I was fortunate enough to be around when The Keeper of Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2 came out back in the ’80s. I considered Helloween ahead of their time,  a group of extremely talented musicians and songwriters. However, they had some internal problems and drifted from their origins and into the abyss. There were a few glints of brightness throughout the years, including 2010’s 7 Sinners, but albums such as Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape did nothing to re-solidify their presence in the metal realm.

Bring on 2013. Straight out of Hell is being released, and I have listened to this masterpiece repeatedly over the last few weeks, mainly because I can’t stop. This CD is unbelievable!

The first single, “Nabataea,” is an epic speed metal song. It takes Helloween right back to their roots. The chorus rings of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, and it will stay in your head for days or weeks to come!  Andi Deris‘ vocals are stellar, and Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner flex their six-string muscles incredibly here.

The album brings me back to the roots of speed metal. Helloween were a huge part of pioneering this genre, and “World of War” brings light to this fact.  Daniel Loble’s ability on the drums really shines here; it thunders and gallops.

The album is chock full of ass-kickers.  Every song has a feel of it’s own.  “Asshole,” “Wanna Be God,” “Burning Sun,” “Straight Out of Hell,” “Make Fire Catch the Fly” and “Church Breaks Down” are all solid speed metal offerings.

“Waiting For the Thunder” is a slower, more groove oriented song with a really cool vibe. “Hold Me in Your Arms” is a beautiful ballad. The combination of piano, strings, and acoustic guitar is perfect.

If you were a fan of Helloween “Back in the Day,” you will be absolutely thrilled with Straight Out of Hell. If you are new to them, you will listen to this on repeat for months to come.

Straight Out of Hell will be released January 22 on On The End Records.

Rating: 5/5 stars


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