In 2010, Helloween decided to take things in a darker, heavier and more serious direction with their 13th full-length studio album, 7 Sinners. While still unmistakably a Deris-era Helloween record full of gorgeous dual lead guitars, thundering double-kicks and character-filled vocal performances, the overall attitude is just a little less fun and a little more aggressive. The guitar tone has a harsher bite too.
For the perfect example of what the band are doing here, listen to the single “Are You Metal?” and pay attention to the music underneath the guitar solo. Then listen to the first heavy riff on “Who Is Mr. Madman?” – See? It’s the Deris-era Helloween sound, but darker, harder, and heavier. Songs like “Long Live The King” still have huge sing-along melodies and soaring triumphant guitar lines that you want from Helloween, but they simply crush as well.
It sounds kind of like a mixture between the heaviest parts of 2000’s The Dark Ride and 2007’s Gambling With The Devil albums.
Ok. So its heavier than their usual style, but is it also good? Yes. Yes, its very good. There are memorable choruses in spades, great guitar solos, fun drum fills and a very smart balance of consistency with variety. You won’t get bored, but it feels like a cohesive “whole.”
Standout tracks include Grosskopf’s fantastic contributions “World Of Fantasty,” and “If A Mountain Could Talk” as well as the fist-pounding, anthemic “Raise The Noise” which they should have made a concert staple. Its an absolute stormer. It even has a Jethro Tull-esque flute solo that doesn’t feel cheesy, token or forced.
A lot is said about Helloween’s frequent line-up changes, but this third album by the Löble/Gerstner/Deris/Grosskopf/Weikath line-up (the longest-lasting and most stable line-up in the band’s 30-year career) more than stands up to scrutiny, and shows progression and development without “missing the point” of the band.
Overall, if you wanted to pick up the harshest most savage Helloween album, this would be your best bet. If you want to pick up another good Helloween album this is still a great bet.
on 8 November 2010
Helloween kept their promise. 7 sinners is very heavy and fast, and is everything I hoped for. This is really one of the best power metal releases / metal releases for 2010. I might even consider placing this album above Blind Guardian's - At the edge of time.
All the songs are as always very catchy, with great sing a long choruses, and great meaty riffs. You will also find some very spectacular drumming on this album.
And with 14 songs, I really feel this is value for money.
Some of the highlights for me: Long Live the King, Are you Metal, Who is MR madman.
Buy this you will not be disappointed!
on 20 November 2010
Helloween are a big name in power metal, from pioneering the genre back in the late eighties with their "Keeper of the seven keys albums" they quickly found themselves trailing other bands capitalizing on their success and thou diverting away from the very genre they helped to create by a serious of dreadful albums; admittedly this decade they have faired better with "The dark ride and Gambling with the devil" being excellent examples of hard power, which has definitely uplifted my spirit and faith in the band. This, will have brought them back much of their lost credibility and places them back on the king throne of power once again.
This album is monsterous, loud and damn heavy affair which makes "Ire works" look like something closer to Britney spears than 7 sinners; lets get one things straight here, this truly is a bombastic and magnificent power metal album. The opener "Where the sinners go" opens with a grade A metal sound the drums and heavy rhythms quickly then take hold; the next thing that takes you is Andi Deris's excellent vocals which seen so finely tuned for this release. Are you metal? opens up with a guitar riff and answers the question they may have been asking themselves straight away, Its full of riffs and damn bloody excellent!!! a true party song for halloween! Next up, "Who is the madman?" Is a rather geeky keyboard orientated song, that is until 0.45 and it's business as usual, tonnes of harmonics and melody breaks intertwined with huge guitar shredding, a very good song also. "Raise the noise" has to be one of my favourites of the album, that guitar sound is to die for, that thick hollow sound surrounds the melodies and singing and the songwriting doesn't get any better. "World of fantasy" gives you another tour-de-france of traditional power metal giving the listener a (sort of) rest before the next following ripper, "Long live the king" a truly oral thrash/power metal assualt shredder to say the least.
"Smile of the sun" is the only thing that comes close to a ballad here, You stupid mankind, is a bit of a let down, the heavy riff is awesome but fails to capture the quality of the other songs and turns down a rather generic route. (But its still above average power metal) and as for the rest? Well, you just know what your gonna get, more of the same tectonic bashings of power metal. Which is not a bad thing mind! As long as you like the genre that is! Which of course if you don't I have to ask how on earth you managed to arrive on this page never-the-less. Thou apart from distinct brief flashes of unimaginative choruses in some of these these selections, this is another improvement once again for Helloween. The current line-up stability is probably behind this upward trend of excellent albums we have been seeing recently. They have done themselves and us very proud indeed, long may it continue. 9/10
on 27 November 2010
I am one of the original Helloween fans who were hooked by the group way back in the late 80s >>> yes sadly I'm that old, and went thru the Keepers' periods with firm faith that they would ultimately usurp Maiden as the kings of metal. That never really happened (until now) and a couple of dire outputs (Chameleon and Bubbles) totally alienated me (although I still have the CDs).
On a trip to Lille, fingering through the 2nd hand CDs on a market, I noticed a demo of Gamblin' for 5 euros and picked it up to play on the drive home. That one random purchase has seen me rediscover the band and how glad I am that this has happened as they really haven't put a foot wrong since Chameleon. The Kiske/Derris
debate will continue for years, I like them both for their different styles with the later being an excellent showman with a good SOH (checkout the live DVDs).
Back to this album ... what can I say but it is superb. Any album has peaks and troughs and this is no different. The drumming is more pronounced throughout the album
and to some there will be a lack of variety at first ... but please persevere it will be worth it !! The 1st three tracks are outstanding with Mr Madman and Are Metal? truly outstanding. I don't dislike track 4 ... but probably the low point is track 5 World of Fantasy which I have heard so many times before. Long Live The King is true Teutonic Speed as only Halloween can put out. The smile of the Sun is the only real ballad which should give fans attending their live performances a little relief for their ears. From this point on its all excellent with The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner and I'm Free being highlights.
If you like melodic, loud and fast metal then you will not be disappointed. My only warning to any newbies is the cost ... once you hear this album you will want to listen to a lot more. 100% deffo
on 15 June 2011
While the die-hards' idea of Helloween will always equal Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, the band has soldiered on despite quite a few line-up changes and other difficulties, and still continues releasing new material. The most classic era of the band was undeniably in the 1980's, and while I am not afraid to admit that there were some pretty solid albums released during the 1990's, in my mind the pumpkin heads haven't really released a truly great album since 1998's "Better Than Raw."
"7 Sinners" continues very much on the path of its predecessor, "Gambling With The Devil," and in certain places is even leaning towards "The Dark Ride." The sound is crunchy and heavy, and on many songs, the guitars are quite detuned. The band has really come a long way since the early days of "Walls Of Jericho" and the "Keeper" albums, as their 1980's trademark of melodic guitar harmonies has been harder to find recently.
This album can best be described more or less the same way as quite a few Helloween albums in recent history. Basically there's nothing wrong; the production is clear, the songs are quite catchy etc., but with the exception of a few highlights here and there ("Just A Little Sign" on "Rabbit Don't Come Easy," "The King For A 1000 Years" on "Keeper Legacy," "The Bells Of The 7 Hells" on "Gambling"etc.), truly classic songs have been less than plentiful. I'm not complaining, as you do get a lot of value for money (this version of the album has no less than 14 tracks), and songs like "World Of Fantasy," "The Sage The Fool The Sinner" and "Who Is Mr. Madman?" (a sequel to "Perfect Gentleman" from "Master Of The Rings") do stand out. However, when put against most of the material from the Roland Grapow/Uli Kusch period, not to mention the "Keepers," they do tend to pale in comparison. The most devoted fans will be delighted, of course, but if the only Helloween songs that come to your mind are the likes of "Future World" or "I Want Out," then... well, in that case, you're not even reading this.
