CD Reviews

Helloween - '7 Sinners' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 05, 2010    
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Helloween are back with a vengeance and I love it!

Let me first thank the 'Gods Of Metal' for this offering, as there is no trace of the comedic or cabaret anywhere on this album. Its pure solid angsty heavy blistering metal!! Helloween are back with a vengeance and I love it! They have returned back to their true style of speed metal with ‘7 Sinners’, which as the title suggests, the album focuses on the 7 sins. With this offering, they are clearly going back to their roots. Hints of 'The Dark Ride' and 'Gambling With The Devil' are evident throughout, with blistering guitar riffs and thundering drum beats, accompanied by symphonic and epic melodies, all held firmly in place by Andi's powerfully strong vocals. 

Recorded at Mr Deris' very own Mi Sueno Studios and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind, who has been a valued addition to the 'Ween camp. His input has given the album a very powerful strength with its tightness and perfect levels. I am used to seeing Weikath as the main songwriter, however I can note that this has a collaboration of not only he, but Deris, Gerstner and even Grosskopf demonstrating their talents away from their instruments. It is apparent after listening to the tracks and comparing the composer that you notice certain styles shining through.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Starting straight away, 'Where The Sinners Go' demonstrates the awesome use of the twin guitar sound provided by Weikath & Gerstner, who are so tight that it is near impossible to separate the two. There is an element of the stereotypical German Metal sound coming through with its organised marching drum beat, which pounds in harmony with the depth of the bass. Andi's vocals demonstrate exactly why he has lasted so long with the versatility and flexibility of his range and strength.

'Are You Metal', which is due to be released as a single, follows. The already blistering riff speed is upped some notches to the point that you actually wonder how the guys can humanely strum that fast. Mr Biff Byford of Saxon fame leads a spoken intro into 'Who Is Mr Madman', which reminded me of a pumped up version of 'Mr Torture'. At various points during the track, all musical instruments hold back, allowing the drums to shine through in all their glory. This works well and gives an almost primal feel. The great hooks are evident not only on this track but on all of the tracks on the album and will have you singing or tapping along to your metal hearts content.

The variations of speed are only rapidly increased or decreased slightly, however they make a big difference when the infusion of the symphonic melodies are laid over to create the various atmospheres pertaining to the individual topics of the lyrics. 'World Of Fantasy' seeps back to the 'Keeper' era. Lyrically, it questions society and is a lot calmer on the ears. It comes at the right time and with the others lets the twin guitars shine through with glorious melodies. Not only is there a great hook but the melody is just addictive.

Launching you back into a rapid assault is 'Long Live The King', which is followed by 'The Smile Of The Sun' with its piano intro creating an ethereal and moving atmosphere for a great melodic ballad. Tinged with sorrow and a helpless loss overtone enhanced by carefully placed guitar solos and incerpts, it has all the typical Helloween traits. Epic, theatrical and fantastic. Sticking with the attack on humankind, 'You Stupid Mankind' show Deris' vocals take on a very angsty and aggressive edge, backed up by the solid and determined slower riffs.

'If A Mountain Could Talk' is led in by a moody wind blast, which I took as a sign that this will be another slower track. How wrong was I? The riffs blasted out and hooked into a strong melody that lasts throughout most of the song. It is only until near the end that the lead guitar takes control and takes the tempo down to an almost acoustic ballad with Andi's soothing vocals. Just when you are settled it all comes punching back in with force, made much more effective by the earlier musical calm. Just when you thought you could settle down again into the rampage of riffs, 'The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner', which eases the foot off the gas, leads into 'My Sacrifice' which is wrapped up by orchestral and a synth melodies creating a very fantastic edge. The beat is very addictive and I believe this is one that will have you all singing along.

One I found strange was a track of only one minute and twelve seconds which comes in the form of 'Not Yet Today'. It is not only sorrowful, dark and gothic but Andi's melancholic vocals are apparently accompanied by a deep hum and low drone that weaves in and out of ear shot. Strange, but quirky. Going from the shortest track to the longest at near eight minutes, 'Far In The Future' drums up reminiscent familiarities of 'IME' & 'Saints' from the ‘Gambling…’ album. The drums fire at a rapid machine gun speed, pummelling the blistering riffs further. The melodic vocals are long and drawn out with added punch giving a strength and abruptness to it. May sound strange but this mix certainly is one to go out on a blast with.

Sonia Waterfield

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