Posts tagged ‘helloween’

November 4, 2015

Album 0468: Helloween – 7 Sinners

Helloween 7 Sinners Cover

Release Date: 2010
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Where The Sinners Go (03:36)
2. Are You Metal? (03:35)
3. Who Is Mr. Madman? (05:43)
4. Raise The Noise (05:07)
5. World Of Fantasy (05:15)
6. Long Live The King (04:13)
7. The Smile Of The Sun (04:37)
8. You Stupid Mankind (04:04)
9. If A Mountain Could Talk (06:44)
10. The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner (04:00)
11. My Sacrifice (04:59)
12. Not Yet Today (01:12)
13. Far In The Future (07:43)
14. I’m Free (04:11)
15. Faster We Fall (04:48)
16. Aiming High (04:33)

Total Length: 01:14:18

Sometimes there’s such a huge break for me in doing this because I’m just so busy and this isn’t my priority. Sometimes the quality of an album makes it hard to want to listen and write about it. This at least has served true plenty of times. Both are true in this case. Where The Sinners Go has a fairly neat opening, the drums sound great and the tone works well. The chorus is catchy, which is Helloween’s strong suit. It’s just not that great, somehow. Are You Metal? has a stupidly-cheesy synth (which is a good thing) but the rest of the song falls flat for me.

Who Is Mr. Madman? plays way more to the band’s strengths. It’s catchy, kind of dark in a fun-house way, and just sticks with you. It’s a bit too long to be honest, but a bright spot on the album. Raise The Noise is entirely boring until the woodwind solo partway through. If they had done more things like this on here I would like this album a hell of a lot more. World Of Fantasy is just an average song from the band. Decent enough chorus. Long Live The King is not really good in any way I can truthfully say. Maybe the main riff is alright? Eh.

The Smile Of The Sun is an attempt at a softer, more ballad type song. It really doesn’t work at all. Neither does You Stupid Mankind which has some odd grammar and tries to be harsh and mean but it doesn’t come off well at all. If A Mountain Could Talk is way too long and frankly just boring. The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner has a great chorus that sticks in your head, and that’s all. My Sacrifice has one of the best riffs on the album. Not Yet Today is a decent intro to the next track. It tries to be haunting, like the song that Pippin sings in Return of the King, but it doesn’t really make it there.

Far In The Future is a fairly solid song, but even though the band has done longer tracks in good form before, this one loses steam pretty quickly. I’m Free has a cool chorus to it. Faster We Fall is decent, but really not worth mentioning. Aiming High is the previous track but even moreso. It’s no wonder that these two got cut and put on the bonus track train. The album itself just feels lifeless for the most part, like the guys are just going through the motions. I really don’t care to listen to it ever again.

Final Rating: 3/10

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December 22, 2013

Album 0410: Helloween – Master Of The Rings

Helloween - Master Of The Rings

Release Date: 1994
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. Irritation (Weik Editude 112 In C) (01:16)
2. Sole Survivor (04:33)
3. Where The Rain Grows (04:47)
4. Why? (04:12)
5. Mr. Ego (Take Me Down) (07:03)
6. Perfect Gentleman (03:54)
7. The Game Is On (04:40)
8. Secret Alibi (05:50)
9. Take Me Home (04:26)
10. In The Middle Of A Heartbeat (04:30)
11. Still We Go (05:09)

DISC TWO

1. Grapowski’s Malmsuite 1001 (In D-Doll) (06:34)
2. Cold Sweat (03:48)
3. Can’t Fight Your Desire (03:45)
4. Closer To Home (08:14)
5. Silicon Dreams (04:11)
6. Star Invastion (04:49)
7. I Stole Your Love (03:21)

Total Length: 01:25:01

Irritation (Weik Editude 112 In C) begins the album with a decent symphonic intro, it’s nothing special but I guess gets to lead you into the whole. Sole Survivor is mostly fantastic, I only really take issue with the extended ending. It’s a ‘live’ ending that goes on way too long and sounds childish. Where The Rain Grows is a lot of fun, specifically in the guitar work throughout, the little bits here and there and the solo is cool.

