Helloween Mr. Live in the U. Torture " " Just a Little Sign " " Mrs. Discography Members Keeper of the Seven Keys. Authority control MBRG : fe84ffee1-aecfdb3db.
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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Then we have Uli Kusch on drums. Of course being the new guy he feels the need to make himself heard. Apart from that, he really is the same kind of drummer. It is slightly too heavy and deep.
On to the music! Has classic Helloween returned? No, they just looked around the corner with this album. Throughout the song one often gets the feeling that some more speed could have made the song better. Being over 7 minutes but still sounding like a catchy single. One gets the feeling the song could have even been better. The chorus is somewhat lacking. All the other songs balance between a few too sleazy ballads and some mid paced hardrock tunes that would even have been dull on Chameleon.
All in all we have an album with 10 songs and an intro from which 6 songs are worth checking out. But if we look at the album as a whole another thing becomes obvious as well: there is a real lack of speed. So even though a large apart of this album sounds like classic Helloween, one of its key elements is missing.
Over all this makes the album sound too laid back for power metal. They were on their way back. But certainly not there yet. After the rather weird experiments that were the consequence of the early post-Kai Hansen era of Helloween, some line-up changes were made and the newly reformed power metal pioneers of German fame geared up for their 6th studio release.
Upon viewing the cover of the CD and the rather intriguing storyline involving the main character of the "Keeper" albums found in the booklet, you can tell that a strong attempt was made to recapture the amazing spirit that defined their earlier work.
However, some fine tunning would still be needed before the old greatness was fully re-kindled. First it is necessary to focus on what has line-up changes have taken place since "Chameleon". First off, Ingo Schwichtenberg had been fired due to an inability to perform his drumming duties and a looming drug problem that would sadly claim his life 1 year after this album's release. Uli Kusch, who also had a brief run in Gamma Ray, has taken over on the kit on this release, and he does a hell of a job.
Michael Kiske has also left the band in order to pursue a more musically eclectic solo career and has been replaced by former Pink Cream 69 vocalist Andi Deris. Deris' voice actually reminds me a bit of former maiden vocalist Paul Di'anno, and although I do slightly prefer Michael Kiske's voice, Deris' personality live is a bit more fitting for the Helloween concept.
For further support of this, have a listen to Helloween's "High Live" album and compare it with the live album, Deris has a much better stage presence. It starts strong, ends strong, and lags a bit in the middle. Although many of the middle songs are strong, we have about 4 or 5 mid to down tempo tracks all crammed together between a set of faster ones. Ego" are both more mid-tempo tracks with some good moments, but tend to meander a bit.
Afterwards, the album starts to get a little bit silly. The closing two tracks are, ironically, the highlights of the album. A very memorable acoustic riff and some rather poignant lyrics, followed by a classically influenced nylon string guitar solo that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.
The lyrics carry the theme of not giving up or compromising, and underscore the many storms that Helloween successfully weathered in the previous years in order to get back in the saddle again. This album is essentially half awesome, half mediocre. I recommend it to core Helloween fans and people who don't mind having only 4 fast songs on a release. Time of the Oath was the real recovery from the 4 year slump these guys fell into after Kai left the band.
I'm going to review every Helloween album starting with this one and forward, as I have very little to add to what's already been said about their three first. Starting with the speed metal beast that is 'Walls of Jericho' they later evolved into what was, and still is, arguably THE most influential power metal unit of all time, not mentioning that the stuff they wrote was also some of the BEST ever written. So, following the departure of Kai Hansen, they released a couple of downers in 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' and 'Chameleon', with the latter sounding absolutely nothing like Helloween of the old, losing quite an amount of followers.
With a couple of more members leaving shortly after, including popular vocalist Michael Kiske, we arrive at this album, where the band attempts to bounce back a bit from the two previous clunkers. Without key songwriter Kai Hansen and characteristic vocalist Michael Kiske it seems like a difficult task - do they manage it? Well, both yes and no. Nope, no siree Bob, not by a longshot. In the end, this album really resembles the 'Keepers' about as much as 'Pink Bubbles' - some riffage and occasional goofy attitude is there in both cases, but overall, there are several occasions where you are hard pressed to tell whether this is even the same band or not.
It's like when you throw a ball as hard as you can on a hard surface - sure, the ball is going to bounce UP again at some point, but by then the ball is probably located SEVERAL fucking meters from its original position. Setting badly done and stretched metaphors aside, I've always thought of this album as extremely "inconsistent" - but having spun it a few times recently, I've realized more and more that words like "underdeveloped" and "poorly constructed" fit the weaker stuff on here a lot better.
The inspiration AND also the direction is there - it's just that in a few songs they tend to throw in about three directions, like for example a rockish verse, a really epic pre-chorus and then a happy, fun sing-along chorus to top it off.
The MOOD changes in the individual songs are sometimes kind of poorly done, in a sentence - this also concerns the two following albums a bit as well, but not quite as much. That's the word I'm looking for. But there ARE also times when the inspiration is just entirely missing - either they're just fucking around "The Game Is On" or the songwriting ideas are just kinda boring "Mr. The funny thing I've noticed is that if you'd switch "Mr. As for the new guys on board He sure as fuck sounds different from his predecessor, as he isn't nearly as clear-throated and he mostly prefers staying in his low-to mid range.
