Enter The Pumpkin Carving Photo Contest To Win A 7 Sinners Prizepack
For those of you with more of the artistic sense, Helloween has a contest for you too. Head on over to the Metal Club Facebook page and join the Pumpkin Carving Contest. Grand Prize is a prizepack that includes a 7 Sinners jacket, autographed poster and a copy of the new album. Your photo needs to be sent in by November 5th, so get your pumpkin and start carving!
Helloween are set to release their 13th studio album, 7 Sinners, on November 9, 2010 in North America via The End Records. 7 Sinners is definitively one of the fastest and hardest albums in the Helloween’s history and it bursts with vitality. That might partly be due to the versatility of the various songwriters within the band, who over time have become so homogenous, that the 13 songs formed a unity on their own in the studio , but it may also be due to the fact that the album was recorded completely without a click track, which, considering the extreme speed of the songs is an impressive feat. Especially drummer Löble, who proves that his technique is at a world-class-level. Following his excellent inner clock, bass and drums drive tracks like “Are You Metal?”, “Long Live The King” and “Who Is Mr. Madman?” to dizzying tempos. 7 Sinners with its typically strong melodies and the tangible joy of playing, is a true metal album whose range reaches astonishing dimensions.
Helloween’s 13th album, 7 Sinners, will be released on November 9th. Check out the video clip, “Are You Metal” below!
The premium version of “7 SINNERS” will include the deluxe digipak, extended booklet and an exclusive bonus track!
13th Studio Album To Be Followed By Extensive World Tour
German heavy metal legends, HELLOWEEN are set to release their 13th studio album, 7 Sinners, on November 9, 2010 in North America via The End Records. If there is a golden thread throughout the more than 25 years of Helloween’s history, 13 studio albums, countless headliner tours around the globe and more than 5 million records sold, then it is their special kind of attitude: don’t take yourself too seriously and simply live statements like: “just have fun with the shit you’re doing.” Maybe it is exactly this easiness that allows HELLOWEEN to be one of the most constant bands of the genre while simultaneously being the one band who dares to experiment more than their musical peers. While some copycats would rather stick with the same old patterns, Andi Deris, Michael Weikath, Sascha Gerstner, Markus Großkopf and Dani Löble aren’t afraid of taking risks – and are rightfully rewarded with success.
7 Sinners is definitively one of the fastest and hardest albums in the Helloween’s history and it bursts with vitality. That might partly be due to the versatility of the various songwriters within the band, who over time have become so homogenous, that the 13 songs formed a unity on their own in the studio , but it may also be due to the fact that the album was recorded completely without a click track, which, considering the extreme speed of the songs is an impressive feat. Especially drummer Löble, who proves that his technique is at a world-class-level. Following his excellent inner clock, bass and drums drive tracks like “Are You Metal?”, “Long Live The King” and “Who Is Mr. Madman?” to dizzying tempos. 7 Sinners with its typically strong melodies and the tangible joy of playing, is a true metal album whose range reaches astonishing dimensions.
It has become a cliche for metal band’s to tout their newest opus as their “fastest” or “heaviest” album ever made, but in Helloween’s case, 7 Sinners is truly a return to form and is indeed their fastest and heaviest release in years. Helloween bass player Markus Grosskopf stated about the band’s new material: “For all those out there who found our special best-of [CD] ‘Unarmed’ to be too smooth and calm, I have great news: The new album will hit you right in the face! It’s gonna be very heavy and contain all [the classic] HELLOWEEN trademarks! Some songs are very powerful and hymnic, others contain the fastest bass-drum patterns our drummer Dani [Löble] ever played, and this means a lot!”
7 Sinners Tracklist:
- Where The Sinners Go
- Are You Metal?
- Who is Mr. Madman?
