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Solid album with some great songs. - 89%

tigerking615, May 9th, 2009

Although this isn't my favorite power metal album, it has about four of my favorite power metal songs of all time. Without question, this album has Helloween's best lineup - things were pretty good before Kiske, and the band hasn't been great since Kai Hansen left, but the first two Keeper albums are Helloween's two best albums. We all know about the influence of Keeper Pt. 1, but end to end, this album is better, and really solidified Helloween's status as a classic power metal band. There aren't many flaws with this album, but the middle of the album - that "You Always Walk Alone" to "We Got the Right" chunk - isn't spectacular, although "Rise and Fall" and "Dr. Stein" do have catchy choruses.

With that out of the way, I am now free to trumpet this album's virtues. Production is awesome. Kiske is spectacular on this album. He's been compared to Bruce Dickinson, and although they are both operatic, powerful singers, Kiske destroys Bruce in the range category. He's got nearly four octaves, and he makes sure to use them - this guy has some serious talent. He really shines on tracks like "Dr. Stein" and the title track.

This album is fun to listen to, and it definitely seems like they had fun making it. Tracks like "Rise and Fall" are fun to listen to, especially with the slides / effects at the end. Same goes for "Eagle Fly Free" - people have called this the greatest power metal song of all time, and if it's not, it's certainly not far off. It has a nice introduction track, but my favorite thing about this song is the way they make sure no one gets left out. Guitar solo for both guitarists? Check. Bass solo? Check. Drum solo? Check.

Speaking of drums, I love Ingo's drum lines. But Markus Grosskopf, the bassist... man, that guy can play. He's easily my favorite bassist of all time, for three main reasons. The first is that he's pretty prominent in the recording; I do like the bass mixed pretty loudly. Second, his basslines are creative; they really add to the music. Third and finally, he's damn good. How many times do you think, "Wow, that bassist is good!" when listening to an album? I only get that feeling for a few bassists (although maybe if I played bass it'd be different). Grosskopf is the most talented member of Helloween, and he's the main reason I sometimes listen to Helloween's later stuff. As for the guitarists, you get the expected twin guitar attack and a whole lot more. They're both extremely skilled, and they can both shred. No need to say more about their talent. But they also come up with awesome tones, too.

Standout tracks are the aforementioned "Eagle Fly Free," "I Want Out," and "March of Time." "I Want Out" is a classic track. "March of Time" is just an overall amazing song, with awesome guitar work. But the best track on the album is the title track, "Keeper of the Seven Keys." Although it's nearly fourteen minutes, it's dynamic and interesting, end to end. This is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. I've listened to this song so many time, I can practically hear the whole thing in my head. Okay, it has cheesy lyrics, but this song was written masterfully and played to perfection.

So overall, I give this album an 88, docking points mainly because of "You Always Wake Alone" and "We Got the Right." Still, this album has a fantastic opener and just about the best ending 4 songs that any album can possibly have.