KAI HANSEN – XXX Three Decades In Metal [Japan LTD Ed. bonus disc Only Kai on Vocals) (2016)

KAI HANSEN - XXX Three Decades In Metal [Japan LTD Ed. bonus disc Only Kai on Vocals) (2016) full
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The great, new KAI HANSEN album “XXX Three Decades In Metal” (posted here) features some impressive guest vocalists doing duets with him, but there’s also a Deluxe 2-CD version featuring only Hansen vocals on all tracks, something that at places work better and we are able to truly appreciate his incredible pipes.
This Japanese limited release of “XXX Three Decades In Metal” includes as well a couple of exclusive bonus tracks, two songs from the album in its instrumental versions (but with the vocal choruses into the mix) which are also really good, showcasing how finely these songs have been composed / arranged.

Kai 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.

The result is a unique portfolio of metal tracks that are all 100% Hansen, but all with a slightly different touch. “Born Free” is a dirty metallic hard rocker, followed by a Judas Priest inspired “Contract Sun”, here solely performed by Hansen and gaining a more dynamic vocal flow than the original duet.
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” sound more ‘light’ in the original version featuring Clementine Delauney female vocals. Here, with Hansen only at the mic the track turns more punchy, powerful. It’s impressive how guitarist Eike Freese combines the progressive expression of the song with a Hansen-typical chorus that is highly melodic.

KAI HANSEN - XXX Three Decades In Metal [Japan LTD Ed. bonus disc Only Kai on Vocals) (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 despite the variety it sound cohesive, dynamic and entertaining.
This bonus disc version only with Kai on vocals feels more like true “Kai Hansen record”, something that many will prefer over the original duets release.
It’s a great collection of songs to drift away in memories for the older ones of you and it’s a well-done starters package for youngsters.
Terrific stuff.

01 – Born Free
02 – Enemies Of Fun
03 – Contract Song
04 – Making Headlines
05 – Stranger In Time
06 – Fire And Ice
07 – Left Behind
08 – All Or Nothing
09 – Burning Bridges
10 – Follow The Sun
JAPAN BONUS TRACKS:
11 – Born Free (Karaoke Version)
12 – Burning Bridges (Karaoke Version)

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

BUY IT !
www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/GQCS-90225
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