Not a bad album by any means, but not exactly a brilliant one either.
on 5 January 2011
When i heard Helloween were recording a new album i wasn't that much excited about it ! Since Better Than Raw that i've been kind of dissapointed with their albums. Not that they are all bad, but they are not very exciting to me (Altough Keeper Legacy was probably the best since Time of The Oath and i enjoy listening to it).
I enjoyed the Unarmed album a lot, but it's a fun thing, it's not a "real" album.
But 7 Sinners changed my belief and faith in Helloween ! Suddenly i regained a new interest in the band and i'll be seeing them live next week in Madrid.
The songs have that "helloween sound" that made this band stand above many others ! If you only like the Keeper era, this isn't the album for you. It's a typical Deris line up album and it's by far the best album of the current line up (The drums are a highlight !!)
This album mixes the best of classic helloween with the more broad and harder sound of the Deris era of the band !
Best songs for me:
Are You Metal? - A very heavy and fast song and a typical Helloween anthem, i think it'll be in the set list for years to come, i put it on the same league as Sole Survivor or Power in terms of "Anthem Song"
If a Mountain Could Talk - Typical power metal beat and rhythm with the "anthemic" and catchy chorus but being this band Helloween, the song sounds fresh, original and with some not very typical arrangements and middle sections
World of Fantasy - Another Helloween anthem, a very hard rockin' song with the most catchy chorus they done in years ! Altough the title suggests typical power metal lyrical theme (Fantasy, dragons, etc) the lyrics are quite the opposite, it's about human beings escaping the reality they can't deal with and find refuge in a world that it isn't real (The world of fantasy)
Mr. Madman - Another catchy song but a quite heavy one, it's the sequel to "Perfect Gentleman" from Master of the Rings
Raise the Noise - Pure Heavy Metal song and lyrics ! A much more straight-foward song with a chorus that will work great live !
These are the highlights for me, but all the songs are excelent !! And while it recaptures some traditional Helloween elements from the Keepers era, it's not a Keeper sounding album, it's quite modern sounding and overall heavy album !
Some remarks have been made about the amount of keyboards in this album ! They have a important role without being in the front line ... just like every Helloween album asside from, maybe, Walls of Jericho ! The keyboards are fine and used in a very smart way !!
Excelent album , Helloween are back at the top of their game !!
on 3 December 2010
Not a bad album at all by good old masters Helloween with many real nice tracks, such as the two by Weikath (Raise the Noise and Sage, Fool, Sinner) as well as e.g. Are You Metal? Some/Many of the songs have a nice dark-ish 'twinge', which gives a nice approach, reminding me quite a lot of the Dark Ride Album, which I consider their best 1 tbh. However, some songs like the 7Sinners (1st one) and the couple of last ones feel like fillers to me, so not a jewel really.
on 27 January 2011
WOW!!!!! It feels good to be surprised! I've only heard of Helloween for about, say, a month. And, hence, I was skeptical about buying an album of an artist whom I've never really listened to before; sailing into uncharted waters, if you want!!
7 Sinners is a fast paced and catchy album, with everything a true power-metal fan, such as myself, could ask for!! It's hallmarks, are Raise The Noise, Mr. Madman, The Sage The Fool The Sinner, If A Mountain Could Talk... in fact, there's no track that I wouldn't rate!! Give it a go if you've never heard of them before, like me, or if your a Helloween fan, then what are you waiting for?!?!
on 20 March 2013
This album was more harder in sound, but it doesn't mean that It closer to "The Dark Ride". It just good metal. I really love "Far In the Future", but other songs is quite average, imho.
on 15 September 2012
After a gift for the fans in "Unarmed" Helloween prove that they still want to be -and are- a big heavy metal band. The songs are hard, sometimes heavier than ever, without losing their characteristic guitar riffs and fast solos.