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Unity 2017 featuring Michael and Henjo

Written by Harald on .

unity band 2017 logo

Michael Ehré and Henjo Richter (both Gamma Ray) launch new band Debut album out in spring 2017

With their latest sensational signing, Hanover record imprint Steamhammer/SPV has set the course for more highlights in the coming year: UNITY, the new band founded by drummer Michael Ehré and guitarist Henjo Richter (both Gamma Ray), has signed a long-term contract and is currently busy working on their debut album. The eponymously titled recording has been scheduled for release in early 2017 and aficionados of powerful hard rock and technically accomplished melodic metal can expect to get more than their money’s worth.

Along with their two figureheads, Richter and Ehré, UNITY consists of Gianba Manenti (vocals), Stef E (guitar), Jogi Sweers (bass) and Sascha Onnen (keyboards), all of them musicians that many fans have been familiar with since Ehré’s band Love.Might.Kill arrived on the scene.

“During many gigs and countless hours in the rehearsal room, Michael and I discovered that we are on the same wavelength, on a personal as well as on a musical level. So we came up with the idea of focusing that part of our creativity that goes beyond Gamma Ray in another band,” Richter explains. “UNITY features the perfect line-up for that.”

Michael Ehré is equally enthusiastic: “We’re proud and more than happy to have found a strong partner in SPV/Steamhammer who enjoy an excellent reputation on a global level. The amazing experience and great passion with which Olly Hahn has helmed the label for many years are awesome. We’re really looking forward to our fruitful collaboration and will ensure together that UNITY gets off to a successful start.”

Olly Hahn, A&R at Steamhammer, places great hopes on his new signing: “The outstanding songwriting and great technical skill of everybody involved are unmistakable. For this reason, UNITY suits the Steamhammer team perfectly and we will continue to work flat out for our artists in 2017.”

KAI HANSEN TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “XXX” IN AUGUST 2016

Written by earMusic on .

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KAI HANSEN TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “XXX” IN AUGUST 2016 AND ANNOUNCES DONATION TO WACKEN FOUNDATION.

EXCLUSIVE PERFORMANCE AT WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL 2016.

KAI HANSEN, earMUSIC and WACKEN Foundation are happy to announce the release of "XXX", the first "solo project" album by Kai Hansen, one of the most influential guitarists and singers to emerge from Germany during the first part of the 80s. First with ground-breaking band HELLOWEEN (of which Hansen is one of the founding members) and later with GAMMA RAY, one of the bands that contributed to define the genre power metal, bringing it to generation of devoted fans worldwide since its first album.


"XXX" is, in pure Hansen tongue-in-cheek style, a reference to over 30 years of involvement in the world of heavy rock, as explained with the album's sub-title "Three Decades In Metal".

The album will be released in August 2016 on earMUSIC with further news to be shared soon.

"XXX" is a magical journey. It is the story of how powerful dreams can be.

Dreams and passions big enough to bring a teenager from Hamburg who is in love with rock music, glam rock and the first heavy metal sounds from the practicing space in his bedroom and rehearsal rooms to the biggest stages in the world practicing, and ending up influencing and sharing the stage with the very same bands he admired in the first place.

Not strictly autobiographical, "XXX" is without doubt the story of Kai Hansen but it could very well represent the story of anybody who is not afraid to believe in dreams, with passion and dedication. It is the story of the ups and downs that everybody faces at some point during the journey of life: the lost and found-again friends, the glory, the tragedies and the joys.

After the achievements enjoyed by Hansen lately with Unisonic and especially Gamma Ray's recent work "Empire Of The Undead", Kai Hansen has started working on the album with no precise commercial masterplan. Just playing music with the same spirit as in the very beginning.
This certainly was the reason for Hansen to communicate to his label the intention of donating the first advance payment he will receive for XXX - which in the meantime was shaping into a proper album - to the Wacken Foundation. A foundation which helps and supports young hard rock and heavy metal bands for over seven years now: Musicians full of hopes and dreams, exactly as Hansen had in the beginning of the 30 years story told on this album... in the hope that one day, somebody could tell another 30 years long magic story, also thanks to this album.

Together with Hansen, a stellar band of musicians gravitating around the Chameleon Studio in Hamburg has formed spontaneously:

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF "SIGH NO MORE"

Written by earMusic on .

2015 sigh anniversary cd"Sigh No More" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on September 25th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album Heading For Tomorrow has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm. Their success is based on more than two dozen recordings, among them eleven studio albums, a number of live releases, DVDs, EPs and singles, which have earned Gamma Ray high chart positions on a regular basis. So it comes as no surprise that the group’s ever-growing fan base turns out in hordes wherever they play. And of course the top 15 position of their current release “Empire Of The Undead” and an album-of-the-month nomination in Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines prove unmistakably: Gamma Ray continue to be on the top rung!

In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork. To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

When Gamma Ray started to work on their second studio album Sigh No More in spring 1991, the international heavy metal scene had just been plunged into their first and at the same time most serious crisis to date. Grunge was the flavour of the day and musicians sporting checked shirts and a grubby street look were fast becoming the new stars. At the beginning of September 1991, Nirvana’s hit ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ arrived on the scene and Kurt Cobain became the icon of a new musical genre. The old heroes were considered outdated, or at least so it seemed for some time.
Gamma Ray’s sophomore album “Sigh No More” sure didn’t sound outdated.

