Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2010
Alright! I've been trying to wait patiently for this release. From a personal viewpoint, I wasn't all that pleased when I saw the track listing, but we all have different favourites.
The interest is in how they reworked/rearranged the songs. Across the album you'll find on different tracks: a 70-piece orchestra; a choir; guest musicians; and even kids!
The production is crystal clear.
If I Could Fly is a definite highlight with Deris starring here - his new more limited than before vocal range suits this track perfectly.
Future World works really well and includes a surprisingly entertaining short percussion passage near the end.
The Keeper's Trilogy is awesome. Have a listen to the high-intensity orchestration come in after the quiet intro to the `King For A thousand Years' section - unbelievable! Ala the James Bond `Live And Let Die' type of excitement. Sonically, it works as well as when the guitars & drums come crunching in on the original version of 'King...'.
Perfect Gentleman - before I had even heard the album, I couldn't picture this track working very well but boy was I wrong - still a very catchy tune even in this more laid-back version.
The priceless version of Falling To Pieces blew me away from the first bar. It's at least as good as the original. It's very rare when you have a great song and then an alternate version which is different but equally as good. The word `beautiful' probably best describes this rendition with another well-suited vocal by Deris..
What almost works perfectly is I Want Out. Deris delivers it well enough and kids do the backing vocals which is okay but it's a bit of an overkill as in `Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2'. Kids are okay but I prefer dogs. Still very catchy though.
Musically, this upbeat Dr Stein is very catchy with the brass addition & backing vocals, but I don't think Deris's vocals quite work throughout the track. In fact, his new vocal range sounds uncomfortable at times and does drag the album down a notch although still very good to excellent in certain songs or sections of songs. The guy has been one of my favourite vocalists in the past with his passionate delivery but I think nearly all my other favourite male vocalists (Plant / Gillan / Halford) have all come across problems with their vocals as they have aged.
The DVD is well put together with interviews about how they made the project come together. The guys do come across as being likeable and down to earth.
It also contains a typically loaded Helloween-style film clip of Dr Stein.
Interestingly, you hear a snippet of Why being done for this album but it didn't make the final cut.
Overall, the album is brilliant most of the time but doesn't always work. The usage of the special guests is extremely effective (apart from the kids).
Helloween stated on the DVD that they were very proud of their achievement and that it wasn't an easy project by any means. Their great effort is very rewarding.
I'm definitely glad they released this and I don't miss the hard-edge of the originals when I'm in chill-out mode.
There is one thing that bothers me: how could they call this a 'best of' when it's clearly just a re-working of some of their songs in another format backed by outside guests?? - kind of like Page/Plants Unledded album.
Would I recommend this to Helloween newcomers? Maybe. I'd firstly recommend any album apart from Pink Bubbles, Chameleon, and Rabbit, which I still like anyway. Get this after you know the original versions, or if you don't particularly like hard rock - the songs stand alone in any format - so yeah, knock yourself out.