"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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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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Nocturnal Rites Update

Swedish melodic metal outfit NOCTURNAL RITES has successfully finished its tour throughout Europe with German speed metal act Gamma Ray. Bassist Nils Eriksson’s personal feedback:

“Just back from touring all over Europe with Gamma Ray. Weird - two days ago I was drinking beer without my shirt on in the sun in Kaufbeuren and when I get back home we have -10 Celcius. We had a blast in Europe and did some really, really fucking great shows. The new songs went down great and now we can\'t wait to start our headlining trek in Sweden. Now I have to sober up. I guess I can\'t drive my car until another couple of weeks... Hats off to all fans for showing up and raising hell with us. We love you all...“

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Gamma Rays First Week Chart Positions

GAMMA RAY's new album, "Majestic", has entered the national album charts in the following countries:

#20: Sweden
#28: Finland
#33: Czech Republic
#39: Germany
#169: France

Due in the U.S. on October 11, "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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Gamma Ray Drummer Cancels Drum Clinic

GAMMA RAY drummer Daniel Zimmermann was forced to cancel his previously announced drum clinic at the Swedish Metal Expo in Stockholm on August 27 due to the fact that GAMMA RAY will be performing a show in Varna, Bulgaria on that date. "I'm sorry for that," Zimmerman writes on his web site. "I already talked to the promoter to do the workshop in 2006."

GAMMA RAY's new album, "Majestic" is scheduled for release on September 26 via Sanctuary Records.

"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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Nocturnal RItes To Support Gamma Ray

Swedish power metallers NOCTURNAL RITES will be supporting GAMMA RAY on their upcoming European tour. Confirmed dates are as follows:

Sep. 27 - Pilzen, CZR @ KD-Club Seoikova
Sep. 29 - Budapest, HUN @ Petöfi Hall
Sep. 30 - Zlin, CZR @ Golem
Oct. 01 - Zvolen, SLO @ City Sports Hall Website
Oct. 03 - Milano, ITA @ Rolling Stone
Oct. 04 - Pratteln, SWI @ Z7
Oct. 05 - Lyon, FRA @ Transbordeur
Oct. 07 - Bergara, SPA @ San Sebastian
Oct. 08 - Madrid, SPA @ La Riviera
Oct. 09 - Porto, POR @ Club Hard
Oct. 11 - Barcelona, SPA @ Razzmatazz 1
Oct. 12 - Zaragoza, SPA @ TBA
Oct. 14 - Lichtenfels, GER @ Stadthalle
Oct. 15 - Langen, GER @ Stadthalle
Oct. 16 - Bonn, GER @ Brückenforum
Oct. 17 - Paris, FRA @ Elysee Montmartre
Oct. 19 - Oberhausen, GER @ T-Club Turbinenhalle
Oct. 20 - Hamburg, GER @ Markthalle
Oct. 21 - Osnabrück, GER @ Hydepark
Oct. 22 - Kaufbeuren, GER @ All- Karthalle


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More Tuska Open Air Details Revealed

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival has added more international and Finnish acts to the 2005 roster. The line-up is almost complete with only 1 more artist to be added for Saturday afternoon as well as the winner from the band contest at Rotonde-Festival, France, which is to be held later this spring. This year's Tuska-Festival is more international than ever, with nearly half of the artists coming from abroad. The evening clubs will most likely see some international action as well.

New additions in Finnish professionalism will be represented by Apocalyptica, whose cello metal is witnessed way too rarely on their native soil. Apocalytica just recently supported Rammstein on their European tour and appeared stateside on a few selected dates.

German precision and universal greatness is brought to you by the mighty Gamma Ray. The band last appeared on the bill at Tuska 2000 and have since built their fanbase by selling out club shows on a regular basis.

Other additions include up-and-coming death metallers Amoral, Finnish-singing Stam1na and Viikate, as well as Callisto who are about to embark on a European tour in a few weeks.

The search continues for one more, either domestic or foreign artist.

Ticket sales for Tuska 2005 start on Friday April 1st. Three-day ticketcosts 67 euro, one-day ticket 32 euro. Go to www.lippupalvelu.fi to purchase tickets.

Current Tuska 2005 line-up reads as follows: More...

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Big Names Confirmed For Bang Your Head Festival

Twisted Sister, Dio, Saxon and the re-united Candlemass are all booked to appear at next year's Bang Your Head festival, which happens at Balingen, Germany on 24/25. Also on the bill for the tenth anniversary of the festival are Doro, Sebastian Bach, Nevermore, Krokus, Gamma Ray, Axel Rudi Pell and Amon Amarth.

