculous (see Manowar) but Gamma Ray are pretty convincing and manage to sound earnest about it without being too cheesy – though I suppose what is cheesy to some people might not be to me, considering I love power metal in all forms.

Hellbent” reminds me more of Painkiller-era Judas Priest though, rather than the mozzarella macho stomp of Manowar. Plus, Kai Hansen has one of the best voices in metal. Check it:

Hellbent” is not the first song to be released from the album. Last year, Gamma Ray released an EP which contains two songs that will be on Empire of the Undead.

Empire of the Undead will be released on March 28th via earMUSIC.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014