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Helloween: Master of the Rings-Expanded Edition (remaster)

Any Helloween album that contains a song as kick ass as "Sole Survivor" certainly has to be given some props. Truth be told, this 1994 release Master of the Rings is pretty solid all around, showing Helloween as a still viable band on the power metal circuit even after losing both singer Michael Kiske and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg (who would commit suicide a year later). Enter into the fold new vocalist Andi Deris (ex-Pink Cream) and drummer Uli Kusch (ex-Gamma Ray), both who prove more than capable musicians, and help Helloween to create one of their best albums in years. In addition to the many speedy power metal rockers here, you also get one of the catchiest anthems the band ever wrote, the alluring "Why?", complete with a soaring Deris vocal and plenty of tasty guitar solos. There's even a nice mix of prog and shred guitar on the crunchy "Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)", and both Michael Weikath & Roland Grapow again weave some fancy guitar licks on the quirky metal piece "Secret Alibi". However, it's always the blistering speed numbers and beefy thrash tunes that fans seem to relate to the best when it comes to Helloween, so crank up the volume and get ready to headbang along with songs like "Take Me Home" and "Still We Go".

As with all the Helloween remasters, there's a great booklet with lyrics, an essay on the state of the band at the time of the recording, and an interview with Weikath. The bonus CD has some tracks from a few CD singles, including some neat versions of classic songs like Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat", KISS's "I Stole Your Love", and Grand Funk Railroad's "Closer to Home", plus Grapow's guitar extravaganze "Grapowski's Malmsuite 1001". It's a solid package to a very enjoyable album from Helloween.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Irritation (Weik Etitude 112 In C)
2. Sole Survivor
3. Where The Rain Grows
4. Why?
5. Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)
6. Perfect Gentleman
7. The Game Is One
8. Secret Alibi
9. Take Me Home
10. In The Middle Of A Heartbeat
11. Still We Go
Disc: 2
1. Can't Fight Your Desire
2. Star Invasion
3. Cold Sweat
4. Silicon Dreams
5. Grapowski's Malmsuite 1001
6. I Stole Your Love
7. Closer To Home

Added: August 1st 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Helloween Website
Hits: 4960
Language: english

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