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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:34 pm 
 

Rather than start another thread of album rankings (which might be hard with Helloween, anyway, due to the sheer volume of stuff), I decided to start a general discussion thread.

Helloween is a weird one for me, because while they have produced some of my favourite power metal songs ever, I've never found one full album I really, really love. The first two "Keeper" albums and Walls Of Jericho are considered stone-cold classics, and I do really like them, however, even those I find have some weak tracks on them.

What are your favourite Helloween albums/tracks? Which albums are over or under rated?

My favourite full album might actually be "The Dark Ride", but my two favourite tracks in their entire discography are "Where The Rain Grows" (my favourite guitar solo of all time, any genre) and "I Want Out".

And here is a hot-take:
Chameleon has some REALLY good tracks on it. I really loved some of the stuff with sax/horns. I love the songs "First Time", "When The Sinner" and "Crazy Cat". The bonus track entitled "Power" is really great, too.

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Simfers
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 8:20 am
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Location: Gatineau, Québec, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:47 pm 
 

Despite, or perhaps because of, my fanboyism of Gamma Ray, I've never REALLY dug into Helloween. I've really only ever heard Walls of Jericho, all three Keepers, The Dark Ride and Rabbit Don't Come Easy (what an odd album, that one), along with the Treasure Chest compilation. I've enjoyed all of them, but they've never super hooked me. Really really like The Dark Ride too.

As far as favourite tracks, March of Time and Future World are both right at the top, and Ride the Sky is fantastic.

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Norrmania
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:42 am
Posts: 1056
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:40 pm 
 

Helloween has definitely put out some albums that I find addictive as hell, but of course other albums that don't really hit the mark for me. But the ones that I love I can listen to on repeat for ages, a band that knows how to write addictive music lol On the classics front, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I is awesome as is Walls of Jericho. Gorgar, Halloween and Future World are some of my favourite songs from the classic stuff. Of the most recent albums Straight Outta Hell is my favourite...the whole album is great imo, and usually when I put it on I have to listen to it multiple times.

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Sekrys
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:00 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:47 pm 
 

Helloween is one of my favorite bands, and I find their albums to be pretty consistent overall.

Walls of Jericho is phenomenal, especially for a debut album. The writing is extraordinary for speed metal. Kai Hansen’s voice took some getting used to, but I certainly appreciate the energy and simple fun that go along with his performance. The Keeper albums are fairly great, and obviously influential to power metal. I don’t like the production of Part II (rhythm guitars are too quiet and the drums sound clunky), and I have never liked “The Tale That Wasn’t Right” or “We Got the Right” personally.

Some people here will disagree with me, but I find Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon consistent overall. “Your Turn,” “Giants,” “Mankind” and “Goin’ Home” are some of my favorite Helloween songs. “Back on the Streets” is pretty bland though, and “Number One” is a bit too simple and cheesy for me when it comes to Pink Bubbles Go Ape (which also has the issue of rhythm guitars being too quiet). The only song I dislike on Chameleon is “Revolution Now”; it is definitely a few minutes too long (“When the Sinner” also shares this problem, but I like it enough musically).

The lineup with Deris-Grapow-Kusch is without doubt my favorite era of the band. Better Than Raw is the best Helloween album. “Handful of Pain,” “Time,” and “Lavdate Dominvm” are some of Helloween’s greatest songs, but really every song is well-crafted. I always go back to Master of the Rings and the Dark Ride as well; you really can’t go wrong with them. Unfortunately, Time of the Oath has a really flat and cavey production job, but the album itself is pretty great (though I have never like “Mission Motherland”) “In the Middle of a Heartbeat” off of MotR is rather bland as well. Otherwise, best songs for those four albums are “Sole Survivor,” “Time of the Oath,” “Handful of Pain,” and “We Damn the Night,” respectively.

