Riff Police! Pull Over! #104: Holocaust Vs Gamma Ray!

At the apex of the curve of The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in 1981 Edinburgh Scotland natives Holocaust debuted “The Nightcomers“, the first of 11 albums in a 39 year career. The band may not be one that some of the current generation of Metal Heads are aware, but they are certainly of influence with Metallica covering “The Small Hours“, Chris Barnes Six Feet Under could covering “Death Or Glory” on their 1997 album “Warpath” and German Power Metallers Gamma Ray who not only took on the same cut as Six Feet Under but also paid their tribute with “Heavy Metal Mania“. Over their career they have had a revolving door of members but the mainstay has always been guitarist John Mortimer who handled vocals after their debut release, incorporating elements of Thrash, Progressive and Post Punk influences into their signature style.

Having covered that pair of Holocaust tracks on their 1995 “Land Of The Free” re-issue and 2013 EP “Master Of Confusion“, their is no doubt of the influence of Holocaust on Gamma Ray. Formed by Kai Hansen after his departure from Helloween, their debut appeared in 1990 via Noise Records and have themselves have dropped 11 albums in 30 years. Check out the riffs on single “Space Eater” from said debut album with its quirky video and you might hear something familiar…

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