Helloween

Gambling With The Devil

Written by: PP on 26/02/2008 15:57:10

Some returning readers will remember me having a near mental breakdown experience about a year ago when 90% of the promos sent to us were crappy power metal bands from Germany, who all sucked balls. Major balls. My fellow writers will vouch for me when I say that I flooded our MSN conversations with pure hatred over labels signing shitty artists and sending them our way for a review, as well as cursing the genre as far away from the seventh heaven as I possibly could. But it seems like the genre heavyweights read my words and decided it\'s time for act two. First Dragonforce caught me completely off guard with their awesome ultra technical take on power metal, then Gamma Ray proceeded to restore my faith in the genre into unforeseen heights, and now Helloween has given the final blow, effectively forcing me to do a u-turn in my opinion about the genre.

After a cliché evil spoken word introduction to the album, its kicked off with the freaking awesome \"Kill It\". The high tempo and high pitched vocals go hand in hand together, and create an awesome epic, majestic atmosphere to the track. The lyrics are spot on too: \"people never wonder how the world goes round\", which in my mind is an allusion to the religious folk, keeping the album title \"Gambling With The Devil\" in mind. It\'s then followed by an even more awesome track, \"The Saints\", which is of the kind of proportions best described as jaw-dropping. The pitch and pace shifts are awesome, and the chorus is instantly recognizable and memorable. When a \"Through The Fire And Flames\" styled guitar solo battle kicks in towards the latter half of the 7 minute track, the only things going through my mind are \"where do I find more Helloween?\", and \"why isn\'t this on Guitar Hero?\". These two tracks are of the kind that even if power metal isn\'t your thing at all, there\'s no way you can\'t find them fantastic. Cold chills on your back, guaranteed.

\"As Long As I Fall\" is another great power metal track, again with a catchy chorus and epic atmosphere, but it falls a bit short from the first two tracks. The same applies for the album\'s centrepiece \"Paint A New World\". Nevertheless, both tracks are still in the \"pure awesomeness\" category for me, and keep in mind I used to despise power metal.

After that, the album starts to lose steam. The tongue-in-cheek vibe is exchanged with a heavier, more sinister guitar tone (see \"The Bells Of The 7 Hells\"), while the vocals fall down significantly from the sky high bits of earlier tracks on the album. While the second half isn\'t bad as such, it doesn\'t stand much chance against the glittering guitars and well written vocal harmonies of the first half. Still, it\'s easy to recommend \"Gambling With The Devil\" to all music fans, metallers and non-metallers alike, as it has qualities and characteristics that will appeal to both.

Download: The Saints, Kill It, Paint A New World
For the fans of: Gamma Ray, Dragonforce
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 29.10.2007
SPV/Steamhammer
Provided by Target ApS

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