"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Gamma Ray - "Skeletons & Majesties" (CD/EP)

Gamma Ray - "Skeletons &  Majesties" CD/EP cover image

"Skeletons & Majesties" track listing:

1. Hold Your Ground
2. Brothers
3. Send Me A Sign
4. Rebellion In Dreamland
5. Wannabees
6. Brothers (extended version)
7. Rebellion In Dreamland (karaoke version)

Reviewed by on June 9, 2011

"'Skeletons & Majesties' will more than likely become confined to the dustier end of your music library after a couple of spins."

With ten full length albums under its collective belt, German power metal act Gamma Ray is deserving of the title as one of the best melodic metal acts going today. Deciding to try and keep their fans happy between the release of the latest record “To The Metal!” and a future studio release, the four piece group has released the mini-album “Skeletons & Majesties.”

Essentially, “Skeletons & Majesties” is a stock-standard "re-recorded rarities/acoustic re-workings" affair, and will more than likely become confined to the dustier end of your music library after a couple of spins. The acoustic versions of “Send Me A Sign” and “Rebelliion in Dreamland” are moderately interesting, while the new versions of “Brothers” and “Hold Your Ground” fair better than the aforementioned acoustic tracks, but they are hardly worth picking up the release.

The addition of two bonus tracks, which includes extended run-through of “Brothers” and a ‘karaoke” version of “Rebellion In Dreamland,” is completely pointless, especially when the latter features around ten minutes of dead air after the song has finished, before revealing a couple of minutes of the band mucking around in the studio – surely the digital age has made the whole mystique of the hidden track completely annul?

Would you say that “Skeletons & Majesties” is a stop-gap? Hell, it’s basically the textbook definition of the phrase, and unless you're a mega die-hard Gamma Ray devotee, it’d be best advised to spend your hard-earned cash elsewhere.

Highs: Need to own everything Gamma Ray has ever released? Well, this shouldn't be an exception.

Lows: Almost everything, the whole thing is basically redundant.

Bottom line: It's best to save your hard-earned cash for their next proper album.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)