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Helloween - 7 Sinners

Helloween
7 Sinners
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 05 November 2010, 5:11 PM

It has become really boring, you know; talking about HELLOWEEN and their past glory during the “Keeper…” days or even the “Jericho…” ones forgetting albums like “Pink Pubbles Go Ape” and “Chameleon” that also had Michael Kiske behind the microphone. So, it is time for all the 80s metalheads to stop making wishes about Kai and Kiske returning to HELLOWEEN since this is similar to writing sci-fi stories. HELLOWEEN are far from that time period and actually have stayed alive due to this guy from PINK CREAM 69 who was like a shot in the arm for the German based band. Now that I got that out of my chest, I will move on and discuss the band’s new album, “7 Sinners”.

I have the feeling that HELLOWEEN are trying to rediscover themselves after the average album “Rabbits Don’t Come Easy” that hit the stores in 2003. The albums that followed, were of a higher level with more Metal oriented songs and I dare to say that HELLOWEEN brought joy to my ears with most of the songs in the “Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy” despite that I did not like the revival of that title after so many years.But, all these good signs had to face a granite wall with the “Unarmed” best of compilation, where the band decided to re-work some older songs into something literally unrecognizable.

“Where Sinners Go” is a heavy opener with a really cool guitar sound that YES, has a modern profile. This is a mid tempo song that shines through the great production, especially in the solid rhythm section built by the drums and bass guitar. It seems that HELLOWEEN were trying to explore new territories especially in the heavier and if I am not mistaken down tuned guitars. But, “Are You Metal?” comes with all the trademark recipes this band possesses during the second Deris period. Catchy keyboards and vocal melodies and a sing along chorus have many references to the pretty good “Better Than Raw”. For reasons I do not understand, the Germans added the “Perfect Gentlemen” main melody in the intro of “Who Is Mr. Madman?” that I think is kind of a sequel song.

I have the feeling that the new direction in the guitars brings the band closer to the virtues of the German Power Metal scene without overdoing with the ‘humoristic’ finishing touches. “Raise The Noise” is another song-to-be-played-live meeting all the standards for the up-tempo groove to the sing along chorus, until the flute solo kicks in. Indeed, HELLOWEEN decided in this that the guitars are not enough and hit it with a non-Metal instrument. It does not sound bad but on the other hand it faces a raised eyebrow sound totally alien hear.

“What is the verdict?” someone could ask trying to interrupt a long and eventually long review. Well, Deris sounds great as always pushing his voice to the limit with killer multiple vocal harmonies, while the guitars carry a new breeze that I found tempting. Songs like the catchy “World Of Fantasy”, the fast “If A Mountain Could Talk” (great lyrics) or the epic “Far In The Future” are the highlights of an album that satisfied my expectations for the Germans. The improvement in the guitar section may hide better things in the future by no one can be sure with Weikath in the lineup…

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Where The Sinners Go
  2. Are You Metal?
  3. Who Is Mr. Madman?
  4. Raise The Noise
  5. World Of Fantasy
  6. Long Live The King
  7. The Smile Of The Sun
  8. You Stupid Mankind
  9. If A Mountain Could Talk
  10. The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner
  11. My Sacrifice
  12. Not Yet Today
  13. Far In The Future
Lineup:
Andi Deris - Vocals
Michael Weikath - Guitars
Sascha Gerstner - Guitars
Markus Grosskopf - Bass
Dani Löble - Drums
Record Label: Sony Music
     


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