Helloween - Straight Out of Hell 2013

Straight Out of Hell is our first major release of 2013. It come with great spirit and the moments is nice. The Helloween guys keep the news updated since the beginning of the new year via their Facebook page with track per track commentaries. The album’s overall vibes return to 7 Sinners sounds with combination of classic high pitch Helloween and modern symphonic metal orchestration.

As the first song, it’s a single Nabataea. Here Helloween comes with their most different concept of song, lyrically. It is a historical theme about Nabataea, an historical kingdom that is now a city of Petra in Jordania. A story lies on its exotic epic, about being a community that hidden from landscapes and only re-discovered in the dawn of 20th century. Helloween also gears up to more symphonic elements as, all with its middle eastern grooves and scales. Nabatea is also a song with complex structure, that remind of Helloween’s classic as epic in Keeper of Seven Keys and Halloween.

In contrast to Nabatea’s peaceful theme, is World of War. It’s a full double pedal and fast riff stuff, with a reminiscent of The Time of the Oath especially song Mission Motherland in its choruses. Markus done a tasty bass solo and then the guitar solos comes in in great inspiration.

Live Now! Is unusual for its hard rock and wah-wah guitar riff. According to commentary by Derris, it is pop-metal feel and left out from previous album for it was unsuited to them. Guitarist Sascha Gerstner need to make it more heavy and Helloween-ish , then it fits perfectly in this album. It is a quick verse jump to chorus structure, something not usual in Helloween's formula. Live Now! is probably going to be one of easily memorize riff for its unique.

Far From the Stars and Burning Sun reflected back to basic Helloween sounds, intensely build up verse with chorus orientated. Burning Sun also come with its Hammond organ version and I prefer to this version for its interesting organ accent among all the heavy tracks. The introduction guitar riff that mimic by Hammond Organ will ease the ear familiarization process for this song. According to Weikath, Burning Sun was written during his shower time, and he need to rush turn on the computer just to record it before “…its gone by the water” – Grosskopf.

Waiting for the Thunder is by far the most “generic” power metal song. It been composed in a drunk mode and got a piano accompanying stuff. Hold Me in Your Arms is a ballad, aims for larger market and Helloween's attempt to remind the world with, ehem, Windmill and Forever and One. Andi Derris stated the song is unlikely to him for its low key, and briefly said it might be the first song that performed in up transposed key , indicated that they already did a lowering transposing song perhaps. Wanna Be Good is a good ice breaking moment. It is a “We Will Rock You” inspired. Andi Derris and friends do the vocal harmonization with only drumming as background music, through half way before all band join in. Asshole as the title indicated is badass song, heavy and fast. Sascha’s riff dictated the whole song and for a moment the mood set into more heavy metal than others. The backing vocal that usage of pop-effect make a humorous element in this song. Before that, we got the title track Straight Out of Hell. It is a Helloween sounds in the whole song and good reminder of Grosskopf song writing style. Years is even close to the Time of the Oath era, mainly for the melodic orchestration and happy chorus.

Make Fire Catch the Fly is another love theme song. Its heavy and devilish with that half step riff and Derris’ lower voice explorations. And we come to the closing chapter with another point of interest, Gregorian-chant influence Church Break Down. A solemn chanting intro break down with blasting drum leading to the fast speed double pedal song. Bonus track is Another Shot of Life.

I impressed with this album for their new exploration of music that still very Helloween-ish. Not an easy thing to do as they already working for thirty years or so. Another aspect went well is their guitar solos, are well composed and melodic. The arrival of this album reminds me of the excitement I got when I listen to The Time of the Oaths back in late ’90. After all the absence of Helloween sound from Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon, The Time of the Oaths was the waiting time over at the time. (Master of the Ring came out late in Indonesia during that time). Back to Straight Out of Hell, the cover album looks fresh in style, the digital Mr. Pumpkins in war uniform and the photograph looks great. A Helloween's released that will surely become another classic recording in the future. It's set the shuttlecock high for this year and a perfect moment for Helloween fans to say, "...bet you can't bet this!". Bravo for the producer in charge Charlie Bauerfeind as well.

My favourite tracks:
Best Songs: Nabatea, Burning Sun Hammond version, and Church Break Down.
Best Guitars Solos: Burning Sun
Best Bass Line: Burning Sun, Asshole
Best Drumming: Nabatea, Church Break Down
Best Vocals: Make Fire Catch the Fly
Best Lyric: Nabatea, War Of the World, Hold Me In Your Arms
Best Riff: Burning Sun, Live Now!
Helloween's Classics: World of World
Best Orchestration: Years, Nabatea

Metal Harem class: ********* nine stars out of ten

Helloween - Straight Out Of Hell 2013
buy it here NOW

1."Nabatea"  Deris 7:03
2."World of War" Gerstner 4:56
3."Live Now!"  Deris 3:10
4."Far From the Stars" Grosskopf 4:41
5."Burning Sun"  Weikath 5:33
6."Waiting for the Thunder"  Deris 3:53
7."Hold Me in Your Arms" Gerstner 5:10
8."Wanna Be God"   Deris 2:02
9."Straight Out of Hell" Grosskopf 4:33
10."Asshole" Gerstner 4:09
11."Years"  Weikath 4:22
12."Make Fire Catch the Fly" Deris 4:22
13."Church Breaks Down"  Deris 6:06
14.”Another Shot of Life” Grosskopf Bonus Track
15.”Burning Sun Hammond Organ version”
16.”No Eternity”

since 1978-Markus Grosskopf - bass
since 1983-Michael Weikath - guitars
since 1994-Andi Deris - vocals
since 2002-Sascha Gerstner - guitars
since 2005-Daniel Löble - drums

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