- Raise The Noise
- World Of Fantasy
- Long Live The King
- The Smile Of The Sun
- You Stupid Mankind
- If A Mountain Could Talk
- The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner
- My Sacrifice
- Not Yet Today
- Far In The Future
HELLOWEEN’ S Michael Weikath – guitarist, songwriter and founding member of one of the most influential European Power Metal Bands, dating back to 1985. Helloween has set the standard for this genre of Heavy Metal, while exemplifying longevity and industry durability also breeds consistent quality albums. Since 1985, many changes have taken place in the world of Heavy Metal, major bands that once filled arenas are now filling clubs and musicians can now download and upload musical arrangements on a laptop. Throw in the fact, that a select group of Helloween songs have become rearranged, with the enormous help from the 70 Piece Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and The London Choir.
Helloween has reached a Heavy Metal milestone, celebrating their quarter century as a major player and mighty influence on the European Power Metal stage. Thus, saluting their catalog of albums with the release of “Unarmed – Best Of 25th Anniversary”. Michael Weikath or Weiki as he likes to be called, proved to be quite an intriguing conversationalist, with an admirable straight forwardness about him that this writer found most appealing. Weiki took the time recently to discuss with Hard Rock Hideout the aforementioned, plus added some interesting thoughts along the way. Here is what Weiki had to say:
HRH: How are you doing Weiki?
Weiki: I’m doing well! I’m looking up the Veronica’s right now and buying music on the internet. The Veronica’s are twins, they are really good! I like their music a lot. Do you listen to them?
HRH: I can’t say that I do, Weiki. I’ve heard of them though.
Weiki: You should definitely give them a try.
HRH: What other bands are you currently listening to?
Weiki: I’m a big fan of Chris Cornell. Nirvana, you know, I hated their music when it first came out, now, it’s good and not so bad. I’m a fan of The Moody Blues and technical stuff from the 1970’s. I’m pretty open, even original Disco, I’m with it.
HRH: Congratulations Weiki on Helloween’s 25th Anniversary! The new album is a unique celebration of your songs. What inspired this musical direction for “Unarmed”?
Weiki: Well, we just came off of a huge, a massive tour. We had some time off after the last tour and never really had a break for fifteen years. “Unarmed” was all the managers idea, the thought of doing something big this time around for the 25th Anniversary of Helloween. We employed outside arrangers to re-arrange all of the songs you hear on “Unarmed”. We picked some greatest tracks, still “Falling To Pieces” was not on the list. There was a ton of file transfers going on and everything was done this way, so I could stay on top of what was happening with the arrangements.
HRH: From concept to finish, how long did it take to create “Unarmed”?
Weiki: It took a little over a year. With the re-arrrangements, feedbacks, brainstorming and recording. We had to consult with so many people and work with numerous timetables regarding the classical and digital recordings. Having the opportunity, the means and the time to do this album all came together. I feel the result is great! So far, I have heard a fifty-fifty response to “Unarmed”, people either love it or hate it.
HRH: Well Weiki, I am not in the group that hates “Unarmed”!
Weiki: Thank you!
HRH: With all of the dynamics involved with “Unarmed”, what was the most difficult step in the recording process?
Weiki: Doing arrangements on the computer was no biggie. The Classical arrangements of the timing and where do you put these parts? That all takes time. During the session arrangements, I did not touch one string or guitar.
HRH: “Why” is a hidden track, with no hint of it anywhere in the liner notes. Why is this?
Weiki: I don’t know, it’s not on my CD either! I was pretty surprised myself when I discovered this. I’m not aware of why “Why” is a hidden track. It’s a mega surprise track! It surprised everyone, even me!
HRH: Would you consider creating music in the future with the 70 piece Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Choir once again?
Weiki: It was so much hard work, it’s a good idea though. If our manager wants to, we do it. We would be extremely proud to do it again.
HRH: What other personal music goals do you still have?
