Hey everyone, Danny Guts here. This week on Laurier Loud, the focus was on German heavy metal. I was very happy with the amount of bands I did manage to cover. Particularly the look at Helloween and Gamma Ray. These two bands are very important.
I think it is particularly interesting how a band like Helloween managed to attract such a fan base, but still never really made it in North America. I always thought they were very close to breaking through, however looking at it it appears there were other factors at play. Maybe if Kai Hansen hadn’t left the band, or if the next album after Keepers part II had been very good, or even sold well, the whole thing might have ended up differently. Instead the band fell victim to poor sales and in-fighting, right when they would have needed to be getting out there. Now they still ended up doing pretty well for themselves in Europe, and more recently they have been a bit more successful over here (thanks to the internet making them more available). But they are a great example of how fickle the music industry itself can be, and how it really can come down “to right place, right time”.
Gamma Ray are a fun example because they show how a band can really grow over time. If you listen to early Gamma Ray, they really sound more like a Judas Priest early power metal kind of band, but when Kai Hansen took over on vocals, they changed it up to be more speed focused and completely original. This is why I love them so much.
It is also very interesting to see how much collaboration occurs in this scene. The guys from Gamma Ray, Helloween, Blind Guardian and Edguy have all worked together and been there for one another in some way. You don’t get this as much in North American Heavy Metal. I’m not really sure why, but it is cool to look at. I really enjoy the friendship these guys seem to have, and I really hope this continues in the future.
I wish I had had more time for German Thrash, but I will get to that at some point, I promise.
That’s all for tonight, Remember to keep the faith