When a band already has so many years and albums under their belt as Hamburg's own GAMMA RAY, it is getting harder and harder to come up with a set list that also satisfies the fans. For one the current album has to be promoted, so one emphasis. Then there are some absolutely essential classics, which themselves could already provide some difficulties to pack them all into the set list without having to book the club for three days in a row. And then, well, then there still are the songs, which are really good, but for some reason never made it into the status of a classic or absolute fan favourite, ergo fall under the table out of time and space reasons.
That is not fair was the thought in the camp of GAMMA RAY, these songs also should get their live honours, so that the fans could see them too. So the idea of a tour under the banner of "Skeletons In The Closet" ripened, a tour, where exactly those songs would be played exclusively and who could better say what should be played than the fans themselves? Exactly, nobody. Therefore give them a chance on the website to vote, which songs should be played, sit down with pen and paper at the end and see, who has won.
The result has arrived in form of a double CD with exactly that title, "Skeletons In The Closet", which basically contains parts of two concerts, on disc 1 from the Razzmatazz in Spanish (or rather Catalan) Barcelona, Disc 2 from La Laiterie in Strasbourg in Alsace, both recorded in one piece, so that the right atmosphere comes from the speakers. That the sound is excellent stands out of question as the band itself took it upon themselves to deliver the best possible result and that absolutely pays off, because what we have here is crisp, powerful and simply good.
The song choice goes through all releases, back into the year 1990, when they released "Heading For Tomorrow" and the often almost criminally underrated "Sigh No More" album also gets the honours. I had pondered, if I should mention single songs, but in the end I came to the conclusion not to, because for one many know the songs anyway and the others should definitely come to know them, if they like high quality heavy Power Metal (if so, why the heck don't you know these songs yet?), because without a doubt GAMMA RAY are among the crème de la crème of this style.
So a really recommendable initiative that the band had started with "Skeletons In The Closer" and which other bands with a repertoire like GAMMA RAY should take up as well, the fans will be thankful, so on behalf of them in this case: Thank you! (Online January 9, 2004)