GAMMA RAY Hard At Work On Live Album: 'It's Going To Be Fantastic'

German power metallers GAMMA RAY have spent the past few weeks mixing their live album, "Skeletons In The Closet", for a tentative late April release through Sanctuary/Noise Records.

"The live recordings sound fantastic!" said GAMMA RAY mainman Kai Hansen. "I'm really glad that we decided to do this live album. It's going to be a fantastic document of some really special concerts!"

"We've been working on [the album] for too long now!" joked Hansen. "We started in mid-December, but we had a number of technical problems right at the beginning that have delayed things a bit. We were first all big smiles when the two hard drives the shows were recorded on arrived a while before Christmas. It was a bit sad then that it was impossible to open anything on them! We tried all repair software known to mankind, and only sighed with relief as a computer specialist we consulted managed to fight his way through and open the files at last. We lost about three weeks because of that. We wanted to have the album out in late March, but now we've had to push the release back to late April.

"We recorded the shows at Barcelona and Strasbourg. We're using parts of both shows, some songs are taken from here and some from there. Actually, most of it is taken from the Barcelona show, and about three or four numbers are from Strasbourg. I must admit it is pretty laborious to mix recordings made at different venues — we had the same recording engineers and the same recording gear at both shows, but the house itself always adds to the sound. On an album, you obviously want to have the feel like this was all done on the same night, and adjusting all the bits and pieces needed for this are a pretty long road. It's fun work though, and it will definitely be worth the wait!"

"Skeletons In The Closet" will be released as a double CD and will contain the entire tour set — about 120 minutes of "pure blistering power metal." A final decision on who will take care of the artwork has yet to be made, but one thing is for sure: "the booklet will contain a lot (and that really means a lot!) of exclusive photographs on stage, off stage and in all other possible and impossible places taken on the 'Skeletons' tour in October/November 2002," according to the band's official web site. In the meantime, Feb. 3 saw the long-awaited DVD release of the two existing GAMMA RAY concert videos, "Heading For The East" (originally released in 1991) and "Lust For Live" (originally released in 1994). Both releases come with a bonus section containing an introduction and a track-by-track audio review by journalist Malcolm Dome and feature excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.

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