Weiki: There are times, where I think I could have done many other things in the past. There was a time when I was not sure of staying in Helloween, it was during the “Chameleon” phase. I moved on with it of course. I like to consider each and every option. Well, for example, I’ve always liked the collaboration of Jim Steinman and Meatloaf, that is something I would like to do. Creative Rock and doing something in that direction I would like to try. ELO, Queen, Jim Steinman and Meatloaf are great examples.
HRH Note: “Chameleon” was the fifth studio album released by Helloween in 1993, (not counting their debut “Helloween” EP from 1985).
HRH: Where in America is your favorite city or venue to play?
Weiki: It’s so hard to say and choose. The United States is so vast! I do love B.B. Kings in New York City though. Maryland has many nice places, up around Niagara Falls and Arizona as well. The Key Club in L.A. I really remember well, it filled around eight hundred people and it was great. In America, there are too many interesting places.
HRH: What band would Helloween want to tour with, that you haven’t toured with already?
Weiki: It’s really hard to say. Judas Priest would have been cool in the past, only it’s not recommended now. One point in time, in the past, we should have toured with Judas Priest. We are out on our own now, as a headlining band. For us to do our own lineup show is dream stuff and wishful thinking. We’ve played the festivals in the past, with say, Cinderella and DIO. Then, Guns & Roses comes out to end the night. It was managements decision back then to play certain festivals and in which order.
HRH: Do you own an iPad yet? I’m just looking into them right now myself.
Weiki: Not yet, they are not available in Spain, at the time they are first available in America. I will get one though, an iPad will be pretty cool. They are thin and light weight, perfect for traveling in the airports.
HRH Note: Michael Weikath currently resides in Spain.
HRH: “Gambling With The Devil” is one of my favorite Helloween albums, there are many uplifting and positive songs on it, for example, “Can Do It”.
Weiki: I wrote that song. “Gambling With The Devil” does have some positive songs. I like to stay positive with my lyrics and stay away from the dark themes. I like to write positive songs, with meaning. “The Dark Ride” was too dark of an album for me, lyrically.
HRH Note: “The Dark Ride” was the ninth studio album released by Helloween, back in 2000.
HRH: Who are your hero’s in life?
Weiki: You have to be very careful about who to idolize. It’s very hard to say. If I was to say, for example, Humphrey Bogart, how many skeletons may he have hid in his closet?
HRH Note: Humphrey Bogart was an American film actor, spanning three decades in film during the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s.
HRH: Are you setting sight on a North American tour this year?
Weiki: In November a tour starts that will go into next year. Our last time out went extremely well for the first time ever! It was more of a condensed experience but a brilliant tour. The clubs, bus and accommodations were great and it was a great time. Our last tour was just organized better, it was very intense!
HRH: Which do you prefer better, an arena or club?
Weiki: Whether we play an arena or club, people, the fans, pay to be there. As long as we put on the best show possible for the fans, it doesn’t really matter. It’s always great being close to the fans in a club, as long as they are friendly! We like to play to a minimum of fifty people in a club, sometimes that is not always the case though. There have been times where there are say, seventeen people in the club! Regardless, Helloween must put on the best show and play great. When the show goes as planned, I’m happy. If a band were to ever fuck up a show in a small club, it would get on You Tube very fast! I believe you can still be a great band playing in a shit hole.
HRH: What Helloween album do you look back upon with the most pride?
Weiki: All of them! They are like photo albums. They all ooze something special, each album is unique. A lot of work went into each and every Helloween album.
Helloween’s song “Dr. Stein” originally appeared on the band’s classic CD, “Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2”. When I heard the band’s 2010 version of the same song, I did a double take. My first thought was, “Is this Helloween?” You have to see it & hear it for yourself. Check out the video clip “Dr. Stein” below.
“Dr. Stein” is on the New Helloween CD Unarmed – Best of 25th Anniversary.
HELLOWEEN – “UNARMED, BEST OF 25TH ANNIVERSARY” TAKES A METAL DETOUR!
