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Keeper of the Cheese - 81%

GrimAndFrostbitten, January 19th, 2004

I've had this album for some time, but haven't listened to it for awhile, and decided to just for the hell of it. Though it's widely viewed as one of the greatest and most influential power metal albums of all time, and my views are on the positive side of things, I'm still a bit mixed.

The good? The writing is creative and the musicianship is superb, and I'll acknowledge Kiske really has a powerful set of lungs. The riffs and choruses are among some of the catchiest and memorable I've heard, and almost make me want to type them as I write, and then start air-drumming along. This album is full of good if not great riffs, melodies, and solos. Though it's far less aggressive than some of their other works, there's certainly some worthy headbanging moments, particularly in "Eagle Fly Free" and "March of Time." The production is crystal clear and brings out the best in it.

The bad? This album is cheesy, big time. Not in the way that all the faggot wigger youth of today mistakenly think that anything with long hair and lead guitars as "cheesy," of course, but this album is a bit over the top. I often "embrace the cheese," but fully embracing this album would be a bit of a stretch. Nearly everything from this album exudes a bit too much happiness, from Kiske's vocals to the subtle sypmhonic elements and the grandiose, jovial rhythms and chorsues. I can also unfortunately sense a hint of Christian elements in the title track, especially "Save Us". Then again, it's not quite as over the top in the uplifting sense as, say, Angra. Though the songs themselves are often catchy, the lyrics to "Rise and Fall" and "Dr. Stein" are just bad, but sort of funny at times and are catchy in their silliness. The title track has its moments but drags on forever, and is nowhere near as good as "Halloween" from the previous album. "We Got the Right" is just a dud. The best known track, "I Want Out" is good, but it grows repetitive.

Is it perfect or ideal? Not quite. It's a bit too cheesy and cartoonish, and I can really only listen to it when I feel like I need a good chuckle to make me a little less grim. I also prefer Walls of Jericho over this album by a good margin. However, I also acknowledge the good in Keeper, so I'll give it a 81%. Essential? Maybe.