"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Gamma Ray

Formed: 1988
From: Hamburg, Germany
Last Known Status: Active


After 4 years in Helloween, songwriter and guitarist Kai Hansen decided to leave the band in 1988. After some studio work with Blind Guardian, he decided to form he own project. Along with his long-time friend Ralf Scheepers (vocals; ex-Tyran Pace) and Uwe Wessel (bass) and Mathias Burchard (drums), he formed Gamma Ray. They released the album "Heading for Tomorrow" (1990) with guest appearances by Piet Sielck and Dirk Schlächter. Uli Kusch replaced Mathias on drums and Dirk Schlächter is the second guitarist of the band.

In September 1991, the album "Sigh No More" was released. In October of that same year, they started a 50 dates worldwide tour. The third Gamma Ray's album "Insanity And Genius" was released in 1993, when the new band members Thomas Nack (Drums) and Jan Rubach (Bass) were introdudec, replacing Uli and Uwe due to personal problems.

In September, the band along with Rage, Helicon and Conception starts the tour "Melodic Metal Strikes Back". The double CD "Power Of Metal" and the Videos "Power of Metal" and "Lust for live" was released. Singer Ralf Scheepers left the band and was replaced by Kai Hansen. In 1995 the fourth album "Land Of The Free" was released. Jan Jubach and Thomas Nack left the band in 1996 when Dirk Schlächter decided to go back playing bass. Henjo Richter, guitars and Dan Zimmermann on drums. In July of '97, Gamma Ray started an improvised tour in South America (Argentina and Brazil), for delight of their fans. In August '97, they released their album "Somewhere Out In Space."

Latest Gamma Ray News

Below is our complete Gamma Ray news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Paradise Lost Added To Knock Out Festival

The 2008 edition of Germany's Knock Out Festival is scheduled for January 12th at the Europahalle in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The latest act confirmed for the festival is British metallers PARADISE LOST.


The second edition of the Knock Out Festival will be taking place in one of the two Karlsruhe’s biggest indoor-concert venues and will be established as a German indoor winter festival.

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Epica Announced For Knockout Festival

The 2008 edition of Germany's Knock Out Festival is scheduled for January 12th at the Europahalle in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The latest act confirmed for the festival is Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers EPICA.


The second edition of the Knock Out Festival will be taking place in one of the two Karlsruhe’s biggest indoor-concert venues and will be established as a German indoor winter festival.

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Helloween Update Tour Schedule

HELLOWEEN have updated their tour schedule to announce a new date in Spain (January 17th) and a venue change for their November 17th gig in Serbia.

Upcoming Helloween tour dates (with GAMMA RAY) include:

16 - Budapest, Hungary at Petofi Hall
17 - Belgrade, Serbia at SKC (new venue)
18 - Sofia, Bulgaria at Festivalna Hall
21 - Istanbul, Turkey at Venue TBA
23 - Thesaloniki, Greece at Principal
24 - Athens, Greece at Cultural Center Hellinikos Kosmos (NEW VENUE)
27 - Rome, Italy at Tendastrisce
28 - Milano, Italy at Alcatraz
29 - Dietikon, Switzerland at Stadthalle

1 - Lichtenfels, Germany at Stadthalle
2 - Bremen, Germany at Aladin
4 - Goteborg, Sweden at Liseberghallen
5 - Oslo, Norway at Rockefeller
7 - Lund, Sweden at Mejeriet
8 - Stockholm, Sweden at Arenan
10 - Tampere, Finland at Pakkahuone
11 - Helsinki, Finland at Kaapelitehdas
14 - Plzen, Czech Republic at Hala Lokomotiva
15 - Zlin, Czech Republic at Hala Novesta
16 - Pardubice, Czech Republic at CEZ Arena
18 - Kosice, Slovakia at Cassosport Sport Hall
19 - Bratislava, Slovakia at PKO
21 - Langen, Germany at Stadthalle
22 - Kaufbeuren, Germany at All Karthalle