For 25 years, this pioneering Power Metal band originating from Germany, has taken their fans along a journey of 12 studio albums. From Helloween’s legendary 1985 debut, Walls Of Jericho, to their 2007 release, Gambling With The Devil, this important, resilient, multi-talented and influential band has many a song to choose from for their Unarmed, Best Of 25th Anniversary album. One can debate for a year and a day, as to which of their favorite Helloween songs were included or ignored for this milestone album release. Regardless, Unarmed is by far and large, the most grandiose Helloween album ever to have been created.
Usually, upon my hearing the news of a new Helloween album coming up on the Metal horizon, I begin to lick my chops in anticipation of more speed, power and old school Heavy Metal from this incredible band. Well, Metal truth be told, Unarmed is quite the Metal detour for Helloween and their worldwide fan base too. These classic Helloween songs from years long past, have undergone some major changes in their arrangements! Allow me to explain further… an untold number of composers, producers and arrangers all embarked on the restructuring of these 11 Helloween classics heard on Unarmed. Try this on for Metal size – the 70 Piece Prague Philharmonics Orchestra and the London Choir also play a major role in the musical identity of Unarmed!
Certainly, these songs do sound remarkably different, only this detour did not disappoint me one bit. As an old Metal wise man once told me… “change is a good thing”. Still, this is quantum change for any Helloween fans ears to handle upon a first listen to Unarmed. It’s like shifting gears while driving a standard, it’s all about instinct – while accepting such a dramatic musical change of pace. I became instantly aware from the first note of “Dr. Stein”, that I needed to shift my Metal soul into a mellow soul. “Dr. Stein” does play out as a Classic Rock song, now. With similarities to early 1980’s E Street Band, (minus The Boss), “Dr. Stein” is a knee slapping, foot tapping good time… courtesy of the horn section that really adds to the flavor.
As Unarmed plays out, the quality and sum of the musical parts far outweigh any distractions that I may have experienced during several complete listens of Unarmed. The distractions being – where’s the Speed Metal? Hey, this used to be a Power Metal song! And… the ultimate distraction of them all… could I possibly be falling over for this Unarmed version of Helloween? Metal be thy name! Metal as my witness, I have a soft spot in my Metal heart for this Unarmed chapter of Helloween.
For those die-hard Helloween fans that may not absorb musical change with Metal ease… do not despair for you most likely will not be alone. Fans will either love or (gasp) dislike what Helloween has embarked upon here. I just so happen to be an open minded Metalhead that upholds a love for music, thus my appreciation towards such a drastic change by Helloween is not an alarming issue in my Metal world at all.
Truth be told, Helloween has showed me why I have admired them as musicians first and foremost for so many years, their musical transition on Unarmed has been presented upon my ears, with the highest of quality standards and without question… credibility. Helloween loyalists will embrace Unarmed, as for other curious fans out there… don’t be afraid, take a chance on Unarmed, it won’t ruin your Metal soul!
One last interesting note: there is a hidden track on Unarmed! The song title is – “Why”. My question is this, why is “Why” a hidden track? There is absolutely no mention of this song within the liner notes either. An Unarmed, Helloween mystery that may never be explained!
Rating: Out of 10
- Dr. Stein
- Future World
- If I Could Fly
- Where The Rain Grows
- The Keeper’s Trilogy
- Eagle Fly Free
- Perfect Gentleman
- Forever & One
- I Want Out
- Fallen To Pieces
- A Tale That Wasn’t Right
- Why (Bonus Track)
Andi Deris – Vocals
Michael Weikath – Guitar, Backing vocals
Sascha Gerstner – Guitar, Backing vocals
Markus Grosskopf – Bass, Backing vocals
Daniel Löble – Drums
HELLOWEEN CELEBRATE 25 YEARS WITH THE RELEASE OF
UNARMED – BEST OF 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Helloween, one of the most eminent melodic metal bands worldwide and – along with the Scorpions and Accept – Germany’s ultimate metal export, got their start exactly 25 years ago. A total of eleven headlining world tours took the band all over the globe, and their sensational show at the Monsters Of Rock in Castle Donington in front of more than 100,000 metalheads. Spectacular tours alongside Iron Maiden, Dio and Ozzy Osbourne, as well as their MTV Headbangers Ball US tour with Anthrax and Exodus remain unforgotten. Helloween have sold more than five million record! s and garnered 14 gold and 6 platinum awards globally, receiving two gold records in Germany. Now Andi Deris (vocals), Michael Weikath (guitar), Sascha Gerstner (guitar), Markus Großkopf (bass) and Daniel Löble (drums) have set out to prove that their great anthems ooze that special Helloween flair even with totally new arrangements.
