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Great Return to Form - 88%

MrTorture, February 12th, 2003

Ok, so after a pair of...erm...Un-Helloweenish releases is you will, the band has decided to return to their metal roots and deliver the goods with a new singer and drummer. And on almost all accounts I would have to say that they did a fine job. Not only is it a return to form it is one of my personal favorite Helloween albums.

One of the main things that tend to turn off people about helloween are the playfull themes of their lyrics. This album is chock full of them, with "Perfect Gentleman" and "Secret Alibi" being some of th ebest examples. Personally I love the lyrics and feel it gives the band something that 99% of all metal bands DO NOT have... a sense of humor. I'm sure most of the Helloween fans out there agree and I suggest that even those that don't enjoy a light chuckle with your metal give this album a shot because there are plenty of good riffs and melodies to keep you interested for sure.

New Singer Andi Deris is an incrdible addition to the band and those who weren't into Mr. Kiske ( heathens!! ) will probobly find his voice more tolerable. Even I actually prefer Helloween when Deris is holding the mic. He has a great unique style about him and writes some great songs as well. New drummer Uli Kusch also does a great job on the skins replacing Ingo (R.I.P.).

So how are the songs? Well, "Sole Survivor" and "Where the Rain Grows" start things off with a bang in that traditional Helloween styling. Both are great songs. Next comes "Why?" which is probobly my favorite song off the album and one of my favorite songs by the guys period. "Mr. Ego" has a nice solid groove to it and "Perfect Gentleman" and "The Game is On" have great melodies that will have you humming for days. "Secret Alibi" is a solid tune, which leads us to the ONE lackluster song off the album "Take Me Home". Not awful, but not spectacular by any means. In The Middle of a Heartbeat is a great acoustic based ballad, something that helloween has always been good at really, and Andi's voice and songwriting really shine on it. The last song "Still We Go" is Helloween's written promise to the fans that they will continue on the path of Metal for the rest of their existance.

And if they keep making albums as good as this (which they have been) I see no problem with that!