6 - Paris, France at Elysee Montmatre
7 - Tilburg, Holland at 013
8 - London, UK at The Forum
10 - Antwerp, Belgium at Hof Ter Lo
11 - Tuttlingen, Germany at Alte Festhalle
12 - Karlsruhe, Germany at Europahalle
13 - Oberhausen, Germany at Turbinenhalle
15 - Barcelona, Spain at Razzmatazz
17 - Lugo, Spain at Recinto Ferial (new date)
18 - Bilbao, Spain at Rockstar Live
20 - Madrid, Spain at La Riviera

8 - Fukuoka, Japan - Drum Logos
9 - Hiroshima, Japan - Club Quattro
11 - Osaka, Japan - Namba Hatch
12 - Nagoya, Japan - Diamond Hall
14 - Tokyo, Japan - Kosei Nenkin Hall
15 - Tokyo, Japan - Kosei Nenkin Hall

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Gamma Ray Post 'Into The Storm' Video Online

GAMMA RAY's video for the song "Into the Storm" has been posted at this location (Real Media). The track comes off the German band's new album, "Land of the Free II" (cover artwork), due in Europe on November 19 (November 16 in Germany) via SPV Records. The CD will arrive in the U.S. in January.

"Land of the Free II" will be a conceptual continuation of the group's 1995 classic "Land of the Free", and will contain around 65 minutes of music.

GAMMA RAY produced their new album themselves. All four musicians — Kai Hansen, Henjo Richter (guitar), Dirk Schlächter (bass) and Daniel Zimmermann (drums) — are experienced enough to translate their ideas at the studio. But for the first time in ages, the band allowed themselves the luxury of enlisting outside support for certain stages of the recording process. "We wanted to have a clear head in some areas to be able to concentrate on the important things," Hansen explains the enlistment of Tommy Newton (HELLOWEEN, UFO, etc.) and his Area 51 studio in Celle, where the new material was mixed. Newton also took care of the drum parts as a sound engineer at GAMMA RAY's own studio. More...

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Helloween Vocalist Speaks On Kai Hansen

Harris Bakopoulos from Greece's Rockpages.gr webzine recently conducted an interview with HELLOWEEN vocalist Andi Deris during the band's promotional tour for their new album, Gambling With The Devil.

During their chat, Kai Hansen's name came up. Kai played guitar in Helloween on the self-titled debut EP and first four albums: Walls Of Jericho, Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I and II, Live In The UK. After leaving Helloween, Hansen formed GAMMA RAY, who just happen to be hitting the road with Helloween for four months from November '07 to February '08.

Rockpages.gr: The relationship of the band with Kai Hansen seems very healthy nowadays. Helloween has a great and strong lineup which makes clear that there’s no need for a reunion. On the other hand, the fact that Helloween and Gamma Ray are touring together makes some people wonder if the next step is that Kai will return in the band and Helloween continues as a six-member band like IRON MAIDEN did for example. Has this ever crossed your mind and would it ever be possible?

Andi Deris: "First of all, our relationship with Kai Hansen was always healthy. It’s just that now we have the chance to show it to the public. Our rehearsal rooms in Hamburg Germany) are like 15 meters from each other, they even made photos of them and still the fans did not believe it. Now, as far as Kai Hansen returning or not... there’s always room for speculations. Personally, I would say that it will not happen simply because Kai left the band because of too much stress. And I can imagine that Kai will be completely fucked up and stressed out after this tour because he’s playing on nearly every show of the Helloween world tour, so I already know that he will be nearly 'destroyed' after the tour. It’s too much for him, I know that he doesn’t like touring. One of the main reasons for his decision to leave Helloween was too much stress. So, I don’t see him coming back to Helloween in these days when there’s even more stress than during the '80s. Nowadays the world tour is much longer. So, I cannot imagine that this will happen, maybe only as a guest musician and with guest appearances and not as a constant member of a band who’s traveling all around the world again. I know him a little bit..."

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Magica Singer To Perform With Axxis On Tour

Female singer Ana Mladinovici of the Romanian symphonic metal band MAGICA will be a guest on the Hellish Rock Tour featuring HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY and AXXIS. Ana will join AXXIS on stage to sing several songs alongside the band's regular vocalist Bernard Weiss.

MAGICA recently finished filming a video for the song "Entangled". Check out photos from the video shoot at this location.

