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An Era of Greatness Remembered. - 95%

hells_unicorn, April 13th, 2007

The 80s, contrary to what has been said about them by the cynics, was a time of great creativity and variety in the realm of music. The contrasting ideas and themes present in the two part Helloween concept album “Keeper of the Seven Keys” underscore this sense of unfettered artistic freedom. Today it would be unheard of for a band to release an album that contains both this anthem of angst and rebellion that bears similarity to a Twisted Sister song, as well as comedy numbers such as “Dr. Stein” and “Rise and Fall”. But nevertheless, it is also noteworthy that this sense of free spirited creativity can incite chaos, and that is what turns some off to this ear of music.

“I Want Out” is one of Kai’s most consequential offerings to Helloween’s repertoire, as well as one of his last. In many ways what is present here works due to it’s familiarity, which David alluded to in the case of Gary Moore’s “Out in the Fields”, to speak nothing for songs by Iron Maiden or Judas Priest which utilize similar thematic devices. However, this robs nothing from the enjoyable experience that this song induces, or from the brilliance of Michael Kiske’s vocal delivery.

The first B-side track “Save Us” is one of Kai’s finest moments as a speed metal composer, featuring a crushing main riff that depicts an Accept song on cocaine. This song would not be out of place among the earlier material on “Walls of Jericho”, minus Kiske’s vocals, and Kai would later borrow from this song to craft well known Gamma Ray tracks such as “Solid”. “Don’t Run for Cover” is a left over track from Kiske’s previous band. It sounds a little bit like early 80s Judas Priest worship, but lacks the hooks that made “A little time” the sing along classic on the first Keeper album.

Thanks to the often benevolent nature of commercialism, this single along with all of the ones released from 1985 to 1992 are now available in one convenient box set which I have recently obtained. If you are like me and you suffer from that rare malady known as collectoritis, which symptoms include tracking down every single rarity of a particular band, then this is a good alternative to blowing tons of cash on eBay looking for the original versions. They have all been faithfully reprinted and are available in individual cardboard cases. For all of you normal people out there, pick up a copy of “The Best, The Rest, and The Rare” and you’ll get everything found on here.