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Really high! - 96%

Kalelfromkrypton, July 23rd, 2010

I have too much to say that I’ll try to be coherent, not hurt delicate temperaments and be objective. Let me tell you some things about this. Gosh, I do not know where to star but let’s try: I am a huge Helloween fan and very much like all the albums, even the not-that-good ‘Chamaleon’ and yet, the live concerts have disappointed me, particularly ‘Live in 3 continents’ from the Keepers ‘Legacy’ tour and the Live UK (‘I want out’ is the version I have). ‘I want out’ disappoints because of the already appointed length of the album by fellow reviewers, which is the fucking fault of record deals. They don’t really care for fans anyway but for money above all, but that is for another forum or chat.

Next is the problems I have with the ‘Keepers Legacy’ tour which, for the most part, has the already burnout Keepers I&II songs. Where are the songs from ‘Better than raw’, ‘Master of the rings’, and the good songs from ‘Rabbit don’t come easy’? I MUST say this because, even Guns N’ Roses on the Illusions tour played for 3 hours, playing almost the entire repertoire they had and back then, they had only 3 albums and 1 EP. Helloween, circa 2007 had 11 albums so I hope you get my point, but just in case: with 11 albums you SHOULD/MUST play at least for 3 fucking hours since you have bags of songs to play, but no, they stuck to the Keepers I&II songs. The band had played in my country twice, I went the first time of course since it was a media phenomena. The second time, which was for this ‘Legacy’ tour as well, I did not go, and why? Simple, why should I go to watch the same ol’ shit of ‘Eagle fly free’, ‘Dr. Stein’, ‘I want out’, ‘Future world’, ‘Halloween’, ‘Keepers of the 7 keys? Do I make sense? Out of an hour and a half, there are 6 songs which length, together, almost 45 minutes, which I already saw played. I want more!

That is one of the things I like about Dream Theater, they constantly change the set list, surprising you every time. Helloween doesn’t seem to concern about this. They just keep playing safe and repeating themselves live. For the record, I have nothing against these songs, they all kick ass, but I am fucking bored of listening to them over and over.

Thus, I completely agree with ‘Skolnic’ and somewhat disagree with ‘Sinner’. His point is valid but I have to comment for further analysis. I do not consider the songs to be played chaotic and actually, they really sound like the album versions, which is one of the things I like about the Deris era UP TO ‘Keepers Legacy’. The in-your-face hard rock vibe and diminished happy power metal tunes are the highlights for me, taking away the unnecessary studio stunts and tricks to sound more polished. The new songs are crafted to be catchy, melodic, raw, metallic and yet combining different styles in a perfect mix.

Deris does not have to sing super high all the time because the songs fit his voice perfectly and actually, the band sounds thicker, more compact and yet the catchy melodies are awesome. Indeed Deris sounds restrained too much and not letting loose all his power as he does nowadays. I do not find production problems either. This is heavy-power-speed metal (as Skolnic beautifully indicated) with hard rock infused vibe at its peak. The songs sound raw, metallic, and yet sound powerful being put alive. I do agree with the fact that unfortunately, songs from Walls of Jericho are never played. It is a pity because for all purposes that album kicked ass.

Deris voice does not even try to go to full power as Kiske used to and that is why Helloween changed the sound so much that at times they used to sound like Pink Cream 69’ kick ass hard rock (modern era)9 which coincidentally is the band where Deris came in. Isn’t that ironic? The addition of Grapow was by far the best choice. His skills are outstanding and his riffing style (which he has proven to be really constant like in the first Masterplan album) fits the new style and he is to me, far better than the same Weikath.

Speaking of Uli Kusch, I don’t have too much to say since he is an accomplished drummer and composer as well. He added the dept the band needed and he shows that on this concert. He has a very crunchy vibe and adds lots of textures to the songs, with interesting time signatures, crash and cymbals executions, and syncopated patterns.