"Entangled" comes off MAGICA's third album, "Hereafter", which was released on October 19 via AFM Records. The cover artwork was created by Jean Pascal Fournier, who has previously worked with EDGUY and AVANTASIA, among many others. A video for the song "All Waters Have the Colour of Drowning", which will be included on the forthcoming CD, is available for viewing here. More...

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Manowar Make Big Promises For Magic Circle Fest

A five-minute video clip containing left-over fan interviews from the upcoming Magic Circle Festival DVD can be viewed below.

The Magic Circle Festival, which was organized by MANOWAR's Magic Circle Music, took place July 6-7, 2007 Bad Arolsen, Germany and was reportedly attended by 25,000 fans.

In addition to different sets by MANOWAR on each day, this year's Magic Circle Festival featured performances by GAMMA RAY, MAJESTY, HOLYHELL, MOB RULES, STORMWARRIOR, MESSIAH'S KISS, DAVID SHANKLE GROUP, LION'S SHARE, HEAVENLY, IMPERIA and SAIDIAN.

MANOWAR bassist Joey DeMaio reportedly announced at this year's Magic Circle Festival that the event will be held annually from now on. On the first day of next year's gathering, MANOWAR will sign as much stuff as they can and will give away "thousands" of free beers and copies of their new single as well as four custom-built chopper bikes, each belonging to one of the bandmembers. On top of that, MANOWAR will apparently play their first six albums in their entirety, from "Battle Hymns" to "Kings of Metal". More...

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Gamma Ray Sign With Steamhammer/SPV

German power metallers GAMMA RAY have inked a deal with Steamhammer/SPV. The group's new album, "Land of the Free II" (cover artwork), is scheduled for release in Europe on November 19 (November 16 in Germany). The CD will arrive in the U.S. in January.

Commented GAMMA RAY founder Kai Hansen: "Following our previous record company's well-documented restructuring process, we increasingly felt that it would be better to embark on a new course business-wise. The preparations for our joint tour with HELLOWEEN spawned the idea to follow HELLOWEEN's example and work with Steamhammer/SPV in future. We feel certain that this cooperation will give an extra boost to our career."

"Land of the Free II" will be a conceptual continuation of the group's 1995 classic "Land of the Free", and will contain around 65 minutes of music. More...

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Gamma Ray Announce Track Listing

German power metallers GAMMA RAY have revealed the track listing for their new album, "Land of the Free Part II". The CD will be a conceptual continuation of the group's 1995 classic "Land of the Free", and will contain around 65 minutes of music.

"Land of the Free Part II" track listing:

01. Rising Again (0:28)
02. To Mother Earth (5:09)
03. Empress 6:22, Rain (5:20)
04. Into The Storm (3:45)
05. When The World (5:43)
06. From The Ashes (5:30)
07. Leaving Hell (4:20)
08. Real World (5:44)
09. Hear Me Calling (6:45)
10. Opportunity (7:15)
11. Insurrection (11:30)

Photos of GAMMA RAY's May 6 perfomance in Kavarna, Bulgaria have been posted at Pro-Rock.net.

GAMMA RAY's new DVD, entitled "Hell Yeah! The Awesome Foursome (And The Finnish Keyboarder Who Didn't Want To Wear His Donald Duck Costume) Live in Montreal", is tentatively before the end of the year. The disc will feature a multi-camera recording of the band's May 6, 2006 show at Medley in Montreal, Quebec.

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Huge Helsinki Gig Announced

Finnish Metal Events, the parent company behind world renown Tuska Festival and Finnish Metal Expo, presents the biggest ever SONATA ARCTICA show in Helsinki, Finland.

On December 29th, the Kemi-based sextet takes the Cable Factory in Helsinki by blizzard, showcasing unforeseen special effects and unhindered Northern glory.

In addition this, Finnish Metal Events will also present the long-awaited resurgence of NIGHTWISH in Helsinki. The new and improved Nightwish will perform at the Helsinki Icehall on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2008.

If that’s not enough, the very best of German power metal, namely HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY and AXXIS will storm the stage of the Cable Factory on December 11th in yet another Finnish Metal Events extravaganza.

All this is merely foreplay to the fourth annual Finnish Metal Expo during February 15th - 16th, a weekend of total carnage and metal mayhem, consisting of live bands, instrument clinics and the expo area.

