HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY have announced the details of the Japanese leg of their "Hellish Rock" tour. The dates are as follows:
Feb. 08 - Fukuoka, Japan - Drum Logos
Feb. 09 - Hiroshima, Japan - Club Quattro
Feb. 11 - Osaka, Japan - Namba Hatch
Feb. 12 - Nagoya, Japan - Diamond Hall
Feb. 14 - Tokyo, Japan - Kosei Nenkin Hall
Feb. 15 - Tokyo, Japan - Kosei Nenkin Hall
Apart from a few festival appearances, this will be the first joint tour by HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY. According to both bands, it is highly likely that GAMMA RAY mastermind Kai Hansen, a former HELLOWEEN member himself, will join his ex-colleagues in a jam session featuring HELLOWEEN classics.
"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."
HELLOWEEN's twelfth studio album, entitled "Gambling with the Devil", consists of eleven songs (plus an intro, spoken by SAXON's Biff Byford) with a total playing time of 57 minutes and 40 seconds. For their many faithful fans, there will also be a limited first edition (40,000 units in a digipak with an embossed and stamped slipcase to be released in Europe, and 10,000 units in a jewel case in the U.S.) with a bonus CD featuring two extra tracks, the video for the first single "As Long As I Fall", and a "making-of" of the video, including interview sequences. As a special highlight, the first edition includes a scratch ticket with an exciting puzzle, as described in detail on the HELLOWEEN homepage. The solution to the puzzle allows you to register at Helloween.org and take part in a draw with a sensational first prize: The lucky winner will receive a trip for two to a HELLOWEEN show in America — including flight, accommodation at the band hotel, backstage tickets, and, of course, a personal meeting with the band! There are also signed Gibson/Epiphone guitars and great fan packs to be won.
HELLOWEEN — Andi Deris (vocals), Michael Weikath (guitar), Sascha Gerstner (guitar), Markus Großkopf (bass) and Dani Löble (drums) — will release "Gambling with the Devil" on October 23, 2007 (USA), October 26, 2007 (Germany) and October 29, 2007 (rest of Europe).
GAMMA RAY recently 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.
"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.