Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — January 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Review: Helloween – Straight Out of Hell

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 Artist Name: Helloween
Title Name: Straight Out of Hell
Label: The End Records
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

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While there might have been other similar bands competing for a place under the sun back when power metal was born – out of the amalgamation of NWOBHM riffs with classical scales and operatic vocals – German legends Helloween are considered by every 10 out of 10 metalheads as the undisputable kings of the genre.

While their best years and marquee works might be lost in time and space at this point, they have certainly been surfing the 2000s wave of metal revival very well. Reaching now their fourteenth studio album, Straight Out of Hell, they show no signs of running out of creative juices or giving up their throne.

While the whole album is solid, melodic, fast, magnificently produced and full of songs that will please fans of the genre, highlights go to the captivating opening track “Nabataea”, the heavenly melodies of “Far From the Stars”, and the evolving calmness of the ballad ‘Hold me in Your Arms’.

While all the songs were crafted after beautiful and varied themes and subjects, big shout outs go to “Wanna Be God”, a nod-turned-homage to Queen and Freddie Mercury at the same time. Nothing less than enthusiastic yells go to “Burning Sun”, that in some markets is offered twice, the second version being a Hammond driven rendering dedicated to the late Jon Lord from Deep Purple, deceased last year, orphaning millions of fans  – this writer included.

While some might still think that this band went down hill when guitarist Kai Hansen left to form Gamma Ray, or when singer Michael Kiske was replaced by Andi Deris, most of us continue to love them equally, as they keep proving to be unique in their approach to metal.    

 

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