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Helloween And Gamma Ray Announce More Dates

More dates have been added to HELLOWEEN's upcoming "Hellish Rock 2007/2008", with GAMMA RAY and AXXIS (supporting on select dates). Here are the confirmed dates:

* w/ AXXIS

Nov. 16 - Budapest, Hungary - Petofi Hall
Nov. 17 - Belgrade, Serbia - Hala Sportova
Nov. 18 - Sofia, Bulgaria - Festivalna Hall
Nov. 19 - Bucharest, Romania - Agronomia Sport Hall
Nov. 21 - Istanbul, Turkey - TBA
Nov. 23 - Thesaloniki, Greece - Principal
Nov. 24 - Athens, Greece - Olympic Properties Arena
Nov. 27 - Rome, Italy - Tendastrisce *
Nov. 28 - Milano, Italy - Alcatraz *
Nov. 29 - Dietikon, Switzerland - Stadthalle *
Dec. 1 - Lichtenfels, Germany - Stadthalle *
Dec. 2 - Bremen, Germany - Aladin *
Dec. 4 - Goteborg, Sweden - Liseberghallen *
Dec. 5 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller *
Dec. 7 - Lund, Sweden - Mejeriet *
Dec. 8 - Stockholm, Sweden - Arenan *
Dec. 10 - Tampere, Finland - Pakkahuone *
Dec. 11 - Helsinki, Finland - Kaapelitehdas *
Dec. 14 - Plzen, Czech Republic - Hala Lokovotiva
Dec. 15 - Zlin, Czech Republic - Hala Novesta
Dec. 16 - Pardubice, Czech Republic - CEZ Arena
Dec. 18 - Kosice, Slovakia - Cassosport Sport Hall
Dec. 19 - Bratislava, Slovakia - PKO
Dec. 21 - Langen, Germany - Stadthalle *
Dec. 22 - Kaufbeuren, Germany - All Karthalle *
Jan. 6 - Paris, France - Elysee Montmatre *
Jan. 7 - Tilburg, Netherlands - 013 *
Jan. 8 - London, England - The Forum *
Jan. 10 - Antwerp, Belgium - Hof Ter Lo *
Jan. 11 - Tuttlingen, Germany - Alte Festhalle *
Jan. 12 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Europahalle (Knock Out Festival)
Jan. 13 - Oberhausen - Germany - Turbinenhalle *

A press release previously stated that "apart from very few festival appearances, this will be the first time ever both bands touring together and bears the possibility of Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY leader and ex- HELLOWEEN member) entering the stage to jam one or the other classic HELLOWEEN song with his former band mates!"

"This is going to be a historical event for all HELLOWEEN fans, we are looking forward to have Kai and his band on our tour with us," stated HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael Weikath.

It is also planned, but not confirmed, to expand this promising package to the territories of South East Asia, North and South America.

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Magic Circle Festival Adds A Second Day

The Magic Circle Festival has now been extended to two days. The festivities will now begin on July 6th, 2007, in addition to the original date of July 7th, 2007. The festival will take place in Bad Arolsen, Germany with the low admission price of 10 Euros for each day. Tickets for the 7th are now available at the official Magic Circle Festival website and tickets for the 6th will be available very soon. "We are very proud that our idea to reward the metal fans around the world with this special event has been received so well that we can give another show to them", says MANOWAR bassist Joey DeMaio.

Besides different sets of MANOWAR on each day, the Magic Circle Festival on July 6 and 7, 2007 will also feature performances of GAMMA RAY, MAJESTY, HOLYHELL, STORMWARRIOR, MESSIAH'S KISS, DAVID SHANKLE GROUP, LION'S SHARE, HEAVENLY and others.

The festival grounds will be opened on July 5 already with a special "Titty Twister Tent". Sufficient campground and on-site parking areas will be provided as well as a shower-city, supermarket and various vendors.

Furthermore, MANOWAR's new double-live album "GODS OF WAR LIVE" will be released on July 6th and will be available for purchase at the festival. This album will not only feature more than two hours of MANOWAR live music, but will also feature an exclusive 7-minute video of the song "Gods Of War", complete with MANOWAR's trademark explosive stage set including fireworks, a Viking ship and other special effects.

A video teaser has been posted on YouTube.com to give fans an example of the performance they can expect to see at the Magic Circle Festival. More...

