Where to start? I guess I should begin with the road trip that the MegaPlayboy, Chief Chujo and I took to D.C. a looooong time ago. We stuffed the GlamRock Wagon up with Cheezy Poofs, Pop-Tarts and Slim Jims and hit the open asphalt. I didn't bother to ask my fellow travelers what we'd be listening too (thinking it'd be nothing but glorious '80s rock to coincide with the name of our wheels). Only when we got on the highway and there was no way for me to jump to my safety did Timmons put in Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I. My first taste of German speed metal. They'd tried to get me interested in that kind of stuff for a while, but I was always reluctant thinking it was all just musician-wannabees who couldn't play their instruments right, so they learned to just play them fast and loud.
To say that it grew on me is an understatement. I now have a tattoo of Helloween's evil pumpkin mascot on my left ass and I regularly sacrifice virgin sluts to the god of rock and roll in their name... Just kidding! The tattoo is on both my ass cheeks :). Anyway, so began my dive and appreciation into Euro-metal.
Helloween began with a bang in the late '70s - early '80s. After several years and name changes they released Walls Of Jericho. Kai (da man) Hansen was on guitar and lead vocals. While Walls was a good beginning for the soon to be Legend, only the guitar work was truly memorable. It was only after Kai decided to just stick to strumming that Helloween began to shine like my boss' head in a bright light. Michael Kiske climbed aboard and two of the greatest albums of all time were created like a Frankenstein's monster in a scary lab on a dark and stormy (bed wetting) night: Keeper Parts I & II. The monster vocals and glorious head-bangitude of these records cannot be denied (and the tracks "Halloween" and "Keeper of the Seven Keys" remain at the top of of my list of All Time Fave 8+ Minute Songs that Rock the Casbah). Helloween gelled and kicked ass with spike-toed boots and they knew it!... Unfortunately it was not to last. Kai left to start his own band (the ever impressive Gamma Ray), and Michael felt he had to burn his bridges for the sake of saving a little integrity when Helloween put out crap like Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon. I actually sold my copies of those CD-sized pieces of dung. I was actually embarrassed that I bought them. A child even laughed at me at the time (of course I wasn't wearing any pants then, but that's a different story). I wasn't too eager to give them another shot (due to excessive ear bleeding I suffered from listening to Pink, but eventually I had to give them the benefit of the doubt and I gave Master of the Rings a spin. I liked what I heard. They were not "back" per se, but Helloween (with only like one or two original members) was finally starting to climb back out of the void of oblivion they once volunteeringly dove into, to their previous glory and godliness. Time of the Oath came next and I rejoiced. NOW they were back. They proved it once and for all, beyond all plausible deniability with their most recent album (well, in the US at least as The Dark Ride is already out in Europe) Better than Raw.
I know that you were probably expecting me to talk about certain songs and the "rhythm" and "beat" of some of my most favorite bridges and other gay stuff, but that ain't how I work. Except for PBGA and Chameleon, everything Helloween has done is gold. Every track kicks ass. Every poetic word of darkness and obscurity reaches into your soul and punches it in the face. Every pounding of the drums and twang of the guitar makes you want to bite the head off a fucking bat and bark at the moon!!... well, you understand where I'm going with this. All of their worthwhile albums are 100% worthwhile.
Fuck yeah, bizatch!!! This is why I was placed on this Earth. To rate Helloween!!!
I give them 7 out of 5 Stars!... Ninja stars, ya whore!! Nothing more needs to be said.
When I'm working late in my lab trying to see the tiny, little universe inside one of my thumb molecules I like to play some of that Helloween music that the Rossman gave me. It's so soothing and relaxing that it makes the tedious work just seem to fly by. Sometimes I wake up, after dozing off for a good 16 hours, in a pile of my own vomit (at least I think it's my own) and realize that the melodies of the record have lulled me into another seizure-induced coma.... It's not as bad as it sounds, and it's actually a pleasant break in my day. So in the end I really like Hellowee-.... Wait, maybe I'm thinking of John Tesh.