Genre: Power Metal
Country: Germany
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release: June 2021

Dream team alliance is finally locked and loaded!! Andi Deris, Michael Kiske, Michael Weikath, Kai Hansen, Markus Grosskopf, Sascha Gerstner and Dani Löble gave birth to “Helloween”, finally the homonymous band’s album title. It definitely symbolizes a new chapter for the band after 35 years of a glorious career. Three singers idea that was originally planned for live performances only, it is the starting point of a unique seven piece metal meteor, setting the standards really high. Having released 15 studio and 4 live records, Helloween achieved to be honored with 14 Gold and 6 Platinum-Awards and sold more than 10 million albums. The “ Keeper“ records are counting to one of the most successful German metal records of all time and are reckoned internationally as absolute milestones of power metal. Fascinated by different character traits and facets of this exact Helloween glorious history, by definition we were expecting a heavy power holocaust. “Helloween” although staying within the same ultra-melodic power metal territory, is certainly one of the heaviest records the band came up with since The Dark Ride (back in 2000), not reaching though the sharp melodies and choruses that they had during late 80s, on Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ peak. As overall outcome band’s new release does not resemble to the ultimate Helloween experience to be honest. Going through the tracks one by one, again and again, I realized that something is missing. I’ve got this feeling in some of the tracks that I’m just waiting patiently for the next one to electroshock me. “Skyfall” though does! It certainly stands out, by all means! A 12 minute masterpiece written by mighty Kai Hansen, has the long yearned “Keeper-vibe” – even if the long player can by no means be limited to it. Yes! This one does imply the musical arch which will be loved by fans of every era. Using old school recording engineering along with current Helloween-vibe and the original drum kit of Ingo Schwichtenberg, the recording has this 80’s glimpse of the past! There’s a nice mix of more epic tracks such as the opener “Out For the Glory” and “Robot King” along with more streamlined songs like “Best Time” and “Cyanide.” ”Fear of The Fallen” is a fast paced, melodic track done the way only Deris can do it. All three singers deliver excellent performances in both lead and backing vocals, which is no surprise. The songs are not that of a classic power metal line, with crunchy guitar riffs not being always on the frontline, but still we‘ve got some memorable solos, and catchy melodies. Michael Kiske is the main ingredient in Helloween‘s success. His soaring highs carry the songs to where eagles fly free. Andi Deris also sounds being in a very good shape, while dueling with Kiskle in the upper ranges and holding his own, it’s just terrific. He sounds especially good on cuts like “Mass Pollution,” which come straight from the Better Than Raw playbook. Synergy, energy and creativity! These were the main elements on this record. Released on this very same day, I cannot deny that it’s the beginning of something big! Here comes Helloween!