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Lion's Share Confirmed For Magic Circle Festival

LION'S SHARE confirmed for Germany's MAGIC CIRCLE FESTIVAL with MANOWAR, GAMMA RAY etc on July 7 in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

The LION'S SHARE's video for the song "The Edge of the Razor" has been posted at YouTube.

The track, which features a guest solo from ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, comes off the Swedish melodic metal band's long-awaited comeback album, "Emotional Coma", due on June 15 via AFM Records. More...

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Ragnarok Festival Cancelled

The Ragnarok Festival, which was due to happen on November 4 in Perth, Scotland, has been cancelled, due to poor ticket sales. The bill was to include Doro, Gamma Ray and Dream Evil.

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Kalmah and Others Added to Ragnorak Metalfest

Metalism UK is proud to announce the following additions to it's inaugural RAGNAROK UK METALFEST 2006 lineup.

Astral Doors from Sweden, Circus Maximus from Norway and Kalmah from Finland have been confirmed.

The full lineup for the festival thus far is as follows:

Gamma Ray
Astral Doors
Circus Maximus
Headless Cross

There are still two slots to fill, both of which are the special guest slots directly under Gamma Ray so expect some big announcements in the very near future.

The Ragnarok UK Metalfest is set to take place on Saturday, November 4, 2006 at Perth Concert Hall in Central Scotland, UK.

It will feature a metal market, band signing sessions and much more including the preshow and aftershow parties.

The preshow is set for Friday, November 3, 2006 at The Doghouse in Dundee and will feature Skyclad, Pitiful Reign, Attica Reign, Neverwinter.

Tickets are priced at £35 for the main festival or £43 for the main festival + preshow ticket bundle.

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Complete Lineup Confirmed For NEMHF 2006

The full lineup for the 8th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, which is sponsored this year by ESP Guitars and Krank Amps, has been confirmed.

The three-day festival at The Palladium in Worcester, MA, will feature headliners Lacuna Coil, Black Dahlia Murder, and Between the Buried and Me on Friday, April 28. Arch Enemy, Chimaira, and Exodus will headline Saturday, April 29. Headliners for Sunday, April 30 are Gamma Ray and DragonForce.

UK-based DragonForce will be making its first-ever American appearance at the festival. Italy's Lacuna Coil and Sweden's Arch Enemy will be making return appearances at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, after stellar performances at the 2003 and 2002 editions of the festival.

"It's fantastic to be a part of what is quite possibly the best U.S. metal fest around!" said Arch Enemy guitarist Mike Amott. "This is our third time playing the New England Metal and Hardcore fest and it's always a pleasure. It's held in a great venue with great fans."

"It is an honor for us to be one of this year's headliners at the New England Metal and Hardcore festival," said vocalist Andrea Ferro. "We are more than ready for it. We can't wait."

Bands confirmed for Friday (listed alphabetically) are: A Life Once Lost, A Perfect Murder, Alarum, Arsis, Between The Buried And Me, Black Dahlia Murder, Cephalic Carnage, Dead To Fall, Demiricous, Ed Gein, From A Second Story Window, Haste The Day, If Hope Dies, Lacuna Coil, Ligeia, Necrophagist, Neuraxis, Nodes Of Ranvier, Ringworm, Scarlet, Still Remains, Suicide Silence, The Absence, Thine Eyes Bleed and Through The Eyes Of The Dead.

Saturday's bands include 100 Demons, Arch Enemy, At All Cost, Caliban, Chimaira, Colin Of Arabia, Cryptopsy, Damnation AD, Death Threat, Embrace The End, Exodus, First Blood, Full Blown Chaos, God Forbid, Hate Eternal, Immolation, Into The Moat, Ion Dissonance, Overcast, Ramallah, Remembering Never, Righteous Jams, Scars Of Tomorrow, Shoot To Kill, Since The Flood, Skinless, Spitfire, Suffocation, Sworn Enemy, Terror, The Acacia Strain, The Classic Struggle, The JonBenet, and Turmoil.

