“Power Plant” is the 6th full-length album from Gamma Ray. The album was released in 23th of March 1999 and it was the first in which the lineup from one album to the next remain unchanged, with Kai Hansen on vocals and guitar, Henjo Richter on guitar, Dirk Schlächter on bass and Dan Zimmermann on drums.
Of course everyone can see the similarity of the album’s cover with Maiden’s “Powerslave” but musically speaking “Power Plant” seems more a Kai’s tribute to Judas Priest, disguised with teutonic power metal tricks. Still the album has some brilliant ideas, and the result is quite interesting but it also falls into the trap and many songs sound the same. After all it was a weird time for Power Metal in 1999, as the sub genre’s “empire” was falling apart and the masses were just not into it anymore, but still Gamma Ray was there to support it. To be really honest “Power Plant” is even more Power Metal than its predecessor “Somewhere Out In Space” having only “happy songs” (even though the lyrics talk about humanity’s destruction… & without any ballad), that marked 90’s but are coming from another era for today’s listeners.
Despite that the “problem” that the album has is that it doesn’t have the same quality in its whole entirety, while the middle part seems rather weak, and as a result the great expectations that the beginning of the album created cannot be fulfilled. With 8 songs (not 11) as almost every release had in vinyl days, the album would have been more solid and much stronger. Despite the weird moments as the Manowar-like “Heavy Metal Universe” (almost a rip-off…), the Judas Priest-like “Hand Of Fate” (but not so Priest as “Solid” from their 2001 next album “No World Order”) and the cover on Pet Shop Boys “classic” hit “It’s A Sin”, “Power Plant” has some classic tunes too. “Gardens Of The Sinner”, “Anywhere In The Galaxy”, the ridiculously catchy “Send Me A Sign” and “Armageddon” are songs that have passed the test of time and Kai’s fans just love ‘em.
A melodic, square and decent release, not a masterpiece but definitely an honest album of sprightly speed/power metal. Sounding still fresh to my ears after almost 16 years by the way…