As with the band’s debut 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.
Dirk Schlächter, who had been a guest bassist on their debut, joined the band properly as a guitarist and Uli Kusch became the band’s new drummer.
Musically and lyrically, it is very different than every other Gamma Ray album. The lyrics are less fantasy based and cover topics like the Gulf War, and the music goes the furthest away from the Keeper Of The Seven Keys formula that Kai Hansen has ever been since before those albums were written. It seems as though the band were trying to carve their own niche and escape Helloween comparisons at this point, before finally just giving in and giving the fans what they want with later albums.
On one or two songs, you even get an almost Glam/Early-90s Hard Rock influence audible.
Just because the music is different however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. ‘Rich And Famous’ for example is one of the best Gamma Ray songs out there, ‘The Spirit’ is exciting with its acoustic guitar over electric bass sections and memorable and ‘(We Won’t) Stop The War’ is very catchy even if they’d never write anything that sounds like it again.
The standard of lead guitar, the level of entertainment are and the memorable nature of the choruses are all equal to the standard that fans have come to expect from the band. This record simply adds a bit of variety to your Gamma Ray collection. Not that its even an unrecognizable departure anyway; tracks like ‘As Time Goes By’ and ‘Start Running’ still sound like Judas Priest after all. I suppose its really just the ‘grand’ and ‘epic’ part of the sound that is missing.
Overall; Sigh No More is a very good album, that shouldn’t be overlooked just because it doesn’t fit into the band’s signature formula. There are some fine songs on it and it’s a very entertaining album in its own right. If you like the band you should at least give it a try.