|Review: Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy|
|Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy|
Year released: 2005
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy
When bands go back and revisit their greatest achievements (often to try and reignite their old successes), the results are mediocre at best. As news spread of Helloween's return to the era that brought them fame, most thought the idea ludicrous, as the band have become so much more since their rebirth in the nineties. We all knew whatever they did with the third Keepers album would be special, but instead of aping the sound of those early albums, the Germans simply utilized some of that old grandiosity and siphoned it into their modern ideology. What we have with Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy isn't really anything like the Keepers albums with Michael Kiske, but more like an amalgam of all the previous Deris-era albums rolled into one, with a glut of surprises thrown in.
Dominated in part by the aforesaid Andi Deris, the album is heavy, majestic, uncompromising, and epic, without relying on tried and tested formulas. Thirteen minute opener "The King For A 1000 Years" is a rocket ride of Power Metal magnificence, an epic with many emotions and changes, from full-on double pedal madness to dark yet melodic yearning, recalling some of the gloomier moments from Time Of The Oath and The Dark Ride. One of their best written tracks, this sets the pace for some of the album's other gems, including the odd but catchy "Pleasure Drone", the harmony led speed treat of "Silent Rain", and even the typically stupid Helloween single, "Mrs. God", which while the weakest track on an album spanning two discs, is still as infectious as a discarded needle tip.
"Occasion Avenue" is one of the most progressive tracks the band have recorded, opening disc two in the same manner as the first disc, with grand, epic Power Metal that is bold, shocking, and undeniably masterful. Andi Deris turns out his best vocal performance on this album, with "My Life For Just One Day" and the high-pitched "The Invisible Man" showing how versatile the man can be, while the new line up including Sascha Gerstner and Dani Loble shines throughout both discs, which never get boring, despite the length. Highlights are sprinkled all over this thing, and it is a genuine treat for all fans of melodic, catchy, and majestic Power Metal, with a production that packs a punch but is polished to a tee.
Odd, original, and not what anyone would expect, this is the craziness that is Helloween taken to its absolute perfection. The band are always challenging themselves with each release, but this is the most rewarding of the Deris-era albums, the record which found the band reaching their creative peak. It's not Better Than Raw or Time Of Oath, but it's better for different reasons. Sophisticated and supreme, this is why Helloween are still the best band in the genre. There is no end to their legacy. It will stretch out into infinity.
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