Anyway, in my honest opinion he's just as fucking godly as the mighty Kiske, albeit different, but his technical capabilities are largely competent and even though he rarely delivers any of those German shrieks, he generally gives an admirable performance. New drummer Uli Kusch sure as hell delivers too - maybe even a bit TOO much, as he rarely lets 5 seconds go by without playing either some simple or completely over the top fill, which occasionally detracts a bit from the flow - but hey, rather him than that Dokken drummer!
Not quite as "precise" as Ingo, but still very respectable in himself. The production is FAR rawer sounding than any of the Keeper albums, and unfortunately a bit poorly mixed in places. It's not absolutely terrible, as every instrument is heard and all, but it just lacks that 80s, kinda "catchy" production that the Keepers had.
Oh well, at least the guitars carry plenty of punch and while they, and also the drums, are a bit on the raw side, they don't detract from the actual music. So anyway, there are ten songs on here and exactly half of those I am willing to point out as actual highlights. I say that, because both are really unique and inventive, yet they work terrifically and therefore end up as two of the most memorable tracks Helloween has ever written. Torture" in overall riffage and speed to absolute melodic ecstasy in the pre-chorus, with the actual chorus even throwing in some underlying keyboards - subtle but extremely effective!
The opening riff is one of the few moments on the album that resemble the Keepers sound a bit, and also you can't miss that little lead 30 seconds into the song! Both songs display amazing songwriting and nice, fast fucking lead work too just check out that "Where the Rain Grows" solo Then "Why? It's mostly keyboard based and not particularly heavy, yet it is surprisingly effective as fuck!!
Tell me why-y-y!! It has a bit of a "swing" beat or whatever it's called and as you can expect, this displays Helloween's tongue-in-cheek style, and does so in a fine fashion. The weakest of the highlights, however. Finally, as for remaining highlights, we have "In the Middle of a Hearbeat" - I don't what anyone else says, this song just completely kicks ass. Yes, it's an acoustic love ballad with some country-ish overtones, but it's just AMAZING how well it works and the inspiration is oh-so-there.
The chorus alone makes it the best ballad Helloween has done up to this point, it's that fucking good. As for the rest, I can't help but to admit that the ideas are there at times - but as I said earlier they're just very poorly connected. This especially concerns closing track "Still We Go", to a degree that it truly frustrates me. The opening riff is probably the most Keeper-ish moment on the whole album, it's one of those fast riffs the Freedom Call and others like to rip off - but what happens next?
We get some strange, awkward passage, before we arrive at the midpaced verse, which has some interesting riffs and melodies - but the MOOD of it just seems out of place when placed before the far more melodic pre-chorus and chorus.
And that chorus suffers a bit too, from being a bit forced, except I can't help but to point out that soaring last line: "On the metal highwaaaayyy!!!
Apparently, good songwriting ideas don't always make up good songs. After a decent but unspectacular intro including some flowery keyboard, we get a pretty solid rock riff, later switching over to a really silly and awkward verse that does NOT work in this context, before switching to a very solid power metal-ish pre-chorus and a not so solid chorus that features some REALLY fucking stupid almost helium-pitched vocal layering.
You see where I'm getting with this? The bass and drums sort of remind me of that song, except on crack and completely lacking the punk-ish attitude of the first Maiden album. The verse is totally unmemorable and out of place as usual, while the chorus is just insipid and far too repetitive. However, this time it's the pre-chorus that saves it from being a complete waste: "I got that feeling to need more and more attention!
Ego" could've been a pretty solid but mediocre track all around, but clocking in at over seven minutes it's just far too fucking long for it's own good, as it doesn't have nearly enough good ideas to make up for it. Tuesday 6 October Wednesday 7 October Thursday 8 October Friday 9 October Saturday 10 October Sunday 11 October Monday 12 October Tuesday 13 October Wednesday 14 October Thursday 15 October Friday 16 October Saturday 17 October Sunday 18 October Monday 19 October Tuesday 20 October Wednesday 21 October Thursday 22 October Friday 23 October Saturday 24 October Sunday 25 October Monday 26 October Tuesday 27 October Wednesday 28 October Thursday 29 October Monday 2 November Tuesday 3 November Wednesday 4 November Thursday 5 November Friday 6 November Saturday 7 November Sunday 8 November Monday 9 November Tuesday 10 November Wednesday 11 November Thursday 12 November Friday 13 November Saturday 14 November Sunday 15 November Monday 16 November Tuesday 17 November Wednesday 18 November Thursday 19 November Friday 20 November Saturday 21 November Sunday 22 November Monday 23 November Tuesday 24 November Wednesday 25 November Thursday 26 November Friday 27 November Saturday 28 November Sunday 29 November Monday 30 November Tuesday 1 December Wednesday 2 December Thursday 3 December Friday 4 December Saturday 5 December Sunday 6 December Monday 7 December Tuesday 8 December Wednesday 9 December Thursday 10 December Friday 11 December Saturday 12 December Sunday 13 December Monday 14 December Tuesday 15 December Wednesday 16 December Thursday 17 December
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