HELLOWEEN – Straight Out Of Hell [Premium Edition] (2013)
the REAL one
One of the greatest and legendary European metal bands are kicking off 2013 with studio album fourteen and will certainly set the standards pretty high for the rest of the year.
I am talking about Germans HELLOWEEN and their brand new album “Straight Out Of Hell”.
I’ve been partial to a little bit of Helloween in my musical diet now for near enough twenty five years. I loved in my teens their classic ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ but since then the band took a more drastic metalized orientation in the nineties, something far from my tastes (and many fans).
But lately Helloween were slightly returning to melody mostly thanks to ‘new’ singer Andi Deris (who remains their longest serving lead singer) to give us more of that melodious metal we knew and loved.
When you consider the talent that has come and gone over the years with just two of the original members left in the band now, the fact that they still release albums as good as “Straight Out Of Hell” is a real testament to those who remain.
“Straight Out Of Hell” has thirteen tracks on the standard and two extra on the ‘Premium Edition’ including a Hammond version of “Burning Sun”, which is dedicated to the much admired John Lord (Deep Purple) who of course passed away in 2012.
Recorded in Tenerife with Charlie Bauerfeind at the helm, the production has been taken towards a thoroughly solid and well rounded assault that positively explodes out of the speakers.
The first single and opener is an upbeat song called “Nabataea” which takes us a back in time to ancient times. Then next up is the technical “World of War” as Helloween crack open the game increasing the speed and it really is cool how the guitar and kick drums duplicate each other in synch at times.
“Live Now!” is a more straight forward Helloween rocking number while “Far From The Stars” has a super catchy groove and one of those vibrant epic choruses they do so well. This is ‘my Helloween’, and I love it.
“Hold Me In Your Arms” is the album’s most tranquil track and gives a chance for breath and reflection amidst a sea of metal madness but that calm is soon dispelled by the drums of “Wanna Be God” with a similar structure to Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ as the drums and vocals dominate before their guitars come screaming through later on.
Andi’s penned “Waiting For The Thunder”, a piano intro’d piece of excellence sits as quite possibly the album’s finest track. Managing to wrap up all of Helloween’s finest attributes in a little under four minutes it stands as a defiant, standard bearing anthem that’s sure to become a live favourite.
“Years” and “Asshole” are rock solid foundations sure enough, then bass invader Grosskopf (whose trusted songwriting pen was responsible for the aforementioned highlight ‘Far From The Stars’), pulls another gem out of the bag and provides the fantastic charging title track “Straight Out of Hell”.
One of the greatest Euro metal bands are returning to melody with “Straight Out Of Hell”, still retaining their classic edge and lovable epic moments.
The flying choruses, the band’s classic powerful barrage of drums and the duel guitar tones of Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner trading licks through the hour long album are a sheer joy to listen to.
For the most part this new recording shows the return of the real Helloween, both in sound and songwriting helped by a solid production.
One of the Top metal albums of the year for sure.
02. World of War
03. Live Now!
04. Far from the Stars
05. Burning Sun
06. Waiting for the Thunder
07. Hold Me in Your Arms
08. Wanna Be God
09. Straight Out of Hell
12. Make Fire Catch the Fly
13. Church Breaks Down
Premium Edition bonus tracks:
14. Another Shot Of Life
15. Burning Sun (Hammond version dedicated to Jon Lord)
Andi Deris : Lead and Harmony Vocals
Michael Weikath : Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sascha Gerstner : Guitar, Backing Vocals
Markus Grosskopf : Bass, Backing Vocals
Daniel Loble : Drums
BUY IT !