UNARMED – Best Of 25th Anniversary is Helloween’s ‘thank-you’ to millions of fans old and new and will prove their exceptional position on the international metal scene. Instead of putting together a regular greatest hits compilation featuring their most successful tracks to celebrate this anniversary, the five band members completely rearranged the greatest melodies they had written in the course of their career to date. The album features Supercharge’s exceptional saxophonist Albie Donnelly, Hellsongs’s vocalist Harriet Ohlsson, pianist Matthias Ulmer, plus the 70-piece Prague Symphonic Orchestra and the choirs of! the Gregorian singers!
As a special surprise, Helloween have come up with ‘The Keeper´s Trilogy’ a stunning 17-minute medley of the songs ‘Halloween’, ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ and ‘The King For A 1000 Years’, recorded in cooperation with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra and likely to send shivers of delight down the spine of every Helloween fan.
UNARMED – Best Of 25th Anniversary sees Helloween commemorate their 25th anniversary in their very own way. “We aren’t one of those bands who like to celebrate themselves,” says Weikath. “We wanted to say thank you in a special way to all our fans who have followed us through the past 25 years – to us, this album stands for an official celebration. We had a lot of fun recording our most important tracks in an entirely new ‘outfit’ and with new arrangements. Now we can’t wait to find out how our fans will react.”
01. Dr. Stein
02. Future World
03. If I Could Fly
04. Where The Rain Grows
05. The Keeper’s Trilogy
06. Eagle Fly Free
07. Perfect Gentleman
08. Forever & One
09. I Want Out
10. Fallen To Pieces
11. A Tale That Wasn’t Right
Check out Helloween’s video, “I Want Out” below. This is from the 1988 album, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 2.
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce all the details for the release of MICHAEL KISKE new album entitled “Past In Different Ways” on May 9th 2008.
This much talked about album includes the reworking in a new fully acoustic and stripped back mood of some of Helloween’s classics that Kiske wrote and recorded in his early days with the legendary German Heavy Metal band. “When Serafino Perugino brought up the idea to do this record” says Michael, “my first reaction was: “No way! I don’t want to be dealing with my past all the time anymore!”. But after a few days my thinking changed and I thought:
maybe it’s not such a bad idea at all? Because on one hand it shows that I don’t reject my past just because I’m a different person today and on the other hand it can maybe give people who were part of that past a different view at those songs. It’s my music, I can still identify myself with its spirit, so why should I not do this?”.
Working in a creatively free environment helped Michael to look at his past with different eyes and brought the idea of working again on the songs that Michael wrote for Helloween during his years with the band. The result is “Past In a Different Ways“, a record which includes brand new recordings of Kiske’s songs taken off the two “Keeper” albums, “Chameleon” and “Pink Bubbles Go Ape“, plus the brand new song “Different Ways“.
The unconventional arrangements of many of the tracks will surprise and delight many of his fans and more surprising is to see how well these songs sound with a basic acoustic arrangement, without the “useless weight” and with new keys. “Songs like ‘In The Night‘ or ‘When The Sinner‘ which where never favourites of mine are much cooler and much more convincing now for my ears”, says Michael.
