The legendary German power metal act Helloween has finally released its new self-titled album. Chaoszine had an opportunity of listening to it prematurely in the spring 2021 before the release. Listening session was held and managed online by the record company Nuclear Blast. Most excitement around the band has nevertheless been the so-called “Pumpkins United” lineup with old band members Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske reuniting (finally) with the new ones and the long-bees.
So what does the long awaited Helloween album sound like? With the information about the band having three different, yet legendary vocalists all from previous Helloween records is a good way to outline the listening. “Out For The Glory” is a song that slowly starts the album only to grow to its fullest and somehow even epic power metal. The song reminds a lot of the first Helloween album “Walls Of Jericho” with Michael Kiske mostly singing. A safe and basic kind of choice to start a very anticipated recording.
Already the second tune of “Fear Of The Fallen” brings the long time Helloween frontman Andi Deris behind the microphone. The more you listen to “Fear Of The Fallen” the more it sounds like Helloween and proves to be a good, easily likable song. There are also some traditional Judas Priest like heavy metal guitar playing giving joy to the ears.
One of the best songs after a few good listens is “Best Time“. It somehow reminds me of the “Better Than Raw” era Helloween did with Andi Deris’ lead vocals. The song includes a lot of gut, attitude, melody, catchiness and energy and is really pleasant to listen to. Helloween at its best some might say.
Catchiness has always been a good key to Helloween‘s song writing and what the new lineup is trying to achieve on this self-titled Helloween album is no different. After the hard rocking and a bit silly fourth track called “Mass Pollution” comes one of the coolest tracks simply called “Angels”. Once again with Kiske leading the duets between himself and Deris the song represents a very hooky chorus and low sounding guitar with some very solid drum work.
Album has a lot of epic power metal and, yet, some not too serious and serious lyrics filling each others gaps. One of the best examples of this not too serious and rather silly lyrical themes comes also with a song called “Robot King” of which rhytmic drama seems to be very challenging to relate to. Then there is, of course, some good, a bit over mid-tempo easy listening type of power metal in the middle like “Rise Without Chains” or a very powerful “Indestructible” and “Cyanide“.Those types of songs certainly keep a Helloween fan glad to have the album playing and think about the fact that there really ain’t too much to complain about.
Before the last epic and very fine tune that is Kai Hansen’s contribution and single release of the album called “Skyfall” Helloween is showing even some stylish Pink Floyd type of music with “Orbit“. “Orbit” is a short intro to “Skyfall” that surprises most on the album tying the long-lasting end together with the other very regular tunes.
The album sounds just like it is – very carefully written. An epic piece of an hour of music as a whole, and a very generous release towards the fans with a wide range of song writers, the best singing the band has ever had, and something that has been a bit lost on the few previous Helloween albums. And, in addition, it has some very good choruses with some very good attitude to offer!