By a large margin their worst album is Rabbit Don’t Come Easy. There are some great songs like “Liar” and the opener, but “Don’t Stop Being Crazy” and “Never Be a Star” are drivel. Keeper: The Legacy is much better. I’d go as far to say it may be the best Helloween album, if not for “Come Alive,” “The Shade in the Shadow,” and “Get It Up” off of the second disc. These three songs (especially “Get It Up”) just don’t live up to the rest of the material on the album. The album definitely has two of Helloween’s best openers and closers (“King for a 1000 Years” and “My Life For One More Day,” respectively). Gambling with the Devil is definitely a great album, though I like it less than most. Markus Grosskopf’s songs are particularly excellent for that record (“Final Fortune” and “Heaven Tells No Lies”). I don’t like the production of 7 Sinners (overproduced and too modern), but I like every song except for “Raise the Noise,” which is yet another typical Weikath fun happy song. “You Stupid Mankind” has a wonderful chorus, and I really enjoy the closer “Far in the Future.” I find Straight Out of Hell to be somewhat mediocre. It is oveproduced like 7 Sinners, but much less consistent. “Burning Sun” is a great Weikath tune, but “Years” is pretty generic. I’ll admit to liking “Asshole” musically somewhat, but obviously the lyrics suck. “Live Now” feels unfinished to me, and “Wanna Be God” is a waste of time. “Church Breaks Down” is also perhaps my least favorite Helloween closer. I liked My God Given Right more than most, though I have a lower opinion of it nowadays. Nothing is bad on the album, but it lacks in highlights. “Swing of a Fallen World,” “Claws,” “Creatures in Heaven,” and “You Still of War” are easily the best on the album, while “Heroes” is the worst Helloween opener.

I also want to put special attention on Helloween’s B-Sides, many of which are superb. “Shit and Lobster,” “A Game We Shouldn’t Play,” “DELIVER US FROM TEMPTATION!!!,” the duo of “Time Goes By” and “Light in the Sky,” “Find My Freedom,” “Madness of the Crowds,” “Nightmare,” “Star Invasion,” “Can’t Fight Your Desire,” Livin’ Ain’t No Crime,” “Far Away” and “No Eternity” should have been on their respective albums. Grosskopf really gets the short end of the stick when it comes to this stuff.

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in_the_sign_of_metal
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:10 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:12 pm 
 

I've always considered Helloween to be one of the two biggest molders of power metal, and I still hold the Keeper... albums in the highest regard. The other genre definer from around that same time would be Manowar. In each band, you have pretty much all the aspects of power metal. In Helloween: soaring vocals, lyrics about life/society, general technicality and structure of riffs. In Manowar: lyrics about fantasy and the accompanying imagery, the outrageous stage get up, general machismo attitude, as well as no shortage of fun choruses.

And Helloween have been surprisingly good in recent years. That album Straight Out of Hell in particular is very, very strong.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:16 pm 
 

Obviously one of the big names and biggest influences of the genre... I'm not as big on their early stuff as I am the Deris years though. The Dark Ride and Keeper III are my favorites by them; just endless creativity and style. They always played around with the sound and had this idiosyncratic style of melody that was exciting to me. Gambling with the Devil was very good too, but since then they've only had individual songs that stood out a lot. The newer albums aren't bad at all but it feels like treading water. Hoping this new one this year will be a real firecracker.

United Alive in Madrid has some of the better renditions of their old songs I've ever heard actually. Pure power.
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MRmehman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:21 pm 
 

I have had the absolute worst luck with Helloween. The first album of theirs I heard was that god-awful cover album. After that I heard bits and pieces of the two Keeper albums but never took the dive and listened to them in full because I'd heard so much negative press around Pink Bubbles Go Ape and figured they probably hadn't written an exceptionally good LP. German power metal isn't really my thing but I've been able to find some gems more often than not; I'll have to give Helloween another chance on of these days.
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Pincushion
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:04 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:58 pm 
 

Walls of Jericho is probably my favorite. The self-titled EP (which often gets bundled with Walls of Jericho) is also excellent and has one of their best songs: "Victim of Fate". Outside of the 80s classics, my go-to would be The Dark Ride.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:29 pm 
 

Quote:
"Sekrys"” “Madness of the Crowds”.


I found this track on a file-sharing network way back in 2001 or 2002. It's a fantastic Helloween deep-cut.

