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Helloween- Straight Out of Hell / label: The End Records 7.0/10

Straight Out Of Hell Artwork

Well, I don’t know what's going on here. Helloween sounds great most of the time but they sure added a lot more spice to this batch of tunes. This releases feels keyboard driven at times and we're not all that happy with that. Who knows?

First, “Nabataea” shows what they'e made of and it sounds great. The writing and playing it’s a combo of blazing riffs, pristine power metal with polish, class and Andi Deris sounds great and his high register vocals during the chorus work to perfection. The leads are razor sharp and energetic, the song shifts tempo multiple times, it keeps on rolling in a nicely cohesive way. Also impressive are follow ups “World at War,” and ”Live Now,” is catchy tune with a nice sound and speed. It gets stuck in your head quickly. “Burning Sun” which showcases Andi’s superb, raspy wail and a BIG chorus; and the piano line guiding the mid-tempo rumble of “Waiting for the Thunder" another catchy song. It does sound like they are working a formula on this release and why not if you're Helloween who knows the power metal formula better?

We are more incline with the more straightforward sound thou. "Make Fire Catch the Fly" and "Church Breaks Down"and ” “Years” is more our zipcode however.

Others like “Far From the Stars" and the title track are solid and enjoyable, but also predictable. The obligatory power ballad? “Hold Me In Your Arms” is a ballad we didn't care for and "Asshole" is dumb song. “Wanna Be God” is a drum driven 2:02 minute song with crowd noise in the background like a stadium setting maybe? but leads well in to the title track.

Andi Deris sounds great and on top if his game and making Helloween proud. He has a big voice and loads of versatility. He pulls off scorchers and sappy love songs effortlessly. The riffery from Sascha Gerstner and Michael Weikath is generally solid and drifts into very good. They don’t do anything new, but they know the power metal game inside and out and their playing shows it.

So, while we expected a bit more here this is a solid album. We're gonna go listen to Gambling With the Devil now....



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