I must admit that Gamma Ray choose the right path with this specific release. You see, when you are on your 23rd year in the music business as a band and this is your fourth live album, then you are aware –almost beforehand- that you won’t gain any new fans (especially in this time and age) but you must give something special to your die hard fans who have stood by you through thick and thin all these years. “Skeletons & Majesties Live” was released especially for the fans –at least that’s my point of view- and they will enjoy it in an absolute degree!
Gamma Ray’s classic line-up of Hansen/Schlachter/Richter/Zimmermann performs at the famous Z7 Club in Pratteln, Switzerland and the guys present a set list full of obscure and rarely played songs that normally wouldn’t find their way on a regular Gamma Ray show. I am sure that it is sufficient enough in order to prove our point if we just mention that in here we are treated with acoustic versions of “Rebellion in Dreamland” and “Send Me A Sign”, that the show opens with the criminally underrated “Anywhere in the Galaxy” and “Men, Martians and Machines” and that we get to listen to the long forgotten “The Spirit” and “Hold Your Ground”.
We must point down that the show took place in 2011 and this specific tour signaled the swan song for long time drummer of the band Dan Zimmermann. Last but certainly not least , we must underline Michael Kiske’s presence in three songs (including the classic “Future World”). All in all, “Skeletons & Majesties Live” is an ideal break for Gamma Ray’s upcoming studio record that will hit the stores this spring.
Highlight: Gamma Ray should always be regarded as a force to be reckoned with in the power metal genre despite the fact that they haven’t come up with a brilliant studio record since 1999.