Friday, 5 June 2015

Helloween - My God-Given Right - A Review

I've listened to the album 3 times now and it's another really solid latter day Helloween record in its own right but it will take a few listens to catch on. On first listen I was a bit dubious but it's growing on me quite a lot now although some songs don't really excite me I will do a quick song by song review.

Heroes - An ok song but it doesn't wow me to be honest. It starts off really quite heavy and well but the chorus is quite predictable. 7/10

Battle's Won - Better! Musically unadventurous but typical Happy Helloween chorus. This actually reminds me of some Freedom Call song. 8.5/10

My God Given Right - Mid tempo song with a nice feel. I dunno about the chorus. It's not amazing me I must admit. I like the verses actually and feel the chorus is a bit average which is really strange for a Helloween song. There are some nice guitar melodies in it though. 7.5/10

Stay Crazy - Starts off like a Maiden epic and then goes headlong into an awesome guitar riff and melody. My fave song so far! The chorus is hugely catchy with counterpoint vocal arrangement with Andi answering his own calls. This is a nearly perfect Happy Helloween song and it also sounds fresh and cool. 9.5/10

Lost in America - Starts off bright and breezy with cool guitar melodies but Andi's thick German accent and goofy lyrics are a bit lame IMO. The chorus however is very catchy however much you try to hate it you can't. It's catchy and memorable. Goofy but happy tune. 8/10

Russian Roule - Ok going for a different and heavy feel this time with this thick grooving tune. The Russian style melody in the guitars is a cool touch. I really like that. The chorus Come out and play! Russian Roule is a bit boring but the ahhhhh sung by Andi is quite cool. The song is ok and will probably have its fans and splitting opinion. 7.5/10

Swing of a Fallen World _ Something un-Helloweeny. Broodng and pretty dark. Wouldn't have been that outta place on The Dark Ride. I am not too moved by the song to be honest. The mid section is better when it speeds up then it broods again till the finish line. 6/10

Like Everybody Else - Slow brooding ballad that heavies up slowly. The chorus is quite cool but it's not wowing me either. Too dark and dreamy. 6.5/10

Creatures in Heaven - Back to faster placed typical Helloween fare after quite a slow build up. The little guitar melodies are awesome here and there. The chorus is catchy and memorable whilst the guitar behind it is very melodic. A pretty damn great track. 9/10

If God Loves Rock n Roll - Nice guitar melodies but of course goofy lyrics from Andi not that I care as when the chorus comes along the urge to bellow is hard to resist. Must be amazing to hear this live and sing a long with a big shit eating grin on your face. 8.5/10

Living on the Edge - A more serious song that pounds along so well and come chorus time goes happy helloweeny with the carry on carry on plea from Andi but the feel of the song is quite heavy and pounding. Some Maidenish guitar scales and runs here and there and a great solo as well. 8.5/10

Claws - No let up in energy and pace again with this pacily riffed affair. The riffing is quite exciting on this track actually and whips up a real storm. Actually the chorus is not that amazing but for some reason it doesn't need to be on this track. Andi's more biting vocal attack hits the spot quite well. The song is about an eagle and his claws! The song reminds me of Primal Fear - I can imagine Ralfie belting this one out. 8.5/10

You, Still of War - The longest track and most serious track on the album is left till last. To be honest after 3 listens now I've yet to fully appreciate the track. It is a slowly building track and it reminds me of a slightly progressive version of the band. It has a slight Kameloty feel even. The chorus soon arrives and Andi goes ahhhhhhh! You, Still of war... Ahhhhhh! You still of nevermore!...It's sort of aggressive and angry but doesn't sound right for Hellloween. The verses actually are slightly happier although the lyrics still paint a picture of anger at the warmongers in this world or some such. The song deserves praise and I think I will appreciate it more pretty soon but the complex nature stops me from loving it immediately. The end solo is awesome though with some melodies which remind me of Maiden's SiT era. 7/10

Bonus CD

I Wish I Were There - The song is typical Helloween speed but the chorus soon arrives and it's a bit odd. The melody doesn't seem immediately catchy. It's a slightly weird track this one. Decent guitars at least but it doesn't do a huge deal for me. 6/10

Wicked Game - One of my fave songs across the whole album. Mid paced opening riff but then a glorious melodic riff soon thunders into view and the guitars sound sweet as hell and the chorus comes and it's bloody awesome. I love the demonic "Wicked Game!!" cries from the ghoul in the background whilst Andi sings "I came into the world to play!". I love this tune. The guitars rip and the vocals and chorus are ace. Should have been on the main album no doubt! 9.5/10

Nightmare - Another cool tune on the bonus disk which has counterpoint vocals again with Andi answering his own calls and even doing that during the chorus. The melody is really pretty strong. A cool and catchy track and could have easily fitted on the main album. Nice little bass solo in the end though the song is musically unadventurous the chorus makes it a catchy humber. The lead solo reminds me of Maiden again. 9/10

More Than a Lifetime - Another typical pounding Helloween rocker. The melody reminds me of another song. I forget which but it's rather familiar. The chorus is a soaring affair and has a decent happy melody. Andi sounds a bit like Ralfie in this song, maybe it's a PF song I'm thinking of. So 3 out of 4 songs on the bornus disk are more than good enough. More Maidenish SiT era guitar acrobatics to end the song. 8/10

So there you have it. Modern day Helloween. I have a slight complaint about the guitar sound if I'm being picky. It's slightly muddy for my taste. I like it sharper and cleaner but everything is balanced pretty well, it's just a personal preference of mine. I think this album is one of those that may need a few plays although some songs will get you from the outset. Overall I rate it at 8.5/10 and possibly a 9/10 with more plays as the songs begin to sink in. So in general Helloween are still pumping out the goods as regular as clockwork and at a good enough level to keep their legions of pumpkinheads happy.

No comments: