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Helloween: 7 Sinners

Are You Metal?

Helloween seems to be one of those bands who just never disappoints. Even 25 years and 13 albums since their debut, Helloween is still cranking out great semi-progressive power metal albums. 7 Sinners is the 14th album from Helloween, and was released on Halloween of 2010. Although I doubt Helloween will ever release an album that can compete with some of their 80's and early 90's classics, it's great to hear that these guys are still dedicated to making great power metal. If you like Helloween, or power metal in general, 7 Sinners is one of the best albums this year to come out in that genre. Although there is a bit of "cheesiness" on the album (as expected from most power metal releases), there are far more positives than negatives to be found on this Helloween release.

The music played here is power metal that we're used to from Helloween, but there is a fresh, modern sound also to be found here. Although there isn't anything terribly unique on 7 Sinners, it's great that Helloween is still reinventing themselves after such a long career. There are quite a lot of progressive tendencies on 7 Sinners, and even a few songs, such as "If A Mountain Could Talk" or "Far in the Future", could even be considered prog metal tracks. These two songs are also highlights on the album. The flute solo in "Raise the Voice" is especially worth noting. It progresses into a great flute/guitar dual that sounds almost as if Ian Anderson had a jam with Iron Maiden. It's a really powerful track. "The Smile of the Sun" is a keyboard-led power ballad, and is actually another great track. I really love the chorus in this track. Unfortunately, there are a few weaker tracks like "Are You Metal?" and "The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner". These aren't complete throwaways, but they are disappointing nonetheless.

As we should all know from Helloween by now, they are a very talented bunch. The two guitarists, Sascha Gerstner and Michael Weikath, especially stand out. The drumming from Dani Löble is also noteworthy. He really rips on some parts of this album, and it's great to hear his talent shine through.

The production is a bit of a problem in my opinion. The "cheesiness" I mentioned in the first paragraph was directly pointing to the production. This is that type of over-produced, synthetic-sounding power metal production that can get really annoying. If you like that sort of thing, that may be a good thing, but I really wish that the sound here would have been slightly rawer.

Conclusion:

7 Sinners is a really good album from Helloween. It really amazes me that, 27 years since their conception, they are still making great power metal albums. If you like other Helloween albums, and are okay with a cheesy production, this is a release worth getting. I'm going to give 7 Sinners 3.5 stars. Had the production been better and a few songs were tweaked slightly, this would be a 4 star release. Still, this is highly recommended to fans of power metal!


Track Listing
1. Where The Sinners Go
2. Are You Metal?
3. Who is Mr. Madman?
4. Raise The Noise
5. World Of Fantasy
6. Long Live The King
7. The Smile Of The Sun
8. You Stupid Mankind
9. If A Mountain Could Talk
10. The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner
11. My Sacrifice
12. Not Yet Today
13. Far In The Future

Added: November 12th 2010
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1966
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Helloween: 7 Sinners
Posted by Scott Jessup, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-11-12 08:11:04
My Score:

One of the, if not the most, influential bands in power metal history, namely Helloween, are back! Helloween had been on a roll with great music on album after album, then they went and recorded Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary, and that momentum stopped. It just wasn't what the fans expected or what many wanted to hear, as the band abandoned the power metal on their classic songs. I really tried to like it but wasn't sold on the idea, especially when the original versions just sound so much better. Well now that metal's back and Helloween are sounding energized, having retained the same line-up has been a positive for the group. Helloween are still one very capable band, and on 7 Sinners they illustrate once more that after so many years they have the enthusiasm and ability to make an impact. There has been those notable members whom have departed Helloween over the years, but each time their replacements have brought something different to the band and they certainly keep surprising me.

7 Sinners wouldn't be a Helloween album without the pumpkins, and the artwork for this album includes a number of scary looking ones. Also, the band members are shown in various evil poses and getups, such as singer Andi Deris looking very Hannibal Lecter like, complete with the face mask and straight jacket, all fitting in with the title 7 Sinners. I am finding myself more and more drawn to the songs on 7 Sinners, as this is another very impressive metal album from Helloween. Helloween do get quite heavy on "Long Live The King", which sounds like Halford's band at full throttle, and they also put in cool additions elsewhere like a flute solo on "Raise The Noise".

If we just put that last release to one side then Helloween are back on track with 7 Sinners after the excellent Gambling With The Devil. There is more of that vibrant style power metal we have been enjoying since the eighties, plus they have taken on some inspirations to bring their sound into the present.



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