Reviewed Digital Copy: by Chris Hammond
Helloween- Helloween 2021
Label: Nuclear Blast
Style: Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Band Members: Michael Kiske (vocals), Andi Deris (vocals), Kai Hansen (guitars, vocals), Michael Weikath (guitars), Sascha Gerstner (guitars), Markus Grosskopf (bass), Dani Löble (drums).
|Track list||Total runtime|
|1||– Out For The Glory||7:18|
|2||– Fear Of The Fallen||5:38|
|3||– Best Time||3:35|
|4||– Mass Pollution||4:14|
|6||– Rise Without Chains||4:56|
|8||– Robot King||7:07|
|10||– Down In The Dumps||6:01|
In what is the band’s 16th album, Helloween’s career has spanned 35 years and is still going with no stop in sight. I have to admit, that I got into the Helloween game late only to start listening to the German-based band with their 1994 Master of Rings release. I have since gone back over the intensive library of music that they have gifted the world with and I have to say Helloween is exciting and never really boring.
When I heard that the band would be recording with three singers ( Michael Kiske, Andi Deris, and Kai Hansen) I was over the moon. These three singers embody the sound that represents the best of Helloween (in my opinion). Helloween put every bit of musical confidence into their releases and why would this album be any different.
Although many of the other Helloween albums have appealing recognizable songs, the new album is in fact full of great material that will appeal to Helloween fans young and old. The album itself is a more modernized sound while not leaving the old Helloween magic out.
The resurgence of many older Metal bands is a great thing. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon have all released very well-received albums over the past couple of years. This means there are fans for this music, which leads us to Helloween by Helloween.
The album starts over with a real banger called “Out for Glory”. This emotion-filled romp is full of energy from musicians who still really care about their music. This seven-plus minute outing in enthusiasm will bring smiles to the faces of Classic Helloween. This sets forth the feel of the album, energy, competence, and fuel-filled fun.
Then there is the “Fear of the Fallen” with an acoustic start the song divides its musical tempo between soft and slow to speed and slashing guitar solos. “Best Times” has a very modern metal/hard rock sound. This could easily get a great amount of radio play. These lyrics say it all “I will have the best time of my life”. This is one of the stronger songs as it has many different levels to it. Is it metal, is it classic rock, it is something that is worth hitting play and just put it on repeat.
Deris takes the vocal lead on the 80’s vibe of “Mass Pollution” Riffs and solos meet swagger and style. These songs beg the listener to clap along and “make some noise”. While “Angels” and “Rise Without Chains” incorporate meaningful lyrics a great chunk of the song is spent in guitar riffs and echoing vocals. I get a real early Queensryche vibe off of some of the songs on the album.
“Indestructible” is bass-heavy and plays out like a classic 80’s song “We are indestructible because we are one” Great song great vibe with rocking lyrics. Then there of course is the 12-minute song “Skyfall”. This answers the question “How do you keep someone listening for 12 minutes to one individual song. Well, you make an instant classic like Metallica used to do. Tell a story using not only lyrics but also the music. Using more than one vocalist also helps, but you still need the meat and potatoes that are rhythm and tempo.
Helloween is not a gimmick album, the band is still interested in making great music and this release shows that. Although some songs can be self-indulgent and a tad long they never disappoint. The use of three vocalist help to keep the material and the vocals fresh. This also benefits the music in many ways.
Rating 4.5 out of 5 Helloween Vocalists!