Helloween - My God-Given Right - Via Nuclear Blast - 4/5
Eminent German power metal masters Helloween are back with their fifteenth studio album, My God-Given Right, released via Nuclear Blast.
Since being introduced to the band in the early 1990s at the tender age of eight, yes –eight, Helloween have long been a band I've taken a fair amount of interest in, but somehow lost track of for a while due to regular line-up changes and alternate styles that defined the band for a while.
My love for Helloween originated from the earlier magic of Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt 1 and Pt 2, featuring vocalist Michael Kiske. It was my first taste of power metal as a young gun, so I tend to hope for alternating takes of these earlier works. Obviously, this isn't what happened. Since rekindling my interest in Helloween in 2006's Walls of Jericho, I've learned to enjoy the changes in direction. Helloween are still producing exciting albums and My God-Given Right doesn't fall short, offering classic vibes with the combination of recent ideas and influences.
‘’It’s just typical classical heavy metal, the way it should be”. - Michael Weikath (for Rock Overload Mag)
'Heroes' and 'Battles Won' open the album in classic Helloween fashion. As strong as ever, Andi Deris' voice graces these tracks’ high-flying melodies and expected control, which are held steady by killer riffs and racing, technical drum beats. undoubtedly a tasty intro that got me completely submerged in the album.
The title track, 'My God-Given Right', certainly leaves its mark. With the usual fast paced drum patterns and melodic guitar riffs, a punchy rhythm is created and emphasised with the vocals following suit. Though quite straight forward in its entirety, this is a strong, slightly commercial track that is quite possibly a favourite. A pure quality, 'all in' power metal track. You can't fault this sort of stuff.
A diversion in sound comes from 'Stay Crazy', 'Lost in America' and 'Russian Roulé' which highlight recent interview comments from Michael Weikath who states this album is steered toward a more commercial market. Although they’re not 'typical' Helloween, these are sing-along style tracks that will go down a storm in a live situation. A lot of options for a stellar show initiator.
This wouldn't be the Helloween so many of us have an undying love for if there wasn't a catchy, sugar-coated anthemic offering entwined in the madness. 'If God Loves Rock 'n' Roll' meets requirements perfectly and will soon be a band staple. I tend to fall in love with these sorts of tracks...
There's a selection of 'gradual' songs in the concoction that opt for a more relaxed approach. Well written, passionate and contributing a distinct alternative, yet somehow sacrificing technicality and pace which spurs the bulk of album on and makes a lot of fans chase the sounds of Helloween. Maybe i'm just a sucker for what reminds me of my first Helloween experience! Quite likely because these are admittedly beautifully crafted songs.
There are tracks on this album that merge due to very similar structures but with that being said, on a personal level, this is by far one of my favourite power metal releases of 2015, and one of my highest rated releases from Helloween in a number of years. It's an enjoyable album thats very easy to listen to. It's got a lot going for it and I look forward to seeing these guys take centre stage at a load of 2015/16 festivals because they've not lost their magic, not at all.
02. Battle’s Won
03. My God-Given Right
04. Stay Crazy
05. Lost In America
06. Russian Roule
07. The Swing Of A Fallen World
08. Like Everybody Else
09. Creatures In Heaven
10. If God Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll
11. Living On The Edge
13. You, Still Of War
Andi Deris - Vocals
Markus Grosskopf – Bass Guitar
Michael Weikath - Guitar
Sascha Gerstner - Guitar
Daniel Loeble – Drums
Reviewed by: Christiane Robinson
Release Date: 29/05/15
Label: Nuclear Blast