Gamma Ray almost finished building 'Empire of the Undead'

Power-metal band's upcoming record saved from a fire

The star-crossed eleventh studio album from power-metal giants Gamma Ray is almost finished, and that, in and of itself, is something of a miracle.

Christened Empire of the Undead, the record almost didn't see the light of day. Throughout 2013, with Eike Freese doing the mixing, bass player and co-writer Dirk Schlaechter worked on the record, but when the band landed in South America while on tour with Helloween, Kai Hansen and company got some bad news. Here's a video update from Gamma Ray:

Their home, their rehearsal space and a meeting place for many metal bands throughout Germany, otherwise known as Hammer Studio, had burned to the ground. Everything was in ruins, everything except tapes of the nearly-finished new studio album.

Stunned by the disastrous turn of events, Gamma Ray wasn't about to wave any white flag, as Hansen said in a recent press release updating progress on the record.

"If this could not stop us, nothing ever will," joked Hansen. "We got rid of a lot of shit that we gathered there. Unfortunately, a lot of good equipment as well. Anyhow, we look towards the future, we saved the production and we can continue now in this new place. By mid-January we should be done with the work on this album."

As Gamma Ray is wont to do, they've charged into the breach with a racing and dramatic title track that also appeared on the single/EP Master of Confusion, which was released last year as a teaser for the upcoming full-length.

Due out this late this spring in North America, Empire of the Undead will be released on CD, LP and digitally via Armoury Records in conjunction with earMusic. More details are forthcoming. 

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