Album Releases Album Reviews

Helloween – My God Given Right Review

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Released By: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: May 29th

Genre: Power Metal

 

Line Up:

Andi Deris – Vocals

Michael Weikath – Guitars

Daniel Loble – Drums

Sasha Gerstner – Guitars

Markus Grosskopf – Bass

 

Track List:

01. Heroes

02. Battle’s Won

03. My God-Given Right

04. Stay Crazy

05. Lost In America

06. Russian Roule

07. The Swing Of A Fallen World

08. Like Everybody Else

09. Creatures In Heaven

10. If God Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll

11. Living On The Edge

12. Claws

13. You, Still Of War

 

Every time I see or hear Helloween, I always come over with a massive feeling of regret. For a band who more or less founded the subgenre of power metal, and released two of the most innovative and iconic metal albums in history, Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1 & 2, they never truly reached the heights of success that those records promised. Of course, numerous changes in rank over the years did not help, especially that of original member Kai Hansen. Then the commercial nosedive albums Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon led to the departure of vocalist Michael Kiske, leaving the Helloween camp in complete disarray. Thankfully, since 2005 stability returned to the band, and led by vocalist Andi Deris they are about to release their fifth studio album, My God-Given Right with the current line up.

There is a lot of power metal bands out there who are just going through the motions with not an awful lot happening. That’s far from the case with the opening tracks on this album. Heroes and Battles’ Won just encapsulates everything that sets this band apart from the pretenders. Gritty riffs, melodic power are all in abundance here and meticulously executed. The title track carries the tribal battle theme to yet more epic results, it’s fierce and bloody vibe is ceaseless.

Andi Deris performance is five star; he’s a man that seems to get better with every album. Be that as it may though, there’s still a hell of a lot of die hard Helloween fans who still haven’t got over Kiske walking, and will still grimace at the very mention of today’s line up. But the vast majority are still on board with whatever the band are creating. The retro 80’s sounding Stay Crazy is pretty predictable, but oozes a cheesy likeability; while the turbo charged Lost In America and Russian Roule won’t take you by surprise, but they are still key bona fide quality metal tracks.

The Swing Of A Fallen World takes the album into a shredders paradise with thunderous drama and searing changes of pace that will take your breath away. If you’re a Helloween sceptic and think the song remains the same, the gem that is Like Everybody Else should kick that theory clear out of your head. A vocally restrained Deris once again delivers with natural ease. As metal ballads go, its class and undeniable epicenes is a perpetual joy to behold. An incessant Creatures In Heaven is a complete orgy of melodic power that’s sets up a barbaric If God Loves Rock n Roll perfectly. If it wasn’t for the instantly addictive chorus, Living On The Edge would just be an album also ran, but this is only a mere weak point on a very strong album thus far.

A furious Gerstner and Weikath assault their respective axes with an arrogant fury on Claws, but having said that, compared to other bands of a similar genre they don’t overplay their undoubted talents to the extreme. And this is the overriding beauty of the album, the balance of each members magic is equally shared to form a shrewdly constructed metal album. And, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe metal and hard rock is once again on the verge of another purple patch, and Helloween, based on this beauty, will be on the frontline.

Written by: Brian Boyle

 

Rating: Brian 9/10

 

 

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