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Overflows with metal. - 90%

PowerDaso, December 8th, 2010

Since the very beginning of this review I have to state that I am not a huge Helloween fan. While the band has the charismatic element and the fact that they, along with their ex-guitarist and metal legend Kai Hansen, indeed created power metal, they have never managed to get the grip on me with other albums that aren't the three first of theirs. I heard the news of 7 Sinners and thought it would be a good decision to give it a try, after all, Helloween is a metal legend. I had no true expectations at first, since I had only heard their old material and one or other song from their recent acoustic endeavor, Unarmed. On the moment I heard Are You Metal? from the single, I was rather confused, since this was nothing like what I had heard, but was rather excited to see what they did this time.

From the moment the album kicks off playing, the first noticeable thing is the heaviness, lack of sanity and rampaging on it. At first I was able to find elements from the almost extinct speed metal. One important agent on this album is the lack of variation on it. I am the type of listener that likes breathers and such, but that wouldn't work with an album like this one. The fact that they could do imply similarity in all of the songs is recognizable, for it keeps the general heaviness and atmosphere of the album steadily flowing through. Both the instrumental sections and the vocals help on this. At first when I heard Deris singing I instantly thought he is some type of Roy Khan with a more unpolished and naturally higher-pitched voice. His lines, mostly on the choruses but also along the whole songs, are very layered on the mix. The usual tone of his voice makes it sound somewhat shouted, too. Both of this factors help, since they help the overall sound be thicker. The guitars and drums are set very loud on the mix, and the guitars sound very heavy and even down-tuned (I have no clue if they are indeed down-tuned or not). They can even be confused for drums at times because of how deep and percussive they sound. As for the drums, the double-bass is played fastly and skillfully. The snares are set to sound deeply while the cymbals sound higher than usual. The only regretable thing is that Grosskopf is somehow absent in here. He is present in the composing of the songs and lyrics, however, he is hardly heard on the album.

Let's talk about the composition section of the album. I must say that I notice a lot of originality on the riffs in here, more than anything for the intros and fills/interludes. As for other moments, they are the usual power chords, slides and, well, the usual things. The album faces some unexpected and surprising moments, I would like to highlight the interruption of Raise The Noise's guitar solo to place a flute solo instead. Yes, a flute solo. The flute is unusual for itself on an album sounding like this one, of the speed/heavy metal type, and it is even more if we're talking about a solo. The vocal melodies are not remarkable in most of the songs since they are mostly harmonized with the riffs (congratulations for Deris in here, that's pretty hard to do), but there are exceptions, like The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner, which has some nice and catchy melodies. This song also has the most power metal esque guitar solo in the whole album. Well, it basically is the most power metal song in the album, to be honest. Most of the other songs will be heavier and will add some progressive elements to it. I know you might be thinking "shit, now everything has prog on it?". No, not really. I refer to some chromatic parts in the riffs that are not usual for the genre this album fits in. Some songs will show themselves to follow the percussion more than others, find this in My Sacrifice or Who is Mr. Madman?. And of course, if you thought this album lacked the usual intro-to-another-song song, you're wrong. Ending the album we have Not Yet Today doing this for the album's closer, Far in the Future. This last song does an amazing job at ending the album, for it pretty much compiles all the album's elements onto it and add the power metal that the whole album lacks. All the shouts and calmed parts by Deris, the highlightable percussion by Dani, the extremelly heavy guitars and impressive solos by Gerstner and Weikath and the... well, nothing, sadly, by Grosskopf, are in this song.

So finally, this is 7 Sinners. The album is basically really heavy, loud guitars and drums, a great work by Deris although he seems to be a bit crazy. If you want some bass by Grosskopf, you can always get Bassinvader's album, it will fill that hole. I think this album pretty much stands for the insult that Unarmed was, and it might bring you back into Helloween's world.