I was sceptical when the news hits us that Helloween would record a brand new record with the Pumpkins United line-up. If someone asks me why I really don’t have a good answer though. Maybe I thought that it was impossible for Michael Weikath to work with Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen again. Or maybe I want all those people out there who said right after the news of a new album that it would be the best release in 2021 to be wrong. I really don’t know. What I do know is that when I first heard the first single “Skyfall” I thought it was not good at all, it was instead a really big disappointment. But I’m a man that could change my mind because now I have listened to the new album for several weeks and it’s a real killer.
The experience starts with “Out For The Glory” and Michael Kiske shows everyone that he is back in Helloween and it’s almost like nothing have happened since the band released the classical “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” albums back in the 80’s. It’s so natural in a good way. In 1993 Kiske was replaced with Andi Deris who were the singer in Pink Cream 69 at that time, and believe me when I say that I truly hated that he was leaving Pink Cream 69. At that point Pink Cream 69 was one of my absolute favourite bands and I didn’t liked “Master Of The Rings” very much. When Helloween released “Time Of The Oath” everything was forgotten though because that album was brilliant. “Fear Of The Fallen” of the new album is the best song Helloween have done since “Power” from “Time Of The Oath” if you ask me and Andi Deris is in my world a better singer if I compare with Kiske.
Michael Kiske is the singer on the Unisonic albums and I’m getting a bit confused when I hear “Best Time” and “Angels” because they (especially “Best Time”) sounds a lot like Unisonic, which definitely isn’t bad because Unisonic is a great band to. “Mass Pollution” and “Rise Without Chains” is typical Power Metal from the trademark Helloween and it’s pretty amazing that the band could hold the high quality year after year. The album continues with “Indestructible” and the riff in the intro makes me feel good and faster than you can say riff I pick out my air guitar.
Is there something that is negative? No, not really. Even “Skyfall” is so damn good when we got the full twelve minute version. When I sit on the retirement home and my 80-year old friends ask me:
-Johan, which was the best album Helloween released?
Right there I can honestly say that Helloween released two great albums in the late 80’s named “Keeper Of The Seven Keys pt 1 and 2”, in 1996 the album “Time Of The Oath” was a real knockout but the biggest surprise was without a doubt a self-titled album released 2021. This one blows me away and I bow and say thank you guys, you made the best album this year.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 18/6-21
Stand out track: Fear Of The Fallen