Sunday's lineup is: A Love End Suicide, Bloodlined Calligraphy, Born Victim, Bronx Casket Company, Burn In Silence, Byzantine, Cannae, Cellador, Doom Raider, DragonForce, Folly, Gamma Ray, Goat Horn, Hypersolid, Inked In Blood, Into Eternity, Light This City, Losa, Mercury Switch, On Broken Wings, Phoenix Morning, Protest The Hero, Sanctity, The Miles Between, Torn Asunder, Trouble, Twelve Tribes, Who Killed The Prom Queen, Wolf, xdeathstarx, and xlooking forwardx.

Talent is subject to change.

The 8th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival is also sponsored by Prosthetic Records, 2nd Stage sponsor; Revolver Magazine, exclusive magazine partner and creator of the official event program; Facedown Records, sponsor of street marketing efforts; FUSE TV; Mazur PR; The Syndicate; and many others.

Vendors this year include Century Media/Nuclear Blast, Deepsend Records, ESP Guitars/Krank Amps, Eulogy Recordings/Hand Of Hope Records, Facedown Records, Fuse TV/Uranium, Lifeforce Records, Metal Blade Records, Oak Knoll Productions, Prosthetic Records, Red Rocket Records, Relapse Records, Revolver Magazine, Stillborn Records/Hatewear Inc., Trustkill Records, Victory Records, and others.

Friday tickets are $35.00; Saturday and Sunday individual day tickets are $40.00. Three-day passes are $109.50. Tickets are available now at all Strawberries Record Stores, online at tickets.com, or by calling tickets.com at (800) 477-6849. There is re-entry at this all-day event until 6 p.m. each day.

The Palladium is located at 261 Main Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Visit the festival website at metalandhardcorefestival.com or myspace.com/metalandhardcorefestival.

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Gamma Ray Add Single Midwest Stop To Tour

Hamburg-based GAMMA RAY featuring Kai Hansen from Helloween on lead vocals will make their only Midwest/mid-country appearance at the Rock Nightclub in Maplewood, Minnesota, on Friday, May 12, 2006. This performance will be the closing date of their first-ever US tour and the only performance that does not take place on either the east or the west coast. This will also be the band’s first-ever performance in Minnesota.

After weeks of negotiations, Nathan Block of the local independent SwordLord Productions finally secured an additional date with Gamma Ray’s agent and management after it was announced via the band’s website that only an extremely limited tour of the United States had been planned. Gamma Ray was only scheduled to play 5 dates in the United States: 3 on the east coast and 2 on the west with no stops in between.

“I am extremely grateful to John Finberg of First Row Talent out of LA and all of the management of Gamma Ray for allowing an extra date on this tour. There are many, many non-coast based fans that are going to be able to see this band now that otherwise could not have. This concert is going to be an amazing experience for many people – including myself!” says Nathan Block who is producing the show. Block’s company, SwordLord Productions has produced several first-time Minnesota appearances including Germany’s Blind Guardian and most recently Finland’s Sonata Arctica.

Co-producing the show is another independent Minnesota promoter – John McGovern of Mayhem Productions. Mayhem made headlines locally and in cyberspace with the crushing debut of Heathen Crusade in January, a showcase for many first-time European bands in Minnesota.

Special guests performing with Gamma Ray on 5/12 will be ION VEIN, Chicago’s power metal sensation and MILES BEYOND from Michigan. More bands and special events are planned and will be announced as they develop.

GAMMA RAY will be doing a meet-and-greet autograph session with fans following the Minnesota performance. Meet-and-greet sessions have been a trademark of every SwordLord Productions concert.

Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, March 11. Information about ticket locations, venue location and other information can be found by visiting MySpace.com/GammaRayMN or by emailing SwordLord2003@aol.com.

Here are all of Gamma Ray's scheduled tour dates and festivals: More...

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New England Metal & Hardcore Festival 2006 Details

MassConcerts has announced that the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival will return once again to the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Friday April 28, Saturday April 29 and Sunday April 30. Friday tickets are $35.00; Saturday and Sunday individual day tickets are $40.00. Three-day passes are $109.50. Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 24 at 10:00am at all Strawberries Record Stores, online at tickets.com, or by calling tickets.com at (800) 477-6849.

