Hot off the Press

Helloween | Straight Out of Hell

by Marc C.
– Columnist —

Helloween - Straight Out of HellWith 29 years, 14 studio and three live albums, three EPs, 26 singles and 12 members past and present, Helloween once again have proven if you count them out they’ll come roaring back stronger than ever! Formed in 1984, Hamburg, Germany’s greatest musical export has released their strongest offering since the widely regarded 1987 classic album Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1.

Following the release of Pink Bubbles Go Ape in 1991, Helloween began a tailspin that included massive amounts of drama and culminated with replacing multiple members (sadly, original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg died in 1995 following his firing in 1993) and releasing sub-par albums until 2005 with the release of Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy.

Straight Out of Hell roars out of the gate with the opening track “Nabataea” so hold onto your hat for the ride! The second track “World Of War” leaves no doubt that Helloween has returned as they simply rip it up throughout. Track three “Live Now!” contains a more commercial vibe than the previous tracks yet still contains that typical Helloween melodic tone heard in almost every track on this album. Track four, “Far From The Stars” easily would have fit onto any of the Keeper albums; however, it still fits the mold for inclusion on this one. Track five “Burning Sun” is perhaps one of the weaker songs yet once the chorus kicks in it is unmistakable Helloween. Track six “Waiting For The Thunder” is by far one of the better songs on this album and without question the most commercial track. The piano melody carries the song throughout the chorus and should have been used more effectively through the rest of the song.

Track seven “Hold Me In Your Arms” is rather disappointing considering how powerful in melody the chorus is. The verses seem to meander until the arrival of the chorus which basically saves the song itself.

Track eight “Wanna Be God” contains every element of a live sing-a-long, however, it is only a paltry two minutes in length. Track nine, “Straight Out Of Hell”, would have been better served as filler rather than a title track. While a strong song in its own right, as a title track it seems slightly lacking. Track 10 “Asshole” (Yes, you read it right!) has its moments yet still reeks of filler. Tracks 11 through 14 “ Years”, “Make Fire Catch The Fly”, Church Breaks Down” and “Another Shot Of Life” respectively are more of the same filler. While solid songs the album as whole should ended at nine songs and bowed out gracefully.

Make no mistake, Helloween is back and Straight Out Of Hell, save for the final four tracks, is their best album since KOTSK, PT1 by far! Melodic, fast and precise and for the most part all Helloween!

With the release of Straight Out Of Hell already #4 in Germany it is Helloween’s highest charting release ever!

Gentlemen, welcome back!

Genre: Power Metal

Andi Deris – Vocals (Pink Cream 69)
Michael Weikath – Guitars
Sascha Gerstner – Guitars & Keyboards
Markus Grosskopf – Bass
Dani Löble – Drums

Track Listing:
1. Nabataea
2. World Of War
3. Live Now!
4. Far From The Stars
5. – Burning Sun
6. Waiting For The Thunder
7. Hold Me In Your Arms
8. Wanna Be God
9. Straight Out Of Hell
10. Asshole
11. Years
12. Make Fire Catch The Fly
13. Church Breaks Down
14. Another Shot Of Life

Label: The End Records


Hardrock Haven Rating 9.5/10