Largely putting power metal on the map in Europe in the mid Eighties, Germany's Helloween returns with their fifteenth album, My God Given Right. If you're counting that's 15 albums in the span of 30 years. And Helloween basically sticks with the sound the know best.
Having said that, one's first observation could be simply: same stuff, new album. Listening to the first two tracks, Heroes and Battle's Won or the later Claws, which are essentially straight up Helloween power metal, you would be right. Alternatively, Helloween can throw some curve balls at you. One, is the low key metal ballad Like Everyone Else. It's not that can't or haven't done something like this. It's just not the first thing you think of when you think of Helloween. Another bit of sleight of hand comes at the beginning of Creatures of Heaven, with it's twinkling and spacey synths at the start. But then it jumps into racing Helloween speed metal. Another song, The Swing of a Fallen World, isn't really power metal at all. The pace is moderate, tone one of riff bombastic classic heavy metal.
Mostly, I've always thought Helloween was at there finest when their power metal was laced with a rock groove and ear catching melody. You get that within My God Given Right, Russian Roule, and If God Loves Rock n Roll, where you can bang your head, do your windmills, and tap your toe. But the real accessible groove monster is Stay Crazy, which turns on an ear candy melody and a great vocal twist.
Basically, what you could conclude is that there's something for everyone within My God Given Right. Things that you would expect from Helloween like straight power metal, a few things not so much, at least at the first listen. Will satisfy the diehard Helloween? I'm not sure, but I liked it. (You can always be thankful that it wasn't another Chameleon album; like they'd ever do that again.) Recommended.
There's something for everyone within My God Given Right. Things that you would expect from Helloween like straight power metal, a few things not so much, at least at the first listen. Will satisfy the diehard Helloween? I'm not sure, but I liked it.
If anything can be said about founder and guitarist Michel St-Pere and his Mystery, he and the band are prolific in their output. If they're not offering consistent studio albums, the band delivers live CD/DVDs ... [ Read More ]