I saw Gamma Ray in Mexico City in 2003 and there was a great show, Kai Hansen’s voice it’s great and all the band sounds good. This double live album it’s excellent, but many songs are missing, for example “Abyss of the void”, “Fire below”,”Send me a sign”, “Somewhere out in space”, to name a few. Dan’s drums in the album sounds fantastic, his solo it’s so intense and all the songs are great. Buy it.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
First let me say that I have just recently discovered Gamma Ray. I am a big fan of power metal from the 80s and have been dismayed at the quality of music being offered these days. However, I stumbled across Helloween and then Gamma Ray and they blew my mind away!
Kai Hanson is a musical genius in my opinion because he writes songs that have good melodies. You tend to remember his songs after a couple of times listening to it. You couple this with excellent and powerful guitar work and your have the makings of a truly great band.
I must say that this live album collection of “B” songs is a great introduction to this band as a previous reviewer stated. Kai Hanson’s vocals have gotten better over time and I think his vocal style works better for the type of songs he writes.
Bottom line: I’m happy as a clam. I have some power metal I can listen to. It’s a shame that there aren’t any really good power metal bands in the U.S. (at least that are known), but maybe that is because it is more popular in Europe now than here in the U.S. Whatever the case, all power metal fans should have this album in their collection.
What’s good about it?Whether it’s the nine-minute epic “Armageddon” with its lightning quick dual guitar attack, the Queen-like power ballad “The Silence,” or the power metal blues riffing on “New World Order,” one thing is clear about Gamma Ray, they always present consistent and enjoyable heavy metal music. Sure they have some strange topic to sing about, mostly sci-fi stuff, but that’s the genre. Only in power metal could you get away with the title “Heart of the Unicorn.” Frontman Kai Hansen’s vocals are so gritty and the music is so frantic, you can forgive him for the subject matter. Gamma Ray packs all their songs with plenty of chugga-chugga riffing on the low E string, melodic vocals, powerful choruses, movie epic harmonies, rapid guitar solos, and double kick drums. You’d think that this formula would get kind of old after a while, but each song is unique and never boring. “Rich and Famous” was a b-side from one of their earlier albums. The high-pitched opening riff is sure to stick with you. Gamma Ray rallies the crowd with “Heavy Metal Universe.” You can hear the crowd feed off the group’s energy as they sing along. Be sure to listen to the fluid solo work “Razor Blade Sigh” and “Rising Star/Shine On.” Also included in the double-CD set are video clips for two of the songs performed live. Anything bad?This album was released a year and a half ago overseas. Please save the drum solos for the show, keep them off the CD. I’m sure the fans didn’t vote for it. Bottom Line When you let your fans pick the set list, you know it’s going to be made up of songs not normally played live or heard on the radio. This is always a treat for the fans. If you’re not a fan, don’t let this discourage you. Skeletons In the Closet is a great collection of songs by one of the best power metal groups out there. What else can you say about a group who’s rare and B material is just as great as their A material?