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In 2015 and 2016, earMUSIC will release expanded and remastered versions of the entire Gamma Ray catalogue and first up is of course the debut album Heading For Tomorrow, which was originally released in February 1990, in a time when Kai Hansen quite recently had parted ways with Helloween.
This record is pretty far from being one of Gamma Ray's greatest and most appreciated efforts and needless to say, it belongs to a period prior to the band's decision to go all in for power metal. Kai probably didn't know what kind of music he wanted to come out with at this point, other than distinctively distance himself from his former band and therefore the album's direction is kind of scattered and unfocused and it contains everything in a span of great songs to a pair of pretty bad ones.
This remastered issue is sonically a little clearer than the original, but it also makes the record come out kind of dry with a different range and with a few instruments too high in the mixing occasionally. The bonus material is extensive with a few B-sides, 4 demos with Kai on vocals and some different kind of stuff like live recordings and instrumental versions. Its contents are fun to listen to once or twice and this section naturally doesn't have state of the art sound quality, as it decidedly is pretty unpolished and rough.
Even if lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers does a great job on this recording, I personally think that this effort was created before he reached his full potential on all levels, as he later became one of metal's finest singers.
When I listen to the album and its 2 successors Sigh No More and Insanity And Genius, I think that it was nothing but great that Kai and Ralf ultimately went separate ways, because Ralf later formed one of my biggest favorites, Primal Fear, with Mat Sinner, and Gamma Ray basically turned into a far greater band with a different type of music and with Kai behind the microphone.