Customer Reviews

19
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
8
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
2
Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£6.47+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

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!

Personal Highlights:

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.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2009
Helloween have gone back over their 25 year history and 're-worked' or 're-arranged' some of their songs, and packaged them up in 'Unarmed'

The tracks should be familiar to any Helloween fan, but perhaps the choice of tracks is a bit baffling.

Dr Stein
Future World
If I Could Fly
Where The Rain Grows
The Keeper's Trilogy
Eagle Fly Free
Perfect Gentleman
Forever & One
I Want Out
Falling To Pieces
A Tale That Wasn't Right

For me, 'Where The Rain Grows' and 'Perfect Gentleman' are strange choices. 'The Keeper Trilogy', with orchestral accompanyment is superb, as is the jazzed up version of 'Dr Stein'

The rest of the album is okay. If you're a 'die hard' fan of Helloween, you'll probably buy it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2010
I have always been a helloween fan and when I herd that there was an new melow version comming out I just had to have a listen. This album is fantastic, the only downside for me is that there wasn't enough! I would also encourage buying this for the cover alone!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2010
I was thinking of writing a long drawn out detail of what this album is like and how it differs from their others but why bother.......it is, quite simply put, a brilliant album of re-worked songs that are all a testament to how good this band are and how they can diversify from their "normal" genre. Yes there are kids, an orchestra and guest vocals but if you are a true, hardened fan then this will not put you off, you will buy this anyway and as i did, play it non stop all day. Top 3 tracks would have to be "future world", "perfect gentleman" and "eagle fly free" with "the keepers trilogy" getting a special mention.....10/10
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2010
I have been a fan since they started out.(Well in my 40s now) Seen them many times and think the band are amazing. Have listened to some of the songs on this album for years now, and to hear them redone like a sort of theatre, opera style is truley superb. If you are a fan and a music lover you will appreciate how fantastic this album really is. I cant say enough about it. GET IT, YOU MUST.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2012
I realize that some Helloween fans will be disappointed with this album, but as a fan myself I think this reworking of the original versions of some classic tracks was very bold and pure genius. If you want to listen to typical Helloween then listen to the original recordings. If however you have a broader appreciation of music, then this album is epic! Literally turns some of their best tracks into epic sounding versions!

The best track for me has to be the mix of Halloween and Keeper of the seven keys. The Halloween part is so atmospheric and spooky, and the 'Keeper' part just blew me away. I recommend you listen first on you tube to make sure its to your taste, its definitely a 'marmite' album.

5 STARS!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 13 March 2015
Helloween are a band that have always had a sense of humour, from the lyrics of Mr Torture "Mr Torture sells pain to the housewives in Spain" and from things like the Dr Stein mime for a television station (It's on Youtube) Unlike the Scorpion's Comeblack album which is re-recordings of classic songs Helloween have opted to do something different, for a bit of fun and rearrange tracks to give them a more basic setup, as if they were ready to be performed on Radio One's Live Lounge at lunchtime.

One of my criteria for a great song is a track that works in it's original format as-well as other more basic formats and Helloween have that in spades here. With more Jazzy versions of known tracks like "Dr Stein" (With a Saxophone solo, because why not?) to the bombastic symphonic and gospel nature of "The Keeper Trilogy" (Halloween, Keeper Of The Seven Keys, King For a 1000 Years)

Andi Deris puts in an excellent enthusiastic performance for all of the tracks (As he tends to do) and does them well. Including the earlier Kiske songs. They seem to be rearranged into formats that work for this voice, more than live versions have. The reworked version of "Eagle Fly Free" is a delight to hear.

It's nice that they've chosen to focus on the Deris era songs, including an unexpected version of "If I Could Fly" and Forever And One (Which are two masterpieces in their own right)

In terms of the mixing, it's surprisingly solid (Using a Focusrite 2i2 and Sennheiser 213 headphones) for albums like this, I wasn't expecting much in the mixing department because of things being rushed (Helloween put out an album the next year "Seven Sinners") or whatever.

But the mixing is great, everything is audible and clear with enough punch in the midrange. The bass tone is absolutely monstrous and every note is articulate and cuts through the mix like a knife in hot butter. Props to Markus Grosskopf for being a fantastic bassist for not just following the guitar lines every song.

Easily worth a listen, won't please everyone. But as a bit of a morbid curiosity, it's easily worth the punt.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 10 April 2013
I sincerely couldn't care less of what the ''experts'' said about this little GEM. I'm following this music the last 20 years and I trust my ears and own senses when it comes to music quality. I also have always been a fan of this band even when they hired Andi Deris while the major part of their fans and critics treated them harshly at that time. Well, time proved them wrong and today we have rather ended up recalling Helloween with Andy on vocals than with the ''Bruce/Tate imitator'' of their early days...

''Unarmed'' is sheer class from start to finish! From the outstanding cover, to the excellent musicianship by all the musicians involved and from the brilliant and inventive arrangements to the excellent collection of the songs this work of art is consisted of. Do yourself a favor and and buy this album. You won't regret it. The only thing you'll need to do is to approach it with an open-minded view as well as with...well-cleaned ears and, who knows, maybe in 15-20 years from now, all the judges of today might need to find a deep hole to hide themselves in shame like the mid-90's ''anti-Andi Connoisseurs'' needed to do after a while.

To put it in a few words, this release is one of the finest pieces of music I've heard in a decade no matter the music genre! Yes, it's that good. Listen and believe!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 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!

Personal Highlights:

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.
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.

Would I recommend this to Helloween newcomers? Maybe. I'd firstly recommend any album apart from Pink Bubbles, Chameleon, and Rabbit, which I still (partly) 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.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 12 December 2014
I've never been a big fan of the power metal genre with double bass drums & songs generally played too quickly. However I've always had a soft spot for Helloween, simply because they write better songs than other bands of this ilk & even through the sometimes 100 mph speed levels the quality shines through.
Because of this, these rearranged (& generally slower) versions of some of their back catalogue really shine & because the tracks are given a chance to breathe the quality comes through even more.
When a classic hard rock band does an acoustic album the songs lose a lot of the power that made them great in the first place but but with Helloween less is better.
Great production & arrangements. Recommended!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Keeper of The Seven Keys Part I
Keeper of The Seven Keys Part I by Helloween (Audio CD - 2008)

Keeper of The Seven Keys Part II
Keeper of The Seven Keys Part II by Helloween (Audio CD - 2008)

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.