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A Derivative, Yet Fun Pumpkin - 88%

Sekrys, July 20th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Nuclear Blast

Helloween has been around for a while, to say the least. From being a speed metal from Hamburg to essentially creating power metal, they have gone on to create many really awesome, phenomenal releases, like the Dark Ride or Better Than Raw. After the Dark Ride, they started to concentrate on creating a modern power metal sound, while still being different from many other bands in the genre. My God-Given Right, as a result, shares similarities with the albums before it spanning as far as, say, Rabbit Don't Come Easy. While I do think this is their most consistent (and therefore, best for me, at least) album since Gambling With The Devil or Keeper: The Legacy, it does suffer from various songs having some self plagiarism, to an extent.

The most obvious cases of songs sounding like previous ones are in "Lost In America" and "If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll. The former's chorus sounds very similar to the chorus of "Who Is Mr. Madman?" from 7 Sinners, while the latter's chorus is way too close to the chorus of "Final Fortune"', from Gambling with The Devil. In addition to this, two of the Weiki songs ("Battle's Won" and "Creature's In Heaven) have some similarities in structure to that of other more upbeat Helloween songs, like "All Over The Nations" from the Dark Ride, and to each other. Additionally, I got some amusement out of figuring out that "Stay Crazy" off of this album along with "Don't Stop Being Crazy" from Rabbit Don't Come Easy are both written by Andi Deris (he really should have been more creative, however much he likes craziness.) While this is one of the main issues with the album, the melodies that have been repeated from previous instances are still good melodies and choruses; They are still pleasing to the ear. It's just a shame that they were done before, by different members (look at who wrote the first few songs mentioned, and you'll see what I mean.) Apart from this, the record is actually really great, and has definitely been over criticized by reviewers.

As always, everyone performs effortlessly and flawlessly. It's hard to mention specifics since it's all great, so I'm just not going to! While not their most technical record ever, it really doesn't matter, since the songs are so rather wonderful. The albums production is their best since Keeper: The Legacy; While still sounding kind of artificial, it still sounds much better than the 3 main studio albums that came before it. Complimenting the modern sound, it sounds rather clean while still being heavy, something many bands fail to do. Markus Grosskopf, unfortunately, is still hard to hear, which has been the case since Gambling With The Devil. Such a phenomenal bass player should not be shoved in the back of the mix, surely.

Highlights of the album include the slow, brooding epic "The Swing of a Fallen World", which is for sure the best song on the album musically. "Creatures In Heaven" is a really great power metal song with an awesome chorus, and "Like Everybody Else" is one of Helloween's best ballady songs. The longer "You, Still Of War" is also well done, and is one of their best longer songs in a while. I do also get some pleasure listening to "If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll (the cheesy lyrics just make it even better.) The other songs are also well and good.

My God-Given Right, while not being Helloween's finest hour, still manages to deliver a fun and enticing experience to its listener, while still hanging on to the ways of power metal. However, I personally do hope that Helloween does more experimentation musically, especially now that it seems they have both Kiske and Hansen back in the fray (they should have also gotten Grapow back, but that's another story.)