ALBUM REVIEWS


Helloween
KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – LIVE IN SAO PAULO
SPV/STEAMHAMMER
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk


Recorded in front of a few thousand maniacal Brazilians, Helloween turn in a spirited live update of their 1988 twin epics, ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2’. They certainly picked the right night to roll the tapes since the audience are almost as loud as the band themselves. This, in turn, eggs the Teutonic power metal merchants to match their enthusiasm as they lose themselves in widdly guitar lines, thunderous drum patterns and lengthy epics, all done without a single hint of irony.

Naturally, it’s all deliciously corny. ‘King For A 1000 Years’, like a number of tracks featured, clocks in at almost fifteen minutes in length and manages to cram in more complex rhythms and key changes than is necessary. Some would say ridiculous, others glorious; it’s both and it’s all good fun. I challenge you not to yell ‘eaaa-gggle fly freeeeee’ along with vocalist Andy Deris in your best metal shriek!

Compared with other metal concept albums released at the time, ‘Keeper’ was never as sophisticated as Queensryche’s ‘Operation Mindcrime’ nor as commercial as Iron Maiden’s ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’, rather a worthy addition to Germany’s proud metal heritage. And, underneath all the noodling, there beats a melodic heart on near hits ‘Dr Stein’ and ‘I Want Out’, which is up there with the best of Judas Priest.

Smashing, pumpkins!

www.helloween.org


Ross Halewood