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Essential Metal - 99%

Ripping_Corpse, November 16th, 2004

This release fueled the fire of the German speed metal invasion. It has enough balls to break buildings and is mind-blowingly fast. Helloween’s finest is found in this little mini-LP. This is before they become cheesed up and tamed down (when Weiki took over as the driving force). This is raw, fast, ugly, and heavy; what Metal’s all about. You should bow your head in shame if you don’t have this headbanging ecstacy of phenomenal proportions. Get ready to have your head blown straight out its socket, ‘cause here we go.

It kicks off with a long, lame intro (typical Helloween), and then comes Starlight. Kai’s blood-curdling scream and blistering guitars rip you apart and from here on you’re under their control. Thousands of deadly riffs will brutalize you till no end…well, the end of the EP. Be warned though, Kai has a unique singing style. He has a raw, raspy voice, but can definitely hit the high notes and godly screams.

Murderer is more or less the same as Starlight, pure speed with no signs of remores. The solos on these first two tracks just simply shred. Plus, the bass is very audible. Warrior slows things down a bit, and offers an opening galloping riff (ala Kill ‘Em All). Also, the solo on Warrior is the best one so far.

Now, the song you all know and love (or sure as fuck should), the epic Victim of Fate. This is nearly 7 minutes of pure, grade A speed metal. Riffs fly by you faster than you can fathom and all exponentially crush you. It has the catchiest chorus on the EP. The song gets better as you continue to listen. The spoken part in the middle is pure evil, and then comes the first unhumanly, Rob Halford-worthy scream: You will burn in HEEELL!!! Following this is a flashy Kai solo. After that extraordinary solo, you get that damn great chorus again folowed by probably the best riff on the mini-LP. And then the boys devour your soul with another long virtuoistic solo. This killer of a song ends with another spine-tingling scream: You will DIIIEEE!!!!

If you survived that trip to Hell and back, then you’re in for Cry For Freedom. Starting with acoustic guitars, you’re thinking that you can finally regain your breath and health and that Helloween’s firm deathlock will loosen. Think again. After an emotional solo by Kai, the riffs come back, smashing your skull in. The highlight of this track is the 3 minutes worth of smoking solos. And to end the second best metal release of all time is another soaring scream that finally snaps your neck in two.

A myriad of aggressively fast riffs, earth-shattering drums, a lethal double-bass attack, extraordinary bass, and solos that impress and nearly outdo the gods themselves, Tipton and Downing, is what this Hell ride is all about. The all-mighty Lucifer himself commands you to buy this album and to bow down and worship its (and his) ever-lasting supremacy. And you must obey.