Gamma Ray – Heading For Tomorrow Review

Gamma Ray - Heading For Tomorrow

Gamma Ray – Heading For Tomorrow

Heading For Tomorrow is the debut album by the legendary German Power Metal band Gamma Ray. It was released in 1990, after guitarist and primary songwriter Kai Hansen left Helloween who had released the incredibly influential Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums.

The vocals on this album are handled by Ralf Scheepers (later of Primal Fear) as opposed to Kai himself, who took over vocal duties on the band’s fourth album. There are additional bass contributions on two of the tracks from Dirk Schlächter, who would later become one of the band’s longest lasting members, first as the band’s guitarist and later bassist.

Opening with the grand, symphonic sounding intro track ‘Welcome’ which sets the scene for things to come, the album starts off strong, kicking into ‘Lust For Life’ which is one of the strongest tracks on the record. Its full of memorable vocal lines, impressive lead guitar work and an interesting structure, therefore pretty much setting the template for Gamma Ray in general.

Other highlights include ‘Money’ which has a bit of an eccentric feel, as well as the catchy ‘Space Eater’ and ‘Free Time’ which is a sort of out-of-place glam number that shouldn’t work but does.

The album ends with a 14-minute title track that has a progressive feel and then a cover of Uriah Heep’s ‘Look At Yourself.’

Later Gamma Ray albums would have a much more direct Queen and especially Judas Priest influence in the sound, and would go further to replicate the sound or at least spirit of Helloween’s Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums, which leaves this debut in a sort of unique position in the band’s catalogue. If you’ve only ever heard their later work it should provide an interesting contrast.

Overall; Looking For Tomorrow is a strong debut from a great band. It is a bit more eccentric and covers more ground than their later work, and its full of interesting music all the way through. If you like anything Kai has ever done, or indeed either the band’s he was inspired by or that he has inspired then this is certainly worth at least giving a listen.

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