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Freedom Call Set Working Title For New Album

German power metallers Freedom Call , who feature in their ranks Gamma Ray drummer Daniel Zimmermann, have set "Circle of Life" as the working title of their new album, tentatively due in January/February 2005 through SPV Records. "Drum recordings took place in Kai Hansen ‘s [Gamma Ray] studio in Hamburg, all other recordings will be made in Nuremberg," Daniel writes on the group's web site. "There will be 11 new songs on the album. In general you could say that Freedom Call have stayed true to their style, even if you should be ready for some surprises. All the things Freedom Call ever represented will be in there, like fast melodic speed-anthems, progressive arrangements, ballad parts, but also modern elements. The album will be mixed by Sascha Paeth, who you surely know of his work with Rhapsody and Heaven´s Gate." A European tour will follow the album release.

Freedom Call issued a live album, entitled "Live Invasion", in May through SPV. The disc, which was recorded on the band's tour with Blind Guardian, includes a special bonus CD featuring the "Tears Of Taragon" EP plus two tracks that were previously only available in Japan.

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Wacken Open Air Festival DVD Info

Armageddon Over Wacken
Various Artists
Street Date: October 19, 2004
Catalog Number: CMU 61127

Wacken Open Air is a yearly metal festival held in the small farming town of Wacken, Germany.The festival started out 14 years ago and has now amassed an attendance up to 35,000 people and is the largest metal gathering in Europe. Crash Music is proud to release the live concert two DVD set.

The DVD includes performances by many well known metal gods such as Twisted Sister, Saxon, Nile, The Crown, Testament, Vader, In Flames, Gamma Ray and many more. Also includes backstage and behind the scenes footage of the Wacken Open Air festival. The DVD was shot in 5.1 Surround Sound for exceptional audio quality.

Artist & Song Listing: More...

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Bloodstock Changes Set Times

Bloodstock has shuffled their set times, so take note if you are planning to attend. This means bands will start earlier in the day on both days. Nearly all stage 2 bands will be playing during changeovers of stage 1 so you should all get to see all the bands on the bill if you want to. The festival takes place 2 weeks from today in The UK.

Here are the new set times: More...

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Freedom Call Begin Recording New Album

German power metallers Freedom Call, who feature in their ranks Gamma Ray drummer Dan Zimmermann, have commenced the recording process for their new album, tentatively due in early 2005 through SPV Records. No further details are available at this time.
Freedom Call issued a live album, entitled "Live Invasion", in May through SPV. The disc, which was recorded on the band's tour with Blind Guardian, includes a special bonus CD featuring the "Tears Of Taragon" EP plus two tracks that were previously only available in Japan.

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Guest Musicians On New Angra Album

GAMMA RAY's Kai Hansen and BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch are among the guests confirmed to appear on ANGRA's much-anticipated follow-up to 2001's "Rebirth", tentatively due this summer through SPV Records (NTS Records in France).

According to an official press release from NTS, the as-yet-untitled effort "is a conceptual one. It tells a very interesting [story] developed by guitar player Rafael Bittencourt. The writing is extremely well done and the lyrics of each song are tightly connected to the others." Other guests scheduled to appear on the CD include Brazilian musician Milton Nascimento, Douglas Las Casas and Silvia Goes.

As previously reported, much of the initial recording sessions for the new CD took place at Mosh Studios in São Paulo, Brazil under the guidance of producer Dennis Ward (SILENT FORCE, PINK CREAM 69). Ward had previously worked with the group on the acclaimed "Rebirth" album, which had achieved gold status in Brazil for sales in excess of 50,000 copies.

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Gamma Ray To Headline Bloodstock 04

After their triumphant appearance at Bloodstock in 2002, GAMMA RAY return to headline the Friday night of 3rd September 2004. Creating an opening night of pure Metal Mayhem, Gamma Ray will be joined by the mighty SINERGY (including members of Children of Bodom) and from the UK, the oustanding, ILLUMINATUS who demand to be witnessed on a big stage! Anyone who has seen them on tour recently will realise why they are back this year.

The Friday night lineup will be:

GAMMA RAY - 3rd UK visit
SINERGY - Only their second visit to the UK
ILLUMINATUS - Highlight of Bloodstock 2003, Powerplay 9/10

Other UK bands recently confirmed are Power Metal heroes INTENSE opening up the main stage on Saturday, with Doomsters THE PROPHECY , GUTWORM , Progressive HUMANITY and RITUAL OF HATE , nicely filling the Darwin Suite on Saturday.

Another 7 or 8 bands are expected to be added to the Bloodstock bill in the coming weeks/months.

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Four More Confirmed For Metal Mania Festival

QUEENSRŸCHE, GAMMA RAY, ANTHRAX, U.D.O. and PRETTY MAIDS have been officially added to this year's Metal Mania festival, a 3-day event set to take place June 25-27 in Villarobledo (Albacete), Spain. The event is being headlined by a reunited JUDAS PRIEST. More info at www.metalmaniafestival.com.

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