The guitar solo intro is simply amazing and the following heavy riff makes you wish this never ends. The big surprise comes from a song called Laudate Dominum. Better Than Raw is a good example. As a younger metal head, this was actually the first Helloween album that I bought the year that it came out, though I had already purchased copies of the Michael Kiske era albums and the 2 previous efforts with Deris. Well, there’s always a certainty that it’s going to be GOOD – just not quite how it’s going to sound. I would say so. Another heavy, inventive, extremely solid and memorable Helloween album – that is what we have here.
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Sounds like your typical, enjoyable Helloween album. All the little things are great here. There isn’t one Thab album that I can safely describe as “more of the same” in comparison to the previous one.
That means that they play fast, rather than wasting their talent like on ‘Chameleon’, and they don’t overthink anything either. Also, every song on here has its own characteristics – Helloween rarely write songs that sound exactly the same, but this album shows that even more than before.
He makes quite an enjoyable racket on tunes such as “I Can” and “Falling Higher” and showcases his real talent on the opener “Push”, absolutely tearing up the drums. The most out of place track is Time. From here on, the album pretty much unfolds with a consistent flow, including all the trappings of the power metal genre. So, for the open minded Helloween fan, this should be THE album of theirs to listen to.
Helloween just can’t do any wrong, no matter what except when they make albums with a title that begin with “Cham” and end with “eleon”, but let’s disregard that for a second. Write your own review. The highlights of this album are song that I think are obligatory for any future Helloween compilation.
You are bound to like Better Than Raw and it remind you of what this band used to be ten years ago. And the guitar solos just break in the perfect moment. The other unusual track is “Time”; an abstractly beautiful, relaxing ballad that really has no equals. While this album does indeed stretch the boundaries of what is considered power metal, it really never betrays the sound entirely, simply throwing new colors and designs down on their already established power metal canvas.
However, even though there is a large amount of variety here, that very special Helloween vibe, their unique sense of melody the best part of Helloweenis still detectable in EVERY song – and that’s what keeps it from being a total mish-mash of ideas. Helloween have 3 fairly distinct stages in their career and ‘Better Than Raw’ falls at the transition between the second and third stages. Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher.
This album is quite similar to those two albums, not musically, but structurally. Even when their ideas aren’t so great, they still plod forward with conviction and strength enough to top a whole field of cows. The production is excellent, all the band members are without mention playing to their ability, the cover artwork is KICKASS, and they have yet to reach this level of tasteful album construction to this date.
Pretty much all the songs will entertain any fan of the Deris-era Helloween. And at the end comes Midnight Sun, a strange song to close the album, but with great power and incredible musical sections, specially the drums, giving a lot to say about the good performance from Kusch, who gave great contributions to this album. However, once I dig within myself I see this CD sitting on the shelf for months, collecting dust and remaining unnoticed. This is probably the song that is mentioned the most whenever this album is brought up, but I have yet to understand what people seen in this one – it’s like on of those really disjointed-sounding fillers on the second half of ‘Master of the Rings’, taken to another level and without the few good parts.
And once again, the vocals simply shine; in fact, I’d say this whole album is Deris’ best performance with Helloween I say that because I have yet to hear those early PC69 albumsthe one that does the best work of displaying his incredible, SOARING skills as a vocalist – the guy’s just badly underrated.
Lavdate Dominvm is the Helloween funny song for this album, full of joy and happiness, but with the special characteristic of the whole lyrics written in latin.
I suppose that Helloween did not expect this one to become a hit and it was written just for their pleasure. They’ve always kept true to the Power Metal genre, too, even when at their most eccentric; pushing and pulling the boundaries of their home genre while never straying far enough from the path thqn alienate their fans or thwn stale or awkward. The riffs, leads, song constructions, everything.
They are not bad but easily forgotten. Otherwise, this album is relentless in execution and never lets up. Another heavy, inventive, extremely solid and memorable Helloween album – that is what we have here. Throw in one the most beautiful guitar solos these guys beyter wrote, and you have a high bar set right out of the gate. The opening ‘Push’ was at the time perhaps Helloween’s heaviest song and has Deris using a gruffer voice in the chorus, but there are sing-along moments in ‘Falling Higher’, ‘Hey Lord!