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.

Said Hansen: "'Majestic' presented GAMMA RAY's dark side, while its predecessor, 'No World Order', was more of an Eighties-inspired record. This time we wanted to turn our attention to a side of the band that has always been our greatest strength: positive power."

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.

Starting at the end of November, the band will embark on the Hellish Rock 2007/08 tour alongside HELLOWEEN. "The idea for the tour matured during a number of major festivals, where GAMMA RAY and HELLOWEEN both played," explained Hansen. "As both bands' schedules are running parallel for the first time in years, we decided to put this idea into practice at last." The fans can look forward to a full GAMMA RAY show, plus a nightly session together with HELLOWEEN, likely to feature a number of classics from Kai Hansen's own HELLOWEEN era.

"Land of the Free 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)

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 late 2007/eatluy 2008. The disc will feature a multi-camera recording of the band's May 6, 2006 show at Medley in Montreal, Quebec.

Check out the cover artwork for "Hell Yeah! The Awesome Foursome (And The Finnish Keyboarder Who Didn't Want To Wear His Donald Duck Costume) Live in Montreal" at this location.

Watch professionally filmed video footage of GAMMA RAY and HELLOWEN performing HELLOWEEN's "I Want Out" at the 2006 Masters of Rock festival in the Czech Republic.


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