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Crazy_Voodoo_Magic, June 21st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Nuclear Blast

Helloween’s latest album, My God-Given Right, is a safe, accessible release that doesn’t test new waters or push any boundaries. There’s no experimentation, or anything out of the ordinary. However, this is in no way a negative. My God-Given RIght is actually a logical progression from Straight out of Hell, and the two albums preceding it. In my review of the former, I mentioned that Helloween seemed to have found a sound that they like and are going to stick with, and their albums following the release of Keepers of the Seven Keys: The Legacy reflect that. This sound is a blend of the heaviness of Better than Raw and The Dark Ride along with the upbeat nature of albums like Rabbit Don’t Come Easy.

The tracks on My God-Given Right are fairly quick and catchy, and this is helped along by the fact there aren’t any long ballads or intro songs to slow the pace down. The result is that despite the hour plus length, all the songs fly by, especially during the first half. The first half predominately showcases these quick, short bursts of power metal, featuring short songs with driving choruses. These are the songs that you’ll sing along to, such as "My-God Given Right" and "Lost in America." The former digs back into 1994’s "Power," and borrows heavily from it. I’m not typically a fan of bands rehashing their old work and slapping a new name on it, such as the latest Gamma Ray album, but Helloween does enough here to make "My-God Given Right" unique. "Lost In America" is simply great. It’s a typical goofy Helloween song, but the guitars are much crunchier, although they don’t lead the song as much as Deris takes the lead and they just support.

The second half of the album, beginning with “Creatures in Heaven” slows things down considerably, with the exception of the quick “If God Loves Rock and Roll.” Both “Creatures in Heaven” and “You, Still of War” push the seven-minute mark. The latter is probably the slowest song on the album, and has a pervasive melancholy feeling throughout the entire song. It stands out from the rest of the tracks because of this. However, I feel like it just misses being a classic by a narrow margin. The chorus doesn’t quite match the intensity of Gerstner and Weikath's guitars. The solo is especially strong and aggressive.

I have to give special mention here to “Creatures in Heaven.” This is quite simply one of the best tracks Helloween has ever written and the clear highlight of the album. Deris is able to drive the chorus along and still hit the high notes, as well as get lower and aggressive when he needs to. The opening riff is fantastic, and leads to an absolutely hard-hitting solo. Gerstner and Weikath are the driving force and clearly demonstrate just how talented they are. Altogether, "Creatures in Heaven" rocks the listener and is on par with previous epics such as "Far in the Future" and "The Dark Ride."

I’ve been quite complementary so far, but this album isn’t perfect. I agree with the previous reviewer that would have placed “Battle’s Won” as the opener. “Heroes” is a solid track, but overall, I feel Helloween would have been better served kicking things off with a faster track. “Nabatea” worked on the previous album simply because it was a fantastic song, not because it was long. Additionally, the lyrics are terrible on some of the tracks. I don’t think Helloween has ever been known for thought-provoking lyrics or songs, but these are probably the weakest lyrics on a Helloween release in the past ten years. They are saved because of how Deris is able to deliver them.

That being said, this album is worth picking up. For any Helloween fan that has found their recent work agreeable, you won’t find anything to dislike here. My God-Given Right is a safe, solid release. It delivers everything you love about Helloween without any surprises. They’re not trying to break any walls down, or change your life. Helloween is just doing what they do best: writing solid power metal.