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Gamma Ray
Skeletons And Majesties Live (DVD)
March 2015
Released: 2012, Ear Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Good old Gamma Ray. These guys never seem to rest. Hot on the heels of their last Live DVD, WACKEN OPEN AIR, this is their third live DVD in four years. You can never get too much of a good thing I suppose! Following a similar theme to the Double Live album, SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET from 10 years ago, the Germans have issued another Double Live DVD called SKELETONS AND MAJESTIES LIVE where they again play older, rarer songs and some acoustic stuff as well.

The set, that is housed in a DVD jewel case, has a simple sleek look, design and layout and it includes a 20-page booklet that includes over 20, large full colour photos. The 2011 concert was filmed in Pratteln, Switzerland at the very popular Z7 hall that has seen a number of Live Metal albums recorded there in recent memory including Blaze Bayley and Pretty Maids. The picture quality is excellent.

The band always has fun and put on a good show. The band makes the quite unique move of starting the show by introducing the band with a pre-recorded intro spoken by a chick with a sexy European accent! The band runs through 20 songs with not too many frills, just great stage persona and a good sense of humour. The multi-camera shot in the intimate venue is good lots of crowd shots and fly-over camera shots. There are even some minor screen effects like a ‘screen-degradation’ (like in old movies) that is indeed after the fact during the ballad ‘Farewell’. Micheal Kiske joins the band on stage for a few old songs much to the delight of the crowd. It was neat to see old songs like ‘Money’ performed live. I like Kai’s style. During the acoustic version of ‘Rebellion In Dreamland’ he very casually sits down with a drink and smoke! The whole gig had a slightly down-tempo intimate feel, truly for the fans.

There are some bonus features as well including six songs from a concert in Germany, some ‘behind the scenes’ interviews with various band members and crew that runs about 22 minutes. The most interesting segment to me was a part called ‘Back To The Past which was early, early, archival footage on VHS no less! The picture quality and sound is horrible! It is fun to see former singer Ralf in a pink tank-top and ponytail belting out the songs in the very late 80’s. There is some studio footage from the LAND OF THE FREE sessions. There is an old MTV segment from Headbangers Ball, including an acoustic version of ‘Father And Son’, and lots of shots of clowning around in hotel rooms, studios etc. The whole part runs 31 minutes and it is a real treat, despite the horrible VHS quality footage. It’s like someone pointed a hand-held camera at a TV!

I'm glad the band decided to release the package as a DVD and Double Live album separately, it gives fans more choice. Feel free to check out Waspman's January 2013 review of the Double Live CD set.
Track Listing

Disc 1

1. Anywhere in the Galaxy
2. Men, Martians and Machines
3. The Spirit
4. Wings of Destiny
5. Farewell
6. Gamma Ray
7. Money
8. Time to Break Free
9. Rebellion in Dreamland
10. Send Me a Sign
11. Dethrone Tyranny
12. Watcher in the Sky
13. Hold Your Ground
14. A While in Dreamland
15. Rise
16. Brothers
17. Insurrection
18. Future World

Disc 2

1. The Spirit
2. Wings of Destiny
3. Farewell
4. Gamma Ray
5. Time to Break Free
6. Insurrection
7. Interviews - Behind the Scenes with Gamma Ray


Kai Hansen Vocals, Guitar
Dirk Schlächter Bass,
Henjo Richter Guitar
Dan Zimmermann Drums



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