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Helloween's about to begin - 92%

MetalReaper, October 14th, 2004

The earlier speed/thrash bands seemed to come from the US, Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus... But what the Europe had in 1985? Nothing bigger except Kreator at least. This group hailing from it's native Hamburg was regarded as a pure speed metal (No one had heard the term power metal) band. After featured on Noise Records's Death Metal (No one had heard about that either!) split album alongside Running Wild, Hellhammer and Dark Avenger, this quartet finally recorded their debut ep (or mini-lp or what?).

Helloween's melodic speed metal was something new. It isn't too heavy, but it's heavier at this phase than on it's future albums after Walls of Jericho. The music is overall fast and heavy. Kai Hansen works as the guitarist/vocalist. He manages to do his job well, thought his voice is thin, weak and hoarse.

Intro is somewhat goofy. The guy awakes, opens a can of beer, opens his tv, and there are little squirrels singing "Happy happy Halloween halloween halloween", the guy gets excited. Kai Hansen suddenly starts screaming and hoarsely groaning the band exploding behind him. The brilliant guitar riff begins, but then the song really starts up. "Starlight" is a fast and memorable song. "Murderer" follows. It isn't slower than "Starlight" at all. The mighty backing vocals give some support to Hansen's thin vocals.

"Warrior" is a bit slower, but that doesn't mean that it's slow. It still fast. The guitar riff is much alike to those power metal bands that Helloween will influence on. "Victim of Fate" is the ep's highlight. It's fast guitar and double bass drum attacks boost it's power. The guitar riff is the best on this ep. The song even slows down, but that is short lived. Hoarse Hansen whispers hoarsely, and he sounds like a dying old man. In the middle of the guitar solo the song suddenly speeds up again to it's normal speed. The second is one the best solos I have ever heard. The future albums have solos which are much alike to this one. "Cry for Freedom" is an yearning half-ballad with acoustic start. Electric guitar cries in the background. But this isn't a full ballad. The song turns to fast and furious speed metal anthem. When listening to it, the word "ballad" doesn't spring to mind.

A great debut from the great band. I wish this was a full album.