Well then, I’ve been digging through my music collection since I spent one weekend ripping it all to my iTunes player. (Turns out it’ll still be available to any Windows users out there so I rest assured now) During that time I had a sudden urge to write album reviews again.
So, here is the first of the many more to come!
Helloween is a German power/speed metal band that I don’t listen to a lot for some reason. This is the only album that I own and sometimes there are bands I commit to getting into like buying all their albums digital or physical and others that I simply forget about because I got sidetracked with a band I ended up loving even more.
So, let’s get started.
About the only thing I really enjoyed about this song was the opening riffs and the chorus. It has a powerful intro with a catchy chorus and lyrics, but that’s pretty much it. I felt like this song eventually went all over the place come the bridge where the pitch and melody changes completely. Now, there are lots of songs that do this, but sometimes it’s a tricky thing to initiate and the way it played out to me just felt like it didn’t match. Despite that, I still enjoy the positive aspects of this song. It’s a good intro, but not perfect.
World Of War
When I first listened to this song years ago, I thought that it was going to be my favourite for some reason. Maybe it was the intro or the solo, something about it, but as my taste in metal expanded, that was no longer the case. I eventually found that it does the same as the previous track which felt repetitive to me, unless that is Helloween’s style that they’ve always used. Still, it’s catchy but a six on a scale of one to ten. It’s one of those songs that you might like if you’re new to the band before you discover something you like even more.
Definitely the strongest song on the album for me. I forgot about its existence until my iPod started randomly playing it on shuffle. It opens with an awesome powerful riff and meaningful lyrics that inspire you to live in the moment. It really helps with my anxiety if I’m say, worried about something that may or may not happen in the future, no matter how far. I also love it because it sounds more like power than speed metal to me and power metal is my fave sub-genre so win-win.
Far From The Stars
Ah so we’re back to the fast-paced stuff again. Unlike the other two, this one doesn’t have a sudden change in pitch, it stays where it is but this one never really did anything for me. It’s like we had too interesting sounding fast tracks that were changing a lot, and now we have almost the entire opposite. Of course, everyone’s ears pick up a tune differently so I suspect other fans will disagree with me. Interestingly enough, this song has a sci-fi appeal to it and it’s not easy to mix sci-fi with heavy metal as it’s a genre that seems to go better with fantasy so that’s a positive note to acknowledge.
Another song that fits my definition of “all over the place” when I heard the intro, I thought that was going to be it until it changed before the first verse. The chorus is my favourite, it has a sense of power to it, but not as much as Live Now! You’ll hear at the end it goes back to what it begun with which is an interesting tactic the band has done for this one. It had to grow on me, and now I like it, but I don’t love it.
Waiting For The Thunder
Whoa, now see this is why I need to listen to albums in full more often instead of what I like the most. When I do that, it causes me to overlook other songs that I might like. I love the piano intro to this song and then it transforms into another tune with a powerful approach. It does cut you deep like it reminds me of what it’s like to live with a mental illness to a point where you feel suicidal. It’s like you’re waiting for something to either take your life or give you another reason to live. I need to listen to this one more often, it’s powerful and beautiful at the same time.
Hold Me In Your Arms
I blame this beautiful ballad for my brief crush on Andi Deris back in the day. When a metal band takes a break from their signature sound to do this, they almost always touch my heart with a song like this. It does take a few listens for it to grow on you because you’re so used to getting from them what they normally give. I just want to belt this one out every time I hear it because the vocals and melody just put an arrow through my heart. Well done boys, and remind me why did my crush on Andi fade away?
Wanna Be God
This is like one of those intermission-like tracks that goes in between songs in an album or set at a concert. If you can squeeze in a minimum of one minute on it. This is the shortest track on the album that I think serves as that. It’s got great drumming, but I was not turned onto it until the riffs came in towards the end.
Straight Out of Hell
Ah, we’re onto the title track now? Well, I felt like there wasn’t much to say about it because it sounds just like the rest of the speed stuff I’ve heard on this album so far. It’s a very generic track that doesn’t have anything special in it that at least makes me want to play it on repeat. I’m surprised on that, because normally a title track would be one of the best sounding on an album to me. Maybe not this one I guess?
Why do we have a song with this name on this album? Is this to be used as a song to express hate towards someone who gives you shit? Regardless, the intro sounds pretty dark on this one, before it turns into something less like that by the pre-chorus. I never liked it when songs do that. I like it when they stay with the dark tune. By the second verse it makes me think that it’s about someone with a big ego that one can’t stand.
This is a rare scenario where I end up actually liking a very fast-paced song: which is this one. I remember really loving the riff and melody with this one the moment I listened to it. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t say that it’s a fast one like the other songs. This one is like a good neutral tempo which is what I like about it too. It’s another feel-good song, but I haven’t figured out what it could mean like the other song I love the most on this album. One thing I could come up with is it’s about moving forward in life perhaps and never giving up on a goal? Well, I never gave up on my career and look at where I am now!
Make Fire Catch the Fly
The intro to this song sounds pretty horrific and the chorus took some time to grow on me. I like how this song stays true to its darker sound and that just makes me want to listen to it more. Did I ever tell you that songs I love the most in general are those in minor keys? Maybe its just their melodies that catch my ears first and stay with me. Oh wait is there a bit of keyboard in this one? I like that, it adds to the eerie parts that aren’t as fast in tempo.
Church Breaks Down
Last but not least, this title seems like addressing the stereotype that Metalheads are satanists that want to burn churches down. The church bells and organ at the beginning are perfect, it makes me think I’m listening to the more satanic-themed music that I listen to a lot more than this. Since I’m not into speed metal, I think the intro is what really shines in this song, despite it being really short. But maybe it just also shows that’s why I never really got into Helloween more than this.
Over all, this album is pretty decent. It’s the only Helloween album I own and the only other stuff I know by them is Are You Metal from the 7 Sinners album. Nevertheless, I listened to this album again in order to review it, since that it’s my style. I think it’s just an album that needs time to grow on me.
Since there were more songs on this album than I thought that I ended up liking, this album gets 3.5 stars out of 5 from me. (I can’t make up my mind on a grading method, sometimes I use this, and other times I use the alpha grade, maybe you can help me decide which method is better.)