Trying to recapture old glories….
13. Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy (2005)
Expectations were understandably high for Helloween’s continuation to their 1987 and 1988 albums Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I and II but the sprawling progressive nature of Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy was, overall, somewhat of a disappointment.
An often ungainly double-disc set, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy retained the relevant elements from earlier key releases but the magic wasn’t quite reignited, despite the sterling efforts of operatic opener “The King for a 1,000 Years” and the immediacy of “Mrs. God”. With some judicious editing, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy could have recaptured the majesty of its forebearers but, as it turned out, fell a little short due to its cumbersome nature.
While this most progressive of Helloween albums showcased a band unafraid to add layers to an established blueprint, ultimately Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy didn’t earn the right to bear the ‘Keeper’ name. 6/10
The one with the misleading title…..
12. Straight Out Of Hell (2013)
Despite its title, long-time frontman Andi Deris himself confirmed that Straight Out of Hell was intentionally made to be a “happy” Helloween album and it certainly does bleed positivity, with ebullient energy positively emanating from every pore!
It’s also immensely enjoyable but in a predictable way, with no real surprises in store for both long-term Helloween fans and power metal veterans alike, meaning Straight Out of Hell offers plenty of Euro-power highlights without quite reaching the heady heights we know this band can reach.
A solid modern-day Helloween album…..but not a great one.
Opener, “Nabataea”, is class though! 6/10
Making up for prior sins…..
11. 7 Sinners (2010)
With Andi Deris taking on the lion’s share of the song writing duties on 2010’s 7 Sinners, it should come as no surprise that the band sounded infinitely heavier than on the preceding (and disappointing) acoustic compilation album, Unarmed – Best of 25th Anniversary (not officially included in this countdown due to including re-recorded versions of Helloween songs).
Instead, 7 Sinners was a mostly successful collection of speedy head-bangers. Lead single “Are You Metal?” (well, are you?) summed up Helloween’s approach perfectly while “Where the Sinners Go,” “Raise The Noise”, “Long Live The King” and epic finale “Far In The Future” exploded out of the traps with feral indignation.
Another solid, if overall unspectacular, offering from a band who know where their bread is ultimately buttered! 7/10