The album was recorded and mixed in Hamburg under Michael Kiske’s direction and features long time collaborators such as Sandro Giampietro on guitar, Fontaine Burnett on bass and Karsten Nagel on drums.
Kiske concludes: “It was not always easy for me emotionally to deal with this material. Music somehow seems to preserve emotional memories and I connect big human disappointments with the last years of that time. There’s
also something very unsatisfying about re-recording old songs; it’s always MUCH better to write new stuff, but I wanted to make those songs mine again. And in spite of the fact that I strongly felt for the last couple of years that I rather have to build myself a new base of friends, it’s always good to make peace with your past”.
“Past In Different Ways” will see the light in Europe on May 9th 2008 on Frontiers Records.
Musicians include Mordechai “Mordy” Hauser (guitar), Fabrizio Grossi (bass, orchestrations, programming, acoustic guitar), John Macaluso (drums) ex TNT, Malmsteen and Riot, Jamie Teramo (keyboards, piano) with Tommy Denander on additional guitars.
Former HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske appears singing a duet in the song “Breathe in Water”, while former MALMSTEEN and RING OF FIRE shouter Mark Boals guests on vocals on “Superman” and “Fair Enough”.
The resulting album is a release that encompasses the taste for a contemporary Melodic Rock direction. A truly rewarding listening experience!
Sound samples in mp3 (Click on the song title to listen to a 90 sec. mp3 sample):
The opening track, He’s a Woman – She’s a Man is a high speed rocking affair. It is a track that demands several replays. Roland Grapow and Michael Weikath tear it up on the guitar on this song.
The version of Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath is far heavier than the original. Helloween has nearly turned this into a thrash song. Very cool!
One of the strangest groups for a metal band to cover would have to be Abba. The progressive metal elements that Helloween adds to the track, Lay All of Your Love on Me, makes this one of the coolest sounding covers in a long time.
He’s a Woman, She’s A Man
Lay All of Your Love on Me
The cover of Space Oddity remains pretty true to the original, and doesn’t really add anything new. It sounds ok, and I do like the original. It would have been cool to see Helloween do something different with it, but they didn’t.
It is interesting to hear Helloween’s version of Faith No More’s From Out of Nowhere. I thought it was strange that Helloween would cover a newer track like this, considering the age of the other songs on this record. Quite frankly, I like the Faith No More version of this song better.
The super fast bass licks on the Beatles, All My Loving turn this into an interesting sounding track. It is very short, and is over in the blink of an eye.
I am sure that you have heard Hocus Pocus a thousand times on mainstream rock radio. Helloween’s version is a little bit heavier than the original. I like this version a lot.
I have not heard the original version of Faith Healer, so I do not know how it compares to the original. It takes far too long for this song to get going, and it doesn’t hold my interest.
Juggernaut is much better than the track preceding. Once again, I am not familiar with Frank Marino’s music. If it sounds anywhere near as good as this Helloween cover, then I need to be finding some of his stuff.
Helloween’s cover of the Cream song White Room, has a much heavier edge than the original version. It is an above average remake of this song. This sound of this song reminds me a bunch of older Leatherwolf tunes. It has that same kind of feel.
The final two tracks, Mexican and Rat Bat Blue didn’t really do anything for me. They are just ok.
Much like the Overkill release, Helloween’s Metal Jukebox is a solid cover disc, but not exciting enough for most fans to pick up. This is a disc that will be essential to Helloween fans only.
Rating:Out of 10
1. He’s a Woman – She’s a Man (Scorpions)
2. Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull)
3. Lay All of Your Love on Me (Abba)
4. Space Oddity (David Bowie)
5. From Out of Nowhere (Faith No More)
6. All My Loving (The Beatles)
7. Hocus Pocus (Focus)
8. Faith Healer (Alex Harvey)
9. Juggernaut (Frank Marino)
10. White Room (Cream)
11. Mexican (Babe Ruth)
12. Rat Bat Blue*(Deep Purple, Bonus Track)