Now, my main point is the set list: This is what I like about this concert because, you almost get songs from all albums (up to that point in time) saying 6 songs are from Time of the Oath and fortunately for me I had the pleasure to listen to and watch the awesome title track which up to this day, it is (for me at least) the best song they have ever written. We also get ‘Sole survivor’ which is by far the best from ‘Master of the rings’ with that kick ass riff and drumming blend together, plus the hits from that album. ‘The chance’ is an underrated song but many reviews have already appointed ‘Pink Bubbles…’ a good album so go and check those for further details. It is really nice to listen to that song live. The renderings from ‘Eagly FF’, ‘Future world’ and ‘Dr Stein’ are good and enough. The sound different yes and yet they sound good, Deris delivers the vocals to where he knows he can reach, without overacting or doing what he cannot do.

The inclusion of only one ballad is another thing that I like. Contrary to shitty bands recognized only by ballads (cough**Guns N’ Roses** cough**Stryper**cough) they maintain fast and mid tempo songs all the time. Considering that it is the audience with only some acoustic guitars playing the song, creating a good vibe and atmosphere for this song, this was a good strategy.

Alright, this was my review of this amazing era for this good band. If you want to keep repeating you with the aforementioned songs go and buy Live UK and the Legacy tour. While the show here lacks the clean and amazing shots of the new tour, and more polished view (in regards to the DVD) it is still interesting because you will get to see songs that they have never played again (not to my knowledge anyhow AND recorded). Thus if you like the band you don’t have to disregard this concert because some silly nostalgia for the old songs which are already on two more live recordings.

Flawed, yet decent. - 78%

hells_unicorn, March 20th, 2007

Often shelved in recent years as a live album from an era of musical maintenance, Helloween’s “High Live” had a difficult mountain to climb. In 1996 heavy metal, particularly the kind this band plays, was the object of ridicule as everyone was jumping on the Punk/Ska bandwagon and drooling over pictures of then would be star Gwen Stefani. Although it is necessary to recognize that Helloween is one of the bands that kept the flame of power metal burning in a time when the dark winds were gusting, this performance is probably the weakest one ever committed to CD by the band.

Although in the studio Andi Deris is a colossal combination of Rob Halford and Paul Di’anno, at times he has a hard time in the higher register on here. “Perfect Gentleman”, “Why” and “Wake up the Mountain” have some moments where the power just isn’t there, even though it’s not out of key. Likewise, the renditions of the Michael Kiske era music also suffers from a lack of power in the higher register, although “The Chance” comes out better than I would have expected considering how high Kiske went at the end of it. Most of the remaining material on here is solid in the vocal department, my personal favorite being “In the Middle of a Heartbeat” as it features Deris on stage by himself with an acoustic guitar, keeping the audience jazzed up while the others in the band have a short break.

Musically the CD is on point, though the drums don’t have a hell of a lot of depth to them and the guitar mix is a bit uneven. Roland Grapow shines the brightest out of the bunch with his signature Malmsteen injected guitar solos. “The Chance”, “Steel Tormentor” and “Before the War” are the best songs on the set, although “We Burn” also goes down well. “Mr. Ego” and “Why” are the weak links in the bunch, mostly due to the songwriting on Master of the Rings not being quite as strong as all of the other albums in congress.

All in all, not a bad Live CD listening experience, but considering the bulk of material this band has put out this is not terribly high on the priority shopper’s list. If you’ve already picked up the “Live on 3 Continents” CD and “Live in the U.K.”, and you have the extra money then it would be worth it to pick it up. It has some nostalgic value for me as I often listened to it to pass the time while studying for finals during my freshman year at college, along with Better than Raw. The 2004 special edition includes the live DVD, which I do not possess, and might make this a more worthy purchase.