Proclaimed in past years as one of the best American festivals focusing on heavy music, the three-day show will host numerous metal, hardcore, and metalcore bands along with a jam-packed vendor area where fans can purchase hard-to-find CDs, t-shirts, and other music merchandise. ESP Guitars will be giving away guitars and Krank Amps will be giving away amps and even a half stack. These two great companies will also be bringing you up close and personal with some of the bands they endorse - so as we get closer to fest we will have schedule of artist signings and other surprises.

The show will once again take place on two stages at The Palladium. Bands that have already been confirmed for the festival are: Lacuna Coil, Gamma Ray, DragonForce (first time EVER in America!), Arch Enemy, Chimaira, The Black Dahlia Murder, Bullet For My Valentine, Exodus, Cryptopsy, 100 Demons, A Perfect Murder, Alarum, Arsis, Bloodlined Calligraphy, Bronx Casket Company, Byzantine, Caliban, Cattle Decapitation, Colin Of Arabia, Damnation AD, Dead To Fall, Death Threat, Demiricous, Dying Eyes Bleed, Ed Gein, Embrace The End, Folly, Full Blown Chaos, Goat Horn, God Forbid, Hate Eternal, Horse The Band, Hypersolid, If Hope Dies, Immolation, Inked In Blood, Into Eternity, Ion Dissonance, Ligeia, Losa, Mercury Switch, Necrophagist, Neuraxis, Nodes Of Ranvier, On Broken Wings, Protest The Hero, Ramallah, Righteous Jams, Ringworm, Sanctity, Scars Of Tomorrow, From A Second Story Window, Shoot To Kill, Since The Flood, Skinless, Still Remains, Suffocation, Sworn Enemy, The Acacia Strain, The Absence, The Classic Struggle, The Miles Between, Torn Assunder, Trouble, Twelve Tribes, I Killed The Prom Queen, Wolf, xDEATHSTARx, and xLOOKINGFORWARDx. More bands will be announced in the coming weeks. Talent is subject to change.

"We’ve been extremely happy with how this festival has grown over the years," said MassConcerts Booking Agent and festival co-founder Scott Lee, "and this year the lineup is one of the most varied yet - a great mixture of different styles of bands."

The 8th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival is brought to you by ESP Guitars and Krank Amps, teaming up to present the festival this year; Prosthetic Records, which is sponsoring the 2nd Stage upstairs, Revolver Magazine our exclusive magazine partner and creator of the official event program, Facedown Records which is sponsoring our street marketing efforts, FUSE TV, Mazur PR and The Syndicate. Vendors this year include Century Media, Trustkill, Eulogy/Hand of Hope, Metal Blade, Red Rocket Records, and many others.

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Gamma Ray Guitarist Injured In Accidental Fall

German power metallers GAMMA RAY have posted the following message on theie official web site:

"Last Sunday [Jan. 15] on the ferry boat from Stockholm to Helsinki, Henjo [Richter, guitar/keyboards] was badly injured falling down a stairway. He suffered strong bruises which made it unimpossible for him to play the upcoming shows. He was directly delivered to a hospital in Helsinki where he was examined and treated with strong painkillers. Henjo is [currently] at home in Hamburg for recovery but he hopes to be able to jump on the actual tour again soon. The band hopes that he's back already for the Gothenburg show but can't promise it. Latest for the show in Moscow Henjo will be back on stage. In the meantime he's replaced by Kasperi Heikkinen from the Finnish GAMMA RAY tribute band GUARDIANS OF MANKIND. Kasperi is the second member of GUARDIANS OF MANKIND beside keyboarder Eero Kaukomies who joins the GAMMA RAY lineup on the Majestic tour.

"We all wish Henjo a good and fast recovery!"

GAMMA RAY's latest album, "Majestic", was recorded and mixed at Hansen Studios in Hamburg, Germany. Mastering duties were handled at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland by Mikko Karmila and Kai Hansen. The follow-up to 2001's "No World Order" includes 10 tracks which represent "all of the characteristic strengths of the band's musical career to date," the group write on their web site.

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Into Eternity Open For Gamma Ray In North America

It appears as if INTO ETERNITY have been added to GAMMA RAY's upcoming short North American tour. Dates for the tour are as follows:

April 30 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium (NE Metal & Harcore Fest)
May 1 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club
May 2 - Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
May 4 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
May 5 - Quebec City, QC @ Le Capitole
May 6 - Montreal, QC @ Le Medley

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