KAI HANSEN & Friends – XXX : Three Decades In Metal (2016)

KAI HANSEN & Friends - XXX : Three Decades In Metal (2016) full
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Monster vocalist KAI HANSEN is gearing up for the release of “XXX – Three Decades In Metal” tomorrow, September 16. With collaboration from some renowned stars & friends, this is the first solo album by Hansen, one of the most influential singers to emerge from Germany during the first part of the ’80s.

Hansen first made his name with the ground-breaking band Hellowen (of which he is one of the founding members) and later with Gamma Ray, one of the bands that contributed to define the genre melodic power metal, bringing it to generation of devoted fans worldwide since its first album.
“XXX” is, in pure Hansen tongue-in-cheek style, a reference to over 30 years of involvement in the world of heavy rock, as explained with the album’s sub-title, “Three Decades In Metal”.

“XXX – Three Decades In Metal” is a magical journey. It is the story of how powerful dreams can be. Dreams and passions big enough to bring a teenager from Hamburg who is in love with rock music, glam rock and the first heavy metal sounds from the practicing space in his bedroom and rehearsal rooms to the biggest stages in the world practicing, and ending up influencing and sharing the stage with the very same bands he admired in the first place.

Not strictly autobiographical, “XXX – Three Decades In Metal” is without doubt the story of Kai Hansen but it could very well represent the story of anybody who is not afraid to believe in dreams, with passion and dedication. It is the story of the ups and downs that everybody faces at some point during the journey of life: the lost-and-found-again friends, the glory, the tragedies and the joys.

After the achievements enjoyed by Hansen lately with Unisonic and Gamma Ray’s recent work, Kai Hansen started working on the album with no precise commercial masterplan — just playing music with the same spirit as in the very beginning.

This certainly was the reason for Hansen to communicate to his label the intention of donating the first advance payment he will receive for “XXX” — which in the meantime has shaped into a proper album — to the Wacken Foundation, a foundation which helps and supports young hard rock and heavy metal bands for over seven years now: musicians full of hopes and dreams, exactly as Hansen had in the beginning of the thirty years story told on this album… in the hope that one day, somebody could tell another thirty years long magic story, also thanks to this album.

Hansen teams up with Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) on bass, Eike Freese on guitar and Carcass drummer Daniel Wilding on the record.
The four are joined by various guests, ranging from friends to followers to heroes – some having played a significant part in Kai’s career, some who have expressed the wish to join the project, including Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, Avantasia’s Tobias Sammet, shouter Ralf Scheepers, former Helloween band mate Michael Weikath on guitar, and many more.

The result is a unique portfolio of metal tracks that are all 100% Hansen, but all with a slightly different touch. The mentioned “Born Free” is a dirty metallic hard rocker, followed by a Judas Priest inspired “Contract Sun”, with, of course, Ralf Scheeperes sharing the singing with Hansen.
But also modern metal sounds aren’t a ‘no go’ for this album. “Fire and Ice” starts with a dark riff before it turns into a more traditional direction.

“Left Behind” is next, a song that sounds, with the dominant bassline in the verse, almost alternative / progressive. It’s impressive how guitarist Eike Freese combines this alternative metal expression with a Hansen-typical chorus that is highly melodic.
The cherry on this hard rock / metal cake is the female vocals done by Clementine Delauney on “Left Behind” who is a perfect match with Hansen’s way of singing. Alex Dietz’ growls that are part of the tune too add even another style element to music that is a tasty musical cocktail for each metalhead.

KAI HANSEN & Friends - XXX : Three Decades In Metal (2016) back

You’ll find many styles mixed in “XXX – Three Decades in Metal” ranging from classic melodic metal to hard rock, all of which have influenced Kai Hansen all over the years. And desite the variety it sound cohesive, dynamic and entertaining.
It’s a great package to drift away in memories for the older ones of you and it’s a well-done starters package for youngsters.
Terrific.

01. Born Free
02. Enemies Of Fun
(feat. Ralf Scheepers & Piet Sielck)
03. Contract Sun
(feat. Dee Snider & Steve McT as The Manger)
04. Making Headlines
(feat. Tobias Sammet)
05. Stranger In Time
(feat. Michael Kiske, Frank Beck, T. Sammet & Roland Grapow)
06. Fire And Ice
(feat. C. Delauney, M. Bischoff, R. Sjunnesson & Michael Weikath)
07. Left Behind
(feat. Alexander Dietz & Clémentine Delauney)
08. All Or Nothing
(feat. Clémentine Delauney)
09. Burning Bridges
(feat. Eike Freese)
10. Follow The Sun
(feat. Hansi Kürsch & Tim Hansen)

Kai Hansen – vocals, guitar
Alex Dietz – bass
Eike Freese – guitar
Daniel Wilding – drums

Pre-Order:
shop.napalmrecords.com/xxx-three-decades-in-metal-cd.html
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