Looking for a killer live album? Look no further!! - 95%

skolnick, June 23rd, 2003

Here is the one of the most pure examples of stage efficiency, good live performance and fusion with the crowd's vibe. Helloween's “High Live” is simply one of the best live albums i've heard along with the likes of Deep Purple's “Made in Japan” or even Metalica's “Live Shit: Binge & Purge”. This is a great live heavy/power/speed metal album. This how you do it. The band got themselves together during the act and delivered us one hour and twenty five minutes of killer energy and intensity.
I cannot believe when someone says that “Live in the UK”is a better album than this, even considering the running time of both...of course that “Live in the UK”had Kiske at his full vocal range and Hansen on the playing, and that's one of the golden Helloween eras, but High Live is a so much superior affair in all terms.

Here you can hear (oh thank you God!!!!) a real live band with no presence of shitty studio overdubs and sound cleanings, it's raw, it's powerful and destructive!!! The songs go mostly from the Time Of The Oath album, since this was recorded during the promotional touring for that album, going thorugh some other tunes from everything they released up to that date.

Deris vocal performance is great as ever, and you can feel that this guy is a true live monster on stage, Kiske was good, but he was out by that time and I dare to say long live the Deris era, the perfect replacement from one god to another. His range may not be as tight as Kiske's was, but his vocals have a distinctive melodical sound that make not only his songs , but the Kiske era ones sound great too.
Michael Weikath and Roland Grapow (i think these guys were the only ones on earth to know how to find suitable replacements!!!!) provide us with some of their best guitar duels ever, and although the tuning may be a note down, the guitar sound sounds really great most of the times.
Markus Grosskopf has a strong presence on stage using a little distorted tone here and there sometimes, and always standing as a secure wall of basses to the melodies. Uli Kusch is as powerful as ever and prooves to be the best replacement over the deceased Ingo Scwhintenberg, as he demonstrates behind the rhythm sequences pounded with no mercy through the old and more recent tracks. Killer

No reprehensions in anyways. these guys are true masters of hell and melody unleashing. As for the songs, the highest points are the strong opener "We Burn", the beautifully well written and played "The Chance" (best Grapow song…EVER!!!), the hymn "Eagle Fly Free" (Deris sings different, but great though...), the monstruous epic "The Time Of The Oath", "Future World" (for crowd interaction the kicks ass!!!!), the speeder and Eagle Fly Free reminder "Before The War", the beautiful "In The Middle Of A Heartbeat" (played by Deris only) and the great finisher "Steel Tormentor"!!

A definitive live album and the true testament of Helloween’s power as a live act. All power and speed metal fans should own this!!

Dissapointing... - 65%

Sinner, February 12th, 2003

While I generally like Helloween quite a bit I can't say that this live album is exactly the strongest release they ever put out - which is a strange thing since the band usually shines on the live front.

One of the problems is the muddy production - and the occasionally chaotic performance of the songs - it just doesn't give the songs the "extra notch" that they need - and the normal "studio versions" are actually a lot more enjoyable than they are on here.

Than there is the weird setlist - sure - they put out two very decent releases since the Kiske era (and the weak "Chameleon") - but that doesn't mean that you have to virtually ignore 99% of your "old material" !! Where are "Ride The Sky", "Halloween" and "I Want Out" for example ? Then there is the fact that Andi Deris (who actually is a fine singer) doesn't really shine on most of the songs on here either - and puts out rather average performances of great songs. Then there is the "length" of the 2 discs - or rather - the lack of it. 2 entire cd's for just 85 minutes ? That is a complete disgrace if you ask me - especially when you have a rather large (and excellent) backcatalogue to pick songs from...they could have actually just left out one or two songs and everything would have fitted on one disc....

Not all is bad though - the general mood of the album is that of a "real live" recording - no small thanx to the audience - there still is enough decent song material on here to be enjoyable ("Sole Survivor", "Wake Up The Mountains", "Future World"....) and of course - there really aren't that many live Helloween albums on offer either (something which hopefully will change in the future).

A tad dissapointing - but not completely horrible.