Album Reviews

Gamma Ray – Majestic

(neil daniels) UK release date: 26 September 2005

Although Gamma Ray’s 1990 debut album, Heading For Tomorrow, was a thunderous accomplishment, the question is: can they actually offer something worthwhile and important five years into the 21st Century? Well, 15 years later and now on their 12th album, it’s fair to say that Gamma Ray sound better than ever.

With Majestic, former Helloween guitarist Kai Hansen and his band-mates have made a fine album of stunning guitar riffs and anthemic compositions. They have added a heavier touch to their latest release to give it that much needed modern edge while not betraying their roots.

The gates are opened with the delightfully bloodthirsty My Temple, which is boldly held intact by Hansen and Henjo Richter’s monstrous power on the guitars. It’s a storming opening track with a strong chorus and could become a classic live song.

Another highlight is Hell Is Thy Home, which is blatantly Painkiller-era Judas Priest and manages to come up with such a stunning, immense opening riff that it could have been orchestrated by Priest’s very own K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton.

Elsewhere, the excellent Blood Religion, with its stamping guitars, angry vocals and furious chorus, draws its blood from the early ’80s New Wave Of Heavy Metal period. In contrast, Revelation offers a modern twist that shows Gamma Ray want to move forward while maintaining their distinctive sound.

Rich, vibrant and dynamic riffs power much of Majestic, making it sound fresh and relevant whilst still being a vintage piece of power metal. For fans of old school metal, this will be a highly enjoyable release.

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Gamma Ray – Majestic