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF "HEADING FOR THE EAST"

Written by earMusic on .

2015 heading east anniversary cd"Heading For The East" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on September 25th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album Heading For Tomorrow has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm. Their success is based on more than two dozen recordings, among them eleven studio albums, a number of live releases, DVDs, EPs and singles, which have earned Gamma Ray high chart positions on a regular basis. So it comes as no surprise that the group’s ever-growing fan base turns out in hordes wherever they play. And of course the top 15 position of their current release "Empire Of The Undead" and an album-of-the-month nomination in Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines prove unmistakably: Gamma Ray continue to be on the top rung!

In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork. To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

Following a thoroughly promising career start, their debut Heading For Tomorrow having caused an international stir and netted phenomenal sales figures in February 1990, Gamma Ray embarked on a major tour only a few months after the album release.
As Heading For Tomorrow turned into a commercial success particularly in Asia, Gamma Ray were still on their European tour when they received invitations to Japan: a total of four shows in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. This offer inspired their record company to have producer Steve Payne accompany the band members and their crew to the Land of the Rising Sun to record the two shows in Tokyo for a live DVD (back then, sound and image storage media were still called VHS cassettes).

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF THE DEBUT ALBUM "HEADING FOR TOMORROW"

Written by earMusic on .

It was with great surprise that in 1988 Kai Hansen decided to leave Helloween: the band he co-founded and that in a very few years reached a very high level of success, ending up influencing and challenging the bands that were once their original inspiration.

Hansen left Helloween just when the band had finally reached international stardom and after having won the appreciation of metal giants such as Iron Maiden who often publicly championed the German band. Hansen, Gamma Ray and Helloween are now very good friends, often sharing the stage, but in 1987 the divorce was a proper rock and roll acrimonious one: a true shock for the metal scene. The reasons that brought Kai Hansen to leave the band are still the subject of interviews and fan debates, despite listening to the forthcoming reissue of “Heading For Tomorrow”, 25 years after its original release, it looks very obvious that Kai Hansen destiny was to lead his own band.

2015 heading anniversary cd 300"Heading For Tomorrow" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on July 24th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years after the official debut, Gamma Ray and earMUSIC have started a monumental work to re-release the entire production by Gamma Ray in deluxe double CDs.
The original albums will be re-presented in new shining, remastered version on the first disc (with the inclusions of all B-sides) while the second CD will be dedicated to old live recordings, demos digitalised for the first time from the original tapes saved by all members of the band, alternative versions and recent studio and live recordings.

"Heading For Tomorrow" was initially released as a Kai Hansen solo album. By extracting the LP out of its sleeve, "Heading For Tomorrow" revealed its "secret intention" (it was still the days of LP, or is it again?) revealing a second cover, introducing Kai’s new baby: GAMMA RAY.

GammaRay To Release Their First Ever Best Of Album "The Best (Of)"

Written by earMusic on .

Gamma Ray - The Best (Of) - 2015It’s been a wild ride for Germany’s power metal institution Gamma Ray.
Led by Kai Hansen, one of the most loved metal icons of the last 30 years, Gamma Ray has influenced and shaped the genre since 25 years. Simply put, year after year they became – and stayed – one of the most solid flagships in Classic and Power Heavy Metal and still are its undisputed kings.
Now, after eleven studio albums and the release of their recent studio album “Empire Of The Undead” almost one year ago – the most successful record in the band’s history yet, Gamma Ray is ready to get their first selection of their best and most representative songs on one album.

THE BEST (Of)” is going to be released on January 30th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

Tapes Of The Past

Written by earMusic on .

Kai Hansen busy in a trip back to the tapes days... working on the extra material for the first Gamma Ray reissue. More news soon!

kai hansen 2015 tapes

GammaRay Releasing "Empire Of The Undead" in March 2014

Written by Harald on .

It’s more or less done, the wait is over. Finally, the 11th studio album from GAMMARAY Empire Of The Undead” is almost* done and ready to go.

Empire Of The Undead” the fast metal song in the typical GAMMARAY style that has influenced so many bands around the world, has appeared on the single / EP “Master Of Confusion” an appetizer the band released in 2013, just before touring the world non-stop with “relatives” Helloween.

GAMMARAY worked on the new album during various sessions in 2013, during and in between their perennial tour with Eike Freese at the mixing desk supporting the ever precious work of bass player and co-writer Dirk Schlaechter.
It was just after landing in South America, that an unbelievable news reached Kai Hansen & co.: Hammer Studio, their home, rehearsal place, studio and meeting point for many metal bands in Germany had been blown away by a terrifying fire-stroke, together with instruments, amps, tapes…
Back in their hometurf the band needed to get an overview about their losses only to do what they do best – move on! With that usual Kai Hansen smirk look…
Life is too good to stop and moan.

Nearly everything was destroyed, except the tapes of the almost finished new studio album.
“If this could not stop us… nothing ever will” – joked Kai Hansen -  who also added quotes.

“We got rid of a lot of shit that we gathered there. Unfortunately a lot of good equipment as well. Anyhow, we look into the future and we saved the production and we can continue now in this new place. By mid January we should be done with the work on this album and it’s up to the record company to release it – sometime in March.

Empire Of The Undead” will be released as CD, LP, Limited edition CD with extra visual content and a box that features the CD, a shirt and a poster.