When they aren’t about to release a new album or engaged on a tour, there’s not much you hear from the quartet Hansen (v, g), Richter (g), Schlächter (b) and Zimmermann (d). What a pleasant surprise it was, consequently, when September 2005 was announced as release date for the 8th GAMMA RAY Album, simply entitled “Majestic”.
They have always been true to Power Metal, and of course they still are on the follow-up to “No World Order”. All the trademarks of the rays are still here. The production is as powerful as it was four years ago, and the riffs and the drumming, combined with Kai’s voice and the awesome choirs finish it off perfectly. The songs “My Temple” and “Strange World” remind me unconsciously of BLACK SABBATH (“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”) and IRON MAIDEN (“Stranger In A Strange World”). But that happens only during particular moments, so you can’t accuse GAMMA RAY of plagiarism here.
Actually, “My Temple“ is an awesome opener and sets the direction fort he next 55 minutes. The 10 hymns gathered on this disc will make every Power Metal heart go wild. You’ll find more diversity on this than on previous GAMMA RAY records, which means that certain songs (“Condemned To Hell”, “Majesty”, “How Long”) might require several listens before they snug perfectly into your ears. But that’s nothing bad, since all the songs are perfectly structured. Tracks like “Hell Is Thy Home” and “Blood Religion” are quite certain to end up on their upcoming live set-list. And the epic, eight minute long “Revelation” marks a fitting end for the new album of the band from Northern Germany.
Nevertheless, “Majestic” doesn’t quite reach the level of GAMMA RAY’s best albums, “Heading For Tomorrow” and “Land Of The Free”, and also “No World Order” is slightly better. But fans of the Rays and traditional Power Metal should check this out anyway. (Online February 23, 2006)