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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:36 pm 
 

As much as I love Walls of Jericho and the two original Keepers, my favorite albums have always The Dark Ride, Gambling With The Devil, and Seven Sinners. I just love when they hit the right point between dark and catchy. I could stand to explore more of their nineties albums though.
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aloof
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:03 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
The first two "Keeper" albums and Walls Of Jericho are considered stone-cold classics, and I do really like them, however, even those I find have some weak tracks on them.


which songs on the keepers are weak? not being confrontational, just curious :)


I like the debut EP, the first two keepers, and the first three albums with deris (not as much as the hansen/kiske albums, tho).

and I think deris songs like "are you metal?" and "wanna be god" are total garbage that would never have ended up on an album while hansen was in the band...
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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:52 am 
 

aloof wrote:
jimbies wrote:
The first two "Keeper" albums and Walls Of Jericho are considered stone-cold classics, and I do really like them, however, even those I find have some weak tracks on them.


which songs on the keepers are weak? not being confrontational, just curious :)


Just personal preference, but I tend to not revisit the tracks A Little Time, Twilight Of The Gods, Rise And Fall, We Got The Right.

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Spiner202
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:01 am 
 

Helloween is definitely one of the greatest bands ever, and not just for their early work - they have a very strong catalogue.

Walls of Jericho is a fun album; I do think Stormwarrior did that sound better, but at the same time, the originality of Helloween was off the charts here. The two Keepers albums are probably the two best Euro power albums ever and IMO are the foundation for 99% of the genre. Other bands would add their own elements (whether symphonic, neoclassical, or otherwise), but none of it would happen without these two records. The two subsequent records probably aren't as bad as their reputation, but I never really return to them.

I know those first four Deris records have a lot of fans, but I'd say they're the low point amongst his work. I do really like Master of the Rings, but the other albums just have a handful of songs each that I really love. Things would improve for me with Rabbit Don't Come Easy, and I think Keepers III, 7 Sinners, and Straight Out of Hell are some of the band's best work. The last album did feel a bit weaker, even if it had some really good songs on it, but I think the new/revised lineup is going to knock it out of the park. I saw the current incarnation live twice and it was two of the best shows I've ever seen.
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SilverSpring2018
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:43 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:44 am 
 

What's got me really stoked about the new Justice League version of the band is that they're leading with that epic Kai Hansen single. They know what we want.

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DoomMetalAlchemist
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:10 am
Posts: 1907
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:27 am 
 

Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 was my introduction to power metal and to this day is may favorite album in the genre. The two biggest high points on the album are Initiation/I'm Alive and Halloween. The next to biggest highs are A Tale That Wasn't Right (one of my all time favorite ballads) and, oddly enough, Follow the Sign. The latter may be just a short outro track, but goddamn is it a good one.

I hold no other of their albums in such regard, including Keeper II. But there's good songs on all their albums I've heard (still haven't heard Pink Bubbles or Chameleon).

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Dungeon_Vic
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:00 am
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Location: Greece
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:40 am 
 

tl;dr:
Helloween/Walls of Jericho/Judas: 11/10 (Stormwarrior is nice and all but let's be serious here!)
Keeper I: 11/10
Keeper II: 10/10
-------------- essential/monumental

Better than Raw/Time of the Oath/Dark Ride: 7.5-8/10
Master of the Rings: 7/10
--------------- Good and recommended.
After that it's individual songs that I care about.

Ranting:
Helloween was one of the first bands I fell in love with when I was a kid, listening in to what my older brother and cousin were listening to. I was only 8-9 when I heard the EP and Walls and then Keeper I dropped and everyone was losing their shit over it, the pumpkins, the insanely catchy songs, the vocals, it was all just amazing. In the late 80s Helloween was gearing up to be as big as Maiden or the Scorpions until of course Kai left and that was never really realized. But they did manage to spearhead an entire genre (imo, for euro power metal you need Helloween and Malmsteen, don't forget Malmsteen!)

The Kai-vocals era is my favorite, when I finally got my own copy (the CD with the whole era conveniently bundled together) I played that shit day and night, it is etched into my brain. Ride the Sky one of my favorite songs ever. As is Victim of Fate or Heavy Metal (is the Law), I'm talking like the ESSENCE OF METAL. Until today, that album is in my top 10 ever, more like top 5.

Then Keeper I, which I would describe as "utterly perfect", guitar work out of this world in terms of inspiration and of course prime Kiske. However, while I do adore Kiske's vocals, it's Kai's that are my favorite, they are soooo metal, so unique that I completely overlook that from time to time they are not 100% in key (although how much not has been exaggerated).

Pink Bubbles Go Ape is my first serious disappointment as a metal listener. No Prayer for the Dying didn't affect me much because I was losing interest to Maiden over more exciting things of the time and I already thought they had peaked in 84-86. But Helloween had the whole package: terrible cover, bland songs, as if someone had sucked all the magic that made them amazing. Then Chameleon really just nailed the coffin. I know it's a good pop/rock album (it really is if you like that kind of thing) but that was the last thing I wanted the band to play, especially after Pink Bubbles. In a sense however I will say that Pink Bubbles is the more disappointing album because that album tried to pick up where Keeper II left off musically and just fell flat on its face. Also, replacing the signature pumpkins with bubbles ranks up there with Maiden and Metallica changing their iconic logos into something shitty. That sort of thing bothered me much more back then :P

Incidentally, Heading for Tomorrow is the natural successor to Keeper II. That or Land of the Free.

So, Chameleon is not for me but I will acknowledge that I Believe is a magnificent song, too good for the album really. I'll give a nod to Giants too - so if I count everything, what I keep from the Kiske/Kai-less era is 3 songs (Kids of the Century, I Believe, Giants).

Enter Deris. Hated his vocals the moment I heard Perfect Gentleman, which I also hated fervently. Not the vocals per se but the style, which would fit a hard rock/sleaze band perfectly but not Helloween... It took me some time to get used to him and be convinced that the band's return to metal was sincere, but today in hindsight I'll say the 4 first Deris albums are good, or even very good in spots, Better than Raw being my favorite. Meeting Weikath online (at a time where it was still a novelty, 1996-97) at the Your Turn message board helped a lot for me to ease up on the new era of the band, he was funnier and mellower than I had imagined. Wasn't even bothered I was a vocal Hansen fanboy in his band's message board and he came to my website and signed my guestbook :P

I understand how Deris saved the band and is as important as Weikath (if not more at this point) but however good those first 4 albums are, they really are no match for the classic era. There was magic in those albums... I will never ever understand how some people prefer the Deris era but *shrug*.

Of course based on the above it is obvious I value Gamma Ray waaaaaaaay more than Kai-less Gamma Ray. Up to and including 2001, there is no contest really. After that it gets sketchy for GR too. The reunion made me happy because I would love to see Halloween live and the Kai medley and then die happy. I also confess I have secret hopes that the new material might capture some of the old magic, Mandalorian style! :P (I'll even take a frog-lady episode level of success!)

PS: Twilight of the Gods and We Got the Right are MASTER-FUCKING-PIECES. Thank you.
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soul_schizm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:52 pm 
 

I echo the sentiment of OP that I’ve never really found an album I love, but the songs I do like are really good. I’d say overall Gambling With the Devil and Dark Ride are my favorites, along with the first Keeper. Gambling because it has a rougher edge to the production and certain tunes are just amazing, and Dark Ride because it’s a curveball that I think succeeds where a lot of such albums from others bands have fallen flat. I liked what they went for on that album. The change of pace was great.

I’m also a Gamma Ray fan and couldn’t be happier that Kai broke from Helloween.

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Rocka_Rollas
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:03 pm 
 

Gamma Ray > Helloween

But I would say that Helloween has higher highs with invididual songs, but Gamma Ray is far more consistent overall

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colin040
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:08 pm 
 

Rocka_Rollas wrote:
Gamma Ray > Helloween

But I would say that Helloween has higher highs with invididual songs, but Gamma Ray is far more generic overall


Fixed that for you! ;)

In all seriousness, I'm not much of a Helloween fan, but Walls of Jericho is great stuff; love how elaborated it sounds at times. Kai Hansen's voice doesn't really stand out on it, no, but most songs are pretty damn good.

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Opus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:06 pm 
 

Helloween is definitely one of the greatest bands ever, just for their early work - they have a very big catalogue.

The first Helloween I heard was the Judas EP, and it was a life changing experience. Then Keepers I. Again, life changing. But I never got over Pink Bubbles Go Ape. And no Kiske, no Helloween.
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kytokinesis
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:01 am 
 

Anybody who is interested in the European variant of power metal, the EP, Walls of Jericho and the Keeper albums are absolutely mandatory. Hansen + Weikath is one of the most talented guitar duos in history. They were competitive and were always trying to outdo and out-write each other. The guitar department of either band (Helloween or Gamma Ray) is much more mundane without the clash of these two on the same song. Walls of Jericho has their best riffs and is their most technical album as a whole. Just listen to the twin riffs in the intro and firing underneath the pre-chorus of Guardians as an example. That's the kind of unhinged stuff that they would never really do again to the same degree. Grosskopf's bass gymnastics is also something to behold. There's an old story that Lars Ulrich and a Kerrang journalist played air guitar on squash rackets to this album piss drunk and Lars called it Iron Maiden at a million miles an hour.

When they saw some success after WoJ, they decided to hire a better vocalist. They wanted a voice like Geoff Tate, and they found Michael Kiske. The Keeper albums have some of the best power metal material that's ever been recorded, but they are not the most consistent albums ever. This was a band that the desire for mainstream success under-girded every decision they made. So yes, they started writing ballads and poppier material. But the two 13 minute epics on these albums are masterpieces and need their own separate analyses. They are on the record as having said that they were aiming to be like Queen or Rush in terms of worldwide popularity, and those two songs drew obvious comparisons to Bohemian Rhapsody and other extended works of those bands due to their theatrics and movement-oriented structure. The Keeper albums were the first albums that I heard from this band and I've been hooked ever since. Keeper II is overproduced but has better riffs. Keeper I has better atmosphere but is a little simple in the riff department besides on Halloween.

On Pink Bubbles and Chameleon, I personally love Chameleon. Giant, Music, Revolution Now, Step Out of Hell, all classics in my book. Pink Bubbles has a couple decent tracks.

Master of the Rings was a step back in the right direction. I regard The Time of the Oath as probably their best Deris album. Here you have time and understanding. The album cover is a throwback to Keeper I, as is the musty record-store production and the overall musical style. It was self-referential in a confident and triumphant way. It has great riffs. It exemplifies the power metal style in several songs, and they incorporate their more mainstream rock 'n roll ideas without flying off the rails.

I am not a big fan of the next two albums, Better than Raw and The Dark Ride. These two albums get a lot of credit for being darker and grittier or whatever, but Helloween is not a dark and gritty band. They would much more successfully combine the saccharine with the dark later (Gambling with the Devil). But these two were infantile efforts. The Dark Ride in particular is one of their weakest albums in my opinion. Barely any riffs. Too much chuggy mid-paced drivel and the one or two power metal songs are cookie cutter at best. Its only redeeming quality is the title track, which is an awesome song and clearly out-shined the Weikath and Deris material on this album.

I don't have a strong opinion either way on Rabbit. Sometimes the mood strikes and I want to listen to it. Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy is my second favorite Deris album. This is a Keeper album. Keeper albums are like a blockbuster movie franchise. People expect certain elements to be present and they expect a roller coaster ride and a spectacle. Keeper albums must have some references to The Keeper 'saga', they must have a 13 minute epic, etc. It must be a strong showing for the genre. It has a high bar to live up to in terms of impact and style. I think this is a worthy effort. They made some interesting choices with the track order, and there are some tracks like Mrs. God and a couple redundant rock-oriented tracks on the 2nd disc that could have been cut. King for 1000 Years delivers and is one of their best songs.

Gambling with the Devil is the third best Deris album by my count, close behind Keeper III. They revisit darker musical territory more confidently here, without shedding the core power metal spirit and while maintaining more robust song structures and riffs. Not quite as flashy as Keeper III, but it's a great album overall that offers more consistency.

I think the rest of the albums have great material in them, but are bloated with way too much filler. I've created my own tracklists for Straight Out of Hell and My God-given Right and I enjoy them better that way. Personally I think Wannabe God makes a cool throwaway intro, not sure why they dropped it in the middle of the album.

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Demon Fang
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:22 am 
 

"If I Could Fly" is an absolute gem of a song. It did what Kytokinesis said that Gambling with the Devil - namely, between its groove and piano melody, it was that perfect blend of saccharine darkness. Shame the album it's on isn't very good.

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e_ddi_e
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:00 am
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:33 am 
 

Helloween was essential music when I was in high school and the Jericho and Keeper albums came out. But I actually stopped listening to them after Keeper II. Because Death metal exploded in my ears shortly after that.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:49 pm 
 

Playing Keeper III again and "King for 1000 Years" may be my favorite Helloween song. I love how they did these gigantic epics. So many damn parts and dynamics going on.
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Waltz_of_Ghouls
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:47 pm 
 

I love Walls of Jericho and Better Than Raw, which is the first album I've heard from them back in 1998, but for some reason I have troubles getting into anything else they did. So, based on that, what albums I need to really check out? I figure The Dark Ride would be worth checking out?
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Sekrys
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:00 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:55 pm 
 

Waltz_of_Ghouls wrote:
I love Walls of Jericho and Better Than Raw, which is the first album I've heard from them back in 1998, but for some reason I have troubles getting into anything else they did. So, based on that, what albums I need to really check out? I figure The Dark Ride would be worth checking out?


I would definitely check out the Dark Ride. It honestly isn't way too different from what Helloween usually does (it is still pretty melodic and often silly), but there are more moments of aggression and darker melodies than usual. The guitars are more chuggy and are downtuned, but the songwriting is generally strong all around. I'd say that the opener "Mr. Torture," "Escalation 666," and "The Dark Ride" cover the general moods of the album pretty well, so if you like those you probably will enjoy the album as a whole. They aren't necessarily going to be your favorite songs, but they should give a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the material. Also check out Master of the Rings and Time of the Oath if you haven't; both are pretty solid. Master of the Rings has some hard rock tendencies, and Time of the Oath has iffy production, but you still may enjoy both records.

The consensus seems to be that Gambling with the Devil is the best modern Helloween album, and although I do not agree with this, I can see why it is said. A really strong album all around. If you want a good taste of what modern Helloween sounds like, this is your best bet. I would say that "The Saints," "Final Fortune," and "Paint a New World" encapsulate the sound of the record pretty well, so these tracks would be your best bet to check out first for that. "Kill It" is a great, aggressive song (much like "Push" off of Better Than Raw), but it really isn't representative of the album as a whole. One note to mention is that Helloween's modern records have been produced by Charlie Bauerfeind, who has elected to give the production, well, a modern production job. It is substantially different from the production of those earlier records, and you may not be a fan of it (I know I'm not). Anyway, if you like Gambling, than you probably will enjoy the other modern Helloween records to some degree.

I'm not sure which albums you have listened to besides Walls of Jericho and Better Than Raw, though. I assume you likely have listened to the Keepers, but listen to those if you haven't. All three are fairly consistent. Both Walls of Jericho and Better Than Raw are my favorite Helloween albums, so you definitely have started in the right place.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:19 am 
 

Simfers wrote:
Despite, or perhaps because of, my fanboyism of Gamma Ray, I've never REALLY dug into Helloween. I've really only ever heard Walls of Jericho, all three Keepers, The Dark Ride and Rabbit Don't Come Easy (what an odd album, that one), along with the Treasure Chest compilation. I've enjoyed all of them, but they've never super hooked me. Really really like The Dark Ride too.


This is pretty much exactly where I am. I got into Gamma Ray first, so for years I was only interested in Walls of Jericho. I have an old shitty review where I rag on The Dark Ride for being fluffy and harmless despite everybody calling it their darkest album but that was a shitty point to base my opinion on and I haven't listened to it since then so who knows, maybe I'll like it nowadays. I don't really like the Kiske albums overall though I do acknowledge the influence the Keepers albums had, but really the only Helloween I find myself going back to are the one that are... well, more like Gamma Ray in the sense that they're a little bit meaner. So basically it's just Better than Raw and Gambling with the Devil, though I do recall liking The Time of the Oath too but it's been nearly 15 years since I listened to it. This thread may push me to revisit the band, actually. They're probably the biggest and most influential metal band that I'm only passingly familiar with.
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