Why? has a good chorus and fun solo section, it’s a very strong song and no surprise that it was a single. Mr. Ego (Take Me Down) is pretty cool, and bits of it stick with me. The chorus in particular pops in my head from time to time, I just can’t really figure out why the song needed to be as long as it is. It’s not too bad, but it’s kind of unnecessary. Perfect Gentleman is pretty great, I love the sunny happy feeling it gives off, even if the comedy falls a bit flat.

The Game Is On is super cheesy but I really love it. It’s a completely Nintendo inspired song, with even some little 8-bit sounds littering the song. It’s another happy song, though I’ll admit that there are some depressing connotations to part of the lyrics. Secret Alibi is amazing, it’s one of the band’s best songs, with one faulty bit. The ending fades out, and then back in, adding an extra minute to the song that really doesn’t need to be there. I don’t understand the point of it either.

Take Me Home unfortunately cuts the trend of great songs dead in its tracks. It’s a very boring song, with a crappy rock vibe that doesn’t appeal to me at all. In The Middle Of A Heartbeat is more of a ballad, and it’s a very solid song. It’s catchy and pretty. Still We Go caps off the normal album in a decent way. It has some neat moments but honestly kind of falls a bit flat. Grapowski’s Malmsuite 1001 (In D-Doll) is a fairly good instrumental piece. It doesn’t stand out to me and I usually lose interest halfway through though.

Cold Sweat is a cover of Thin Lizzy and is frankly boring in only the way that hard rock can be. It’s incredibly simplistic and does nothing for me. Can’t Fight Your Desire is kind of decent, but it’s plain why this was relegated to b-side. It’s just a one-note song that never goes anywhere. Closer To Home is a Grank Funk Railroad cover, and it’s a pretty classic song. However, I feel it goes on too long and is kind of self-indulgent.

Silicon Dreams completely confuses me. Not as a song, but because this song exists and somehow Take Me Home made the main album instead of this. The chorus is a bit weird, but the verse is really cool and inventive. Star Invasion is kind of boring though. Again, another where the selection as a b-side is obvious. I Stole Your Love is a Kiss cover and like the other hard rock cover, it’s incredibly boring to me. If we don’t count most of these bonus tracks, this is a very strong album. Like I said, if those two songs were switched, there wouldn’t be a single bad song on the main album.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

December 4, 2012

Album 0182: Helloween – The Time Of The Oath

Helloween The Time Of The Oath

Release Date: 1996
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. We Burn (03:06)
2. Steel Tormentor (05:43)
3. Wake Up The Mountain (05:05)
4. Power (03:32)
5. Forever And One (Neverland) (03:55)
6. Before The War (04:34)
7. A Million To One (05:12)
8. Anything My Mama Don’t Like (03:47)
9. Kings Will Be Kings (05:09)
10. Mission Motherland (09:03)
11. If I Knew (05:31)
12. The Time Of The Oath (06:59)

DISC TWO

1. Still I Don’t Know (04:13)
2. Take It To The Limit (04:05)
3. Electric Eye (04:06)
4. Magnetic Fields (03:41)
5. Rain (04:34)
6. Walk Your Way (04:56)
7. Light In The Sky (02:35)
8. Time Goes By (02:24)

Total Length: 01:32:09

We Burn has a fun little intro, I always love when Helloween utilizes stuff like it. The main song itself is pretty good, if basic, power metal. The vocals work well, and the chorus sticks with you. Steel Tormentor has some good moments, and I kind of enjoy the chorus, but the song feels overly long and kind of like a waste of time. Wake Up The Mountain kind of falls under the same heading. I never feel anything while listening to a lot of songs on this album, it lacks a lot of the stuff I really enjoy about this band, like some of the playfulness is missing.

Power is fairly good, it’s almost a pretty good song. Again, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but while I feel like I should enjoy this song, I just don’t. Forever And One (Neverland) is a pretty good softer song, and one of the band’s most popular songs. I do enjoy this song, though I am more used to the later version. Before The War has the first really great, fast chorus and is the first more metal song on here that I really enjoy. If the whole album was like this I’d have no issues with it.

A Million To One has some nice riffs in the bridge. Anything My Mama Don’t Like could have been a fun song, but the lyrics are just so cheesy, and this time it is not in a good way. Seriously, the chorus sounds like something a boy band would have. Kings Will Be Kings is pretty good surprisingly. The chorus is catchy, and the rest of the songs holds up as well. Mission Motherland is kind of nice. I enjoy the main chunk of the song, and the extended instrumental section features a slap bass solo which is always neat. Again I have to say that the entire package doesn’t entirely appeal to me though.

If I Knew is kind of lengthy, boring, and overdone. I’ve heard this band and other bands do songs like it much better. The Time Of The Oath starts off with a pretty cool riff, and is kind of a larger than life song. Of the tracks on here, I kind of wish the band would revisit this. There is good stuff here (and this song closes out the main album proper), but the production or songwriting or something is just completely throwing me off from liking this. I really wish I could explain it better.

Still I Don’t Know is decently enjoyable, but again the main ideas behind the song and the song being too long (yes, 4 minutes can be too long) hurts it. Take It To The Limit is once more cheesy in a bad way. It’s a shame since the song started off well. Electric Eye is a cover of the great Judas Priest track, and so this version is similarly great. Magnetic Fields is a Jean Michael Jarre cover, and a pretty neat instrumental.

Rain is a Status Quo cover and I’m not really fond of it. Just sounds like a generic rock song. Walk Your Way has some neat vocal moments but is otherwise a fairly boring song. Light In The Sky is a pretty nice short song, I don’t really get why this would be left off the album in favor of other tracks. Time Goes By is the same thing, a short softer song that is better than half of the actual album. I really want to enjoy this album as I do like Helloween, but there really isn’t much to go on here. I’ve just got a few tracks I like, and that’s about it.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

June 9, 2012

Album 0048: Helloween – Rabbit Don’t Come Easy

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Just A Little Sign (04:27)
2. Open Your Life (04:30)
3. The Tune (05:37)
4. Never Be A Star (04:12)
5. Liar (04:57)
6. Sun 4 The World (03:57)
7. Don’t Stop Being Crazy (04:22)
8. Do You Feel Good (04:23)
9. Hell Was Made In Heaven (05:34)
10. Back Against The Wall (05:45)
11. Listen To The Flies (04:54)
12. Nothing To Say (08:33)
13. Far Away (04:18)
14. Fast As A Shark (03:39)

Total Length: 01:09:09

Just A Little Sign has one of best verses I’ve ever heard, and the chorus is very welcoming to sing along to. Open Your Life has a very cool chorus, and the intro is pretty great. The Tune has a fun chorus, and the guitar solo is actually engaging and interesting. Never Be A Star has some neat keyboard effects, and it’s kind of funky but I really don’t like the middle section. Liar is a pretty great song I’m slowly realizing, it’s just great all around.

Sun 4 The World, the song that is oddly titled like a Prince song, is better than the title suggests. The opening is a bit weird, but the rest of the song makes up for it. Don’t Stop Being Crazy is a slightly softer song, it’s fairly nice but doesn’t quite strike me. Do You Feel Good was actually originally written for the band’s previous album, and I’m glad it at least made an appearance somewhere. It’s such a cool song, the intro buildup is fantastic and the chorus is amazing.

Hell Was Made In Heaven has a very fun chorus, but the rest of the song doesn’t do terribly much for me. It kind of goes on a bit too long, honestly. Back Against The Wall is possibly my least favorite song on the album. It’s just too long and not that interesting. Listen To The Flies makes up for it though, being a fantastic song with great lyrics. Nothing To Say is a fairly progressive song for the band. It’s a big mesh of styles, most notably the chorus being reggae influenced. It may go on a tiny bit long, but it’s fun. The ending is a bit odd though.

Far Away is fun but really isn’t that interesting honestly. It’s very forgettable, which is kind of befitting for a bonus track. Fast As A Shark is an Accept cover, I actually am not fond of it at all. I usually skip it when listening to this album. This album is pretty great when it’s all said and done, despite a few bumps here and there. I enjoy listening to mostly all of it, but a few songs do stand out.

Final Rating: 8/10

February 28, 2012

Album 0017: Helloween – Unarmed – Best Of 25th Anniversary

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Dr. Stein (04:00)
2. Future World (04:13)
3. If I Could Fly (03:29)
4. Where The Rain Grows (05:11)
5. The Keeper’s Trilogy (17:07)
6. Eagle Fly Free (03:51)
7. Perfect Gentleman (04:20)
8. Forever And One (Neverland) (04:25)
9. I Want Out (04:22)
10. Fallen To Pieces (03:28)
11. A Tale That Wasn’t Right (04:48)
12. Why? (03:35)

Total Length: 01:02:51

This album is a collection of redone songs the band did in new styles to reinvent the songs. It’s a really neat idea instead of a basic ‘best of’ album. I couldn’t believe this version of Dr. Stein when I first heard it. It’s so amazing, the big band atmosphere translates so well for this song, and the arrangement is amazing. It’s unreal. Hell, I would even say I prefer this to the original. The only complaints against it kind of apply to the whole album. The vocals have this odd phasing on them for some reason, and the whole album isn’t done big band style. That’s not to say it needed to be, but very few other interpretations on this album reach the level of this song. Future World is actually one of my favorite songs from the band, and this style is kind of just a slower acoustic version, which isn’t terribly interesting.

If I Could Fly takes full use of the opportunities for more production this album provided. The song is sort of similar to the original, but they just added so many neat layers with the keyboards. Where The Rain Grows actually sort of takes a country approach, of sorts. I like what they did with the chorus, but the verse is just boring. The Keeper’s Trilogy is most definitely the centerpiece of the album, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the very idea of making this track caused this entire album to happen. It is a mix of the three Keeper songs from the band’s history, and is just fantastic. It uses a 70-piece orchestra mixed with the band’s usual drumming and vocals, but not heavy guitar or bass. It is a different mood the band has never explored before and it works fantastically. My favorite part is the middle section, but it is all fantastic.

I have a similar view of Eagle Fly Free as I did with Future World. The original was brilliant, but this one is just okay. I do give more credit to this song though, I do enjoy the arrangement and the female vocals. Perfect Gentleman definitely gets a country vibe in here, and it works as a sort of funny thing. The slower pace of the song feels a bit sluggish though. Forever And One (Neverland) is a song where I’d say this new version improves upon it. It’s similar, but the added production here makes it soar. I Want Out is yet another one where I feel they took the wrong approach with it. It’s still a good song, and that shows, but I prefer the original and this one doesn’t capture that feel.

Fallen To Pieces is the song I’m most unfamiliar with, and it sounds pretty good here. I enjoy it. A Tale That Wasn’t Right is a fantastic way to end the album (the last track is a bonus track). This is the only other song they chose to use the orchestra on, and it is well worth it. This feels like something from a Disney movie, to be honest. Andi Deris’ singing on it is great as well. The combination of both just really gets to me, and it builds so well. The original is very different in pace and tone, but I think I like this one better. Why? gets more a rock vibe, and has some cool instrumentation. I enjoy this song, but it actually feels like it is: a bonus track.

In the end, I really do love this album and am glad it exists. It’s much better than some regular ‘best of’ album. I only feel like there were some missed opportunities in this. A few of the songs are absolutely brilliant, while some others simply feel like replacing the electric guitars with acoustic guitars. If the album had been just a bit more expansive and exploratory it would have been unbelievable.

Final Rating: 8.5/10