Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, June 08, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Helloween ascert their rights on new release My God Given Right

POWER metal. Euro Metal. Battle metal. Call it whatever you want, but the masters of it are the Germanic masters, Helloween.

Long gone are the days when the British press referred to them as the German Iron Maiden in the days of 'Walls of Jericho', and now, on their latest release 'My God-Given Right' they have stood up with their identity intact, their sound cemented and with a single finger thrust to those that cock their metal snobbery nose to power metal.

It is now 30 years since the Hamburg headers emerged on to the scene, but they have released an album that sounds fresh, sounds vital and most importantly is immensely enjoyable: huge riffs, massive choruses and exemplary playing.

You may, at times want your metal all serious, with frown lines. But this release will have you grinning from ear-to-ear. From the hilarious 'If God Loves Rock 'n Roll' through to channelling Edguy on 'Stay Crazy' this is simply fun.

That's not to say there is anything sloppy on display here. Opening pair of 'Heroes' and 'Battle's Won' have intent stamped on every riff, every bass line and every drum fill.

'Swing of a Fallen World' has the mid-paced menace that echoes some of their earlier work as Dani's drums and Markus' bass ease back (a little) from the madcap speed on the rest of the album.

That framework allows 'Weik' and Gerstner's guitars to flow throughout the album. The quality of their work is flawless, rolling with riffs and solos that capture melody and the madness of Helloween.

Andi Deris vocals are perfect for the sense of the songs, whether they are whimsical - 'Lost in America' - or more straightforward such as 'Creatures In Heaven'.

To a certain extent the album is not messing with the Helloween formula.

Andi said there was a simple motto when they recorded the album:

"Back to the roots - but with new songs," he said. "More than ever out fans want to sing and rock out along with us. This simply works best with the use of distinctive choruses and eighties hooklines!"

But this is not a one-dimensional release, with songs such as 'Like Everybody Else' this is not a re-tread.

Weik said: "It is not our mission to just relive the eighties at all costs. To our own surprise, the whole dynamic of this working concept took on a life of its own."

And, with that in mind they take a swipe at those who miss the point of the joy in this type of metal.

"Surely there'll be haters again that will presume that we have nothing better to do than to keep recycling the past instead of moving on into the 21st Century," said Weik. "But critics have followed us all along and never impressed us.

"We've always had a liberal attitude towards heavy metal: to do anything we want, and not follow the directions the know-it-alls would have pushed on us."

And, that is what makes this album so good. Helloween just don't give a fuck. They are as much fans as a band 30 years on from the start of their career.

'My God-Given Right' is simply a fun metal romp. If you are a hater, just go away and don't bother. The rest of us will just enjoy the hell out of this!
 
Review by Jonny
 
My God-Given Right is out now on Nuclear Blast
 
 

1 comment:

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