Gamma Ray
Majestic


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
July 30th, 2006 | 24 replies | 11,608 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


When Gamma Ray released No World Order in 2001, they started to fuse their own variation of power metal with the classic metal style played by metal juggernauts such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The sound they opted for met some mixed reactions from fans, but many agreed that the album was excellent, if a tad unoriginal. After releasing No World Order they went on tour, eventually coming out with their second live album, Skeletons in the Closet, but for whatever reason, the band had a lot of difficulty putting the album together, and the process lasted longer than it should have. Skeletons in the Closet was released in 2003, and after another year of touring, the band finally announced its eighth studio album, Majestic, which was to be released in October of 2005.

The music found on Majestic draws comparisons to No World Order. Again, the band fused power metal with classic metal and, again, the result is an excellent platter of metal. With Majestic, Gamma Ray put a lot of emphasis in melody and heaviness, and they don't waste any time getting started. The opening track, My Temple, is an excellent example of what you'll hear on the album. As you would expect from Kai Hansen and crew, the album's riffs and choruses are extremely catchy. No two riffs sound the same on Majestic and the album remains fresh for over 55 minutes. Majestic's production is top notch, making the riffs crisp and easy flowing. Some of Majestic's most impressive moments come from the riffs that make up each of the songs.

There are many factors that make up the success of Majestic. One of them is the band's performance. Each member performs to the very best of his ability throughout the entire album and rarely, if ever disappoints. Kai Hansen, the bands vocalist since Ralf Scheepers (now of Primal Fear fame) left before 1995’s Land of the Free, has a very strong showing on Majestic. Kai is a very talented vocalist who helps make the songs more enjoyable with his unique voice. Gamma Ray's singer is solid at all times throughout the album, with excellent showings on Revelation and Fight. Kai Hansen, along with Henjo Richter, makes up Gamma Ray's twin guitar attack. Each of them trade off appropriately placed solos throughout the album. Their skill as guitarists is well represented by Majestic's catchy leads and power metal anthems. Gamma Ray's heartbeat, Dirk Schlachter and Dan Zimmermann, provide the powerful support needed to back up the guitarists. Dirk's relentless bass is not overtaken by the guitars, but inside sticks out and holds up the song. Dan's drumming is excellent. His energetic drumming does not just keep the rhythm up, but also adds a thunderous presence to each of the songs.

Unlike Gamma Ray's previous albums, Majestic is more of a grower. When I first bought Majestic I wasn't really impressed with what I heard. But after repeated listens the album's true colours were shown. Save for maybe the album's opener, My Temple, Majestic has no overwhelmingly powerful standout tracks (i.e. Rebellion in Dreamland, Somewhere Out in Space, or Armageddon), but what's found on this album is still superb. Songs such as Strange World, Hell is Thy Home, and Blood Religion are great examples what the band is capable of. Everything a power metal fan could ask for can be heard on Majestic with the exception of a ballad. I've grown fond of Gamma Ray's ballads and I feel one of the weaker songs, How Long specifically, could have been ditched to make room.

It took the band four years, but Gamma Ray has finally released Majestic. The album's catchiness and keen sense of melody will be stuck in your mind for days. Majestic's crushing riffs stand out as some of the band's best in their discography and are very enjoyable. Majestic definitely deserves more attention than it's gotten, as it was one of the best power metal albums of 2005 and deserves a place in your music collection.

Recommended Tracks:
My Temple
Strange World
Blood Religion
Condemned to Hell



Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
July 31st 2006



5426 Comments


Good review man. Do I know who these guys are however? Neope.

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 31st 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's too bad, they're one of the better power metal bands.This Message Edited On 07.31.06

francesfarmer
July 31st 2006



1477 Comments


I like this review, short, but has substance. My Temple is one of the few Gamma Ray tracks I've heard, and I must say it really rocks.

Ballistarain
July 31st 2006



3 Comments


Nice review, I'll definetly give this a listen.

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 31st 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the comments.

My Temple is great, it's my favourite song off the album. But I think Gamma Ray's best songs, like Rebellion in Dreamland or Armageddon are a lot better. Still, though it's great song.This Message Edited On 07.31.06

mikem1234
August 9th 2007



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You go on an on about riffs and then you forget to mention how great the one in How Long is! XD I gotta disagree with you on Blood Religion. That chorus is very dumb and shouldn't have been done like that. Kai isn't really a great singer technique-wise. If you actually listen to his singing, you'll realize it's propped up a LOT by subtle backing vocals and multi-tracked choirs, etc. In concert it sometimes show that he isn't that talent, but it's his endless charisma that makes Gamma Ray awesome.

Otisbum
August 26th 2007



1912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Condemned To Hell is pretty sweet.

EDIT: So yeah, this'll be a 3.5. Nothing really sticks out yet, but I'll still keep listening to it.This Message Edited On 08.26.07

freudianslipknot
October 25th 2008



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Actually I generally don't listen to much power metal, but there is something infectious about gamma ray. Listened to this album for the first time yesterday and have spun it three more times since. My temple and Blood Religion rock - actually this album is pretty sweet.

handoman
October 25th 2008



2380 Comments


I still need to check these guys out.

OllieS
January 1st 2011



2024 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is terrific on first listen.

OllieS
January 12th 2011



2024 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is awesome but I'm not sure how much of the ripping off I can take (heavy part of 'My Temple' = 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath', first part of verses of 'Spiritual Dictator = 'Painkiller', opening riff of 'Hell Is They Home' (and other parts) = 'Leather Rebel', etc)

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2012



1772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The cheese is here, but naturally gamma ray are a band that pull it off with such brilliance. Perhaps not as technical or indeed exciting as their previous releases, but it still shines in most places. You just have to look a little deeper for those places.

RunOfTheMill
February 24th 2012



1238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Revelation is badass. Up there with Rebellion in Dreamland and Armageddon

warlordfun
September 13th 2013



345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^^ so true, mate!

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 13th 2013



7754 Comments


this was fun

Digging: Kettle Rebellion - Kettle Rebellion

warlordfun
September 13th 2013



345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^what was fun?

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 13th 2013



7754 Comments


~~~~~~~~~~~this~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

warlordfun
September 13th 2013



345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

~~~~~~~~~~~ok~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 13th 2013



7754 Comments


new user catches on quick i like em

pedro70512
March 31st 2014



1845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's hard to call this underrated with a 3.9/4.5, but every year it looks more like the last great GR album. The first five songs in particular are stellar.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy