Gamma Ray-Skeletons and Majesties
I guess when Helloween released "Unarmed" last year I should have known that Gamma Ray would have to also do an album oddly updated versions of some of their songs. This is called a mini-album not an EP for some reason. We get seven tracks, but two tracks are repeated in differing versions. I have not been as big on the last couple of Gamma Ray albums as they have been alright, but the band seems lost some of the creativity they once had and this mini-album actually just re-enforces that point. So the idea is the band wanted to revive some of their older tracks and do different versions of others. The first two songs are "Hold your ground" originally from "Heading from tomorrow" and Brothers originally from "Insanity and genius". The versions here are likable updates and worth hearing. Then the album's mood changes as we get a washed out, quirky and very mellow version of "Send me sign". This is just sad because the original is a fantastic song and this take offers nothing appealing at all. Just a lame space filler. Next up is an acoustic version of "Rebellion in dreamland" that just drags on forever. I felt myself nodding off several times. Then we get "Wannabees" which was originally on the Japanese version of "To the metal". It's just alright music wise but the annoying vocals sink it. Then for some strange reason we get and extended version of "Brothers" that runs a little over a minute longer than the earlier one. It's a fine song, but did we need two versions of it? I don't see the point. Last up is the Karaoke version of "Rebellion in dreamland". You know in case you were throwing a big fancy party and felt that what would really add to the mood is to have some Karaoke power metal to sing a long to. Probably not and again I don't see the point to including this version here. So almost half the songs are likable and a little more than half made my skin crawl. Here's hoping they put more time and thought into their next studio album.