|Helloween Albums: Worst to First|
Today I'll be ranking the worlds spookiest power metal band, Helloween just in time for Halloween!
If you ever wonder why Helloween never got big in the states, you can thank this album right here. A completely disjointed mishmash of different ideas, which more often than not, fails miserably. This album trudges along at the pace of a sloth, and with a running time at a beefy 71 minutes it’s not hard to see why. There are some bright spots however, 'Giants' and 'When the Sinner' are some pretty solid chunks of hard rock that are undeniably infectious.
Best Track: Giants
Worst Track: Shitmill
My God-Given Right
Oops. This is the only Deris-era album that I find to be kinda bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great tunes on here, but there are far more duds than what I’ve come to expect from the band.
Best Track: Battle’s Won
Worst Track: Like Everybody Else
Pink Bubbles Go Ape
After giving this album a second chance, I can safely say it’s grown on me quite a bit. They knew they couldn’t top the Keeper albums in size and scope, so they went for something different, and it ALMOST works, but not quite. I’m not gonna say it’s a great album, but it certainly isn’t as bad as some make it out to be.
Best Track: The Chance
Worst Track: Number One
Okay, I actually like this album quite a bit, but after listening to it a few times, I find pretty forgettable. I’d say all the songs range from okay to good, but nothing ever really strikes me as great. It’s consistent, but that might be it’s biggest flaw. It’s consistently alright.
Best Track: Far in the Future
Worst Track: World of Fantasy
Gambling With The Devil
Yet again, I really like this album, but I do have a few major issues with it. I think the way the album is mixed sounds like crap. The production is far too thin for a power metal album, and as a result ends up sounding hollow. Along with the crap production, there are few filler songs that kind of bog down the album. That being said, there is some really really solid stuff on here.
Best Track: Dreambound
Worst Track: Fallen to Pieces
Master of the Rings
‘Master of the Rings sees Helloween getting back on track after their two previous experimental records, and is a nice return to form from the band. This is also the first album that features Andy Derris on vocals, who happens to be my favorite Helloween vocalist. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of this one, but I do have some critiques with it. The ballads on here are among some of my least favorite Helloween songs, and there really aren’t any standout track in the bunch that I consider to be among Helloween’s best.
Best Track: Still We Go
Worst Track: Take Me Home
Rabbit Don't Come Easy
This record gets a lot of shit, but I can’t for the life of me understand why. ‘Rabbit’ is fun listen from top to bottom, and contains many of my personal favorite Deris-Era Helloween songs like ‘The Tune’ and ‘Listen to the Flies’. The production on this record is fantastic, and the drums cut through the mix like a mortar. There is a fair bit of filler on this one, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin. Plus Mickie Dee from Motorhead provides the drums on most of the songs which is always a welcomed addition in my eyes.
Best Track: Nothing To Say
Worst Track: Don’t Stop Being Crazy
Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy
I feel this album suffers from the same issues as ‘Part II’, it has some phenomenal songs, but suffers from a ludicrous running-time of almost an hour and a half. With an album being as long as this one is, it’s pretty obvious that there is going to be a fair amount of filler. But when this album hits, it hits hard. ‘Invisible Man’, ‘Silent Rain’ and ‘Occasion Avenue’ are just a few examples of modern Helloween at it’s best.
Best Track: Occasion Avenue
Worst Track: Born on Judgment Day
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II
Okay, hear me out. I genuinely enjoy this record, and I understand why it’s such a beloved album. It contains many of Helloween’s all-time greatest tracks like ‘Eagle Fly Free’ and ‘I Want Out’, but it does have some pretty lackluster filler as well. ‘Rise and Fall’ and ‘You Always Walk Alone’ are some good examples of this.. I also have a strong distaste for the track ‘Dr. Stein’. It is for these reasons I have ranked it so low.
Best Track: March of Time
Worst Track: Rise and Fall
Straight Out of Hell
This record sees the band retaining the heavier elements from their previous 2 albums and fusing them with the more traditional Power Metal sound they are known for. The result, one hour of some of the best material the band has put out in recent memory. This was my introduction to Helloween, and I’d say it’s a damned good one.
Best Track: Years
Worst Track: Hold Me In Your Arms
Better Than Raw
'Oath’, ‘Dark Ride’ and this album right here, is why I consider late 90’s/early 00’s era Helloween to be the best iteration the band has ever had. They were releasing classic after classic album during this time, and ‘Raw’ is definitely one of them. It really kills me to put it at only #5, but I think ‘Dark Ride’ is just a hair better. But that’s not to say that this album is a slouch, by any means. ‘Push’, ‘Hey, Lord!’, ‘I Can’ and ‘Time’ are among my favorite Helloween songs.
Best Track: Falling Higher
Worst Track: Lavdate Dominvm
The Dark Ride
Arguably Helloween’s darkest outing, as you could probably assume just by looking at the title. I really dig the overall vibe this album emmits. There’s a sinister, eerie feel this record has that I wish Helloween would revisit. Definitely gonna be spinning this one this Halloween season.
Best Track: The Departed
Worst Track: Escalation 666
Walls of Jericho
Now this album is a different beast, and is stylistically different from the rest of the bands’ output. ‘Walls’ definitely leans more towards a speed/thrash sound, which makes it stand out in the Helloween catalog. This record right here is often overlooked by most, including myself, and it really is a shame.It wasn’t until recently that I have given a chance, and I’m glad I did; It’s one of the best.
Best Track: Guardians
Worst Track: Gorgar
The Time of the Oath
I fucking love The Time of the Oath.This is by far Deris’s greatest work with the band. The album starts off with a barnburner (pun intended), and doesn’t let up until the very end with the monstrous closing track. Even the ballads on this one are good, and that’s saying something because I usually hate Deris-era ballads.
Best Track: The Time of the Oath
Worst Track: If I Knew
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I
The greatest power metal album ever recorded. It was one of the first of its kind, and has never been surpassed since. The album flows together perfectly, and every song is an undisputed classic. Strong contender for my favorite album of all time.
Best Track: Halloween
Worst Track: N/A