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Gambling With The Devil (Limited Edition) (2CD) Limited Edition, Extra tracks
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Gambling with the devil (US-Touredition)
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Limited Edition, 9 Sep 2016