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Damn! why not a real live double album? - 95%

morbert, April 15th, 2008

Yes, there is a big complaint here! Why only seven songs? Just because the studio album was called Keeper Of The Seven Keys? That would be lame! Why not a double album? Seven songs is far from enough! The sound and performance as heard here could have led to a ‘Live-After-Death-ish’ masterpiece of power metal if it would have been a double album with many, many more songs. (For instance were are “Eagle Fly Free” and “Twilight Of The Gods” or even “Victim Of Fate” !?!)

Anyway, just great songs to be found here and obviously the three most sing-a-long-able tracks from the Keeper albums are here (“Dr. Stein”, “Future World” and “I Want Out”) but filling an album with these songs is like Maiden only playing the eighties singles and no obscure or epic songs.

Fortunately there is a big surprise here. Such a big one it makes the album perfect almost by itself. We are talking “How Many Tears” ladies and gentlement. One of the best two songs Weikath has ever written in his career! Hearing this massive live version with ‘big’ drums, a broad guitar sound and of course Kiske on vocals makes one release how flat the original studiorecording actually was. Talking about Kiske, check out the second time he repeats the chorus at the end of the song (“But before the world turns into a sun”) and takes the vocals even an octave higher. Mindblowing! Goosebumps people. One of the best vocals performances ever on a live album! And what a performance by Ingo Schwichtenberg on this song as well. So immensly powerful and tight.

Can you imagine what the entire Walls Of Jericho album would sound like with this massive sound and Kiske on vocals !?! My god that would have been divine! At least why not a live version of “Ride The Sky” on this album? With this sound and Kiske it would be just as magnificent as How Many Tears obviously.

Also notbale is how good “A Little Time” and “Rise and Fall” actually sound with a bigger guitar sound! The live version of “We Got the Right” once again proves the quality of not only Kiske but the band as a whole.

This album is too damn short!

A breathtaking live performance by Helloween - 95%

aplws, January 3rd, 2005

Helloween at their best! I get the chills whenever I listen to this concert, every band member gives his soul for this live. This is without dought Helloween's best concert ever recorded!

This concert was recorded in late 1988 in Scotland, when Helloween were at the peak of their career and is the last recording featuring legendary guitarist and songwriter Kai Hansen . From the first song to the last, the band plays almost flawlessly with a lot of energy and emotion.

The highlight of this album is the last track "How Many Tears". A lengthy (9 minutes long) epic and really fast track, filled with double-bass drumming, which offers some great tempo changes. It starts of furiously with Ingo pounding his drums in insane speed, while never lifting his feet from the double-bass. Soon the vocals come in and the song really elevates to epic proportions. Emotional mid range vocals and perfectly clear and strong high pitched vocal delivery by Michael Kiske who sings lyrics surrounding warfare and human suffering. After the outstanding chorus a technical twin guitar solo commences which around the 3:40 minute mark brakes down to a very slow, wonderfully played harmonic part. Wonderfully executed and emotional guitar solos give way to a thunderous drum fill at 5:45 that brings back the initial speed of the song and keeps that pace until the melodic ending (this version of the song is considered a masterpiece amongst Helloween fans).

"A Little Time" is the opening track, a mid paced heavy metal number, with a catchy chorus, a varied vocal performance and lyrics describing the shortage of time in our lives. Dr. Stein" is one of Helloween's most commercial songs and a crowd favourite, catchy guitar riffs, high pitched vocals, great guitar solos and funny lyrics dealing with rock star-cloning. The extended version of "Future World" follows next. Another crowd favourite, characterised by a strong guitar riff a great sing along chorus, lyrics dealing with a utopian-fantasy place, one of the bands best guitar solos and a brake in the middle of the song were the band jams some rock and roll melodies and then the crowd sings along for a while. "I Want Out" is probably Helloween's most universally known track and a classic heavy metal anthem, consisting of catchy riffs and guitar leads, some great twin-guitar harmonies and solos and a powerful chorus.

Although all band members are in top form, especially guitarists Hansen and Weikath who play wonderfully showing all their wares, vocalist Michael Kiske is the star of the night! Throughout the whole concert his voice reaches to the heavens, hitting high-pitched notes with such emotion and precision, never heard before by any other singer in metal. Especially his outstanding performance in the track "We Got The Right" is breathtaking! This mid paced power ballad shows the depth, emotion, range and charisma of the vocals this 19 year old (back in 1988) possessed. (After listening to this live album I have to place Kiske amongst the 3 best metal vocalist ever, the others being Bruce Dickinson and Ronnie James Dio).

The only drawback of the album is that it is rather short (52 minutes) and the set list which leaves out epics like Eagle Fly Free, March Of Time, Twilight Of The Gods and Halloween. That being said, there isn't a filler or weak-played song in this album and the interaction Of Michael Kiske with the crowd is quite interesting.

If you enjoyed "Keeper Of The Seven Keys part I & II" you will LOVE this album, as it is the only live experience with this line up. Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I & II together with this live album are the best material ever recorded by Helloween!


Again if you liked the Keepers, this is a MUST BUY, if you enjoy live albums in general this is again a must buy.