Helloween - _Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy_
(SPV / Steamhammer, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (5 out of 10)
This German outfit needs nothing in the way of a build-up or a lesson in their scope of accomplishments. Long-standing champions of the melodic power metal movement since the early '80s, Helloween has launched some unbelievable albums, not least of all 1985's _Walls of Jericho_ and 1987's _Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I_. Even the live _I Want Out_ disc is a celebrated part of my collection.

So what about this new one then? _Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy_ is a double CD with bonus video for "Mrs. God", a generally absurd track from the first disc. The video itself is equally ridiculous, if the truth be known, but not uncharacteristic for this band; hardcore fans will understand this. Moving on, no one has ever accused Helloween of normally getting to the point all that swiftly. Selected tracks, especially the openers to each disc, totalling upwards of seven to ten minutes in some cases, is not uncommon. Virtuoso soloing and lynchpin free-styling are all present on what is arguably, right or wrong, becoming known as _Keeper III_. At least along with trademark re-incorporation of Helloween identifiable technique, the band's direction has also returned; gone are the days (hopefully) of the _Pink Bubbles Go Ape_ and _Chameleon_. While _KotSK-TL_ provides for a few bombshell shockers, like the bass-intense opener to disc two, "Occasion Avenue", even adding the elemental vocal abilities of Candice Night (Blackmore's Night) on "Light of the Universe" lacks a certain progressive edge one has reason to expect from a seasoned band like Helloween.

_KotSK-TL_ is very stereotypical, but it is encouraging at the same time to see Helloween reacquiring its musical compass. Fans of past Helloween efforts will find special delight in the intro to what amounts to be my personal favorite on this album, disc two's "Occasion Avenue" -- think debut EP. No encouragement is therefore necessary for hardcore Helloween fans, as most of you will acquire _Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy_ without as much as a second thought. As for those of us in the other camp, judging from their extensive back catalog, we can hope Helloween will "Get It Up" and "Come Alive" next time around.

Contact: http://www.spvusa.com

(article published 15/11/2005)

12/22/2010 A McKay 8.5 Helloween - 7 Sinners
12/2/2007 J Ulrey 8.5 Helloween - Gambling With the Devil
4/18/1996 A Gaudrault 6 Helloween - The Time of the Oath
2/9/1996 A Bromley 6 Helloween - Master Of The Rings
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