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This really catches more shit than it should - 85%

BastardHead, March 7th, 2008

Okay, maybe it's because I became a Gamma Ray fan less than a year before this came out, but I find this to be an album worthy of bearing then name. If I had been a fan for years and years before this, I could understand the kind of bittersweetness about the record, what with taking four years. It's not perfect, that's obvious, and it doesn't stack up to Somewhere out in Space or Powerplant, but can you really expect it to?

Majestic takes a.... different approach. It's hard to explain, but it seems heavier in a sense. Maybe darker would be a better word, but it's noticeably different in that sense from No World Order. My Temple and Condemned to Hell are doubtlessly heavier than Heaven or Hell or Fire Below from the previous album. What I think I'm trying to say is that there are more dark songs on this one, less of the optimism of Follow Me and more of the paranoia from Damn the Machine.

People say this album is uninspired, and I can see what they mean, but I just tend to disagree. Sure, I'll be the first to admit that 3:02 into My Temple they blatantly rip off Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but that seems to be the only spot I can point out where originality would be a problem. Otherwise I believe that this is a top notch Gamma Ray record that deserves to be lumped in with the previous four.

Alright, the last two tracks suck pretty hard, How Long actually made me throw up once, no joke. It's a shitty 80's hard rock sounding arena song that just plods on and never gets cool. And this is also pretty much the only Gamma Ray songs in which the lyrics were actually cringe worthy (keep in mind I haven't heard any of the Scheepers material yet). Revelation... not much needs to be said. It's boring. It's not like the other epics.... Rebellion in Dreamland and Armageddon are genuinely interesting the entire way through (although the latter meanders a bit too much for it's own good). It wouldn't be too bad if it was either shortened or chopped into two different songs. It just doesn't have enough ideas to span eight minutes.

But the first half of the record is amazing, and is just as good as any of the other GR albums that preceded it. My Temple is a blazing fast number that will get stuck in your head, guaranteed, it's been proven by Harvard scientists. Strange World is annoying, as the beginning and end sound like newer Iron Maiden, something I abhor more than colon ulcers, but there is an extremely awesome power metal number in the middle (Here come the riiiders of the REEEVOLUTIOOOON!). Why couldn't the whole song be like that? Hell is thy Home is fast as fuck, as is the bonus track, Hellfire, which I am including simply because it is too badass not to mention. Both of them also have the trademarked Gamma Ray chorus. Anybody who's ever heard what could be considered a "good" Gamma Ray song knows exactly what the Gamma Ray chorus is. Kai Hansen just has a knack for writing exceptional choruses, even back in the Helloween days.

Blood Religion needs to be pointed out purely because of the oh so gruesome lyrics. Most people would never expect such graphic depictions of vampire violence coming from this band. "The priest has raised his hands up to the final execution / shouting out in agony 'fear the cross!' / I'm digging my claws into his neck raising him to the ceiling / gritting my teeth I smell the blood YOU ARE LOST"

Otherwise, most of the tracks are standard Gamma Ray fare, and I mean that in the most positive way I can. I can understand some of the negativity, but Majestic is just as good as No World Order, and some people need to realize that. I understand it all boils down to personal preference, but My Temple is one of those songs that is just too great for somebody to call mediocre, typical, or generic. Majestic earns a B, the main detractors being How Long and Revelation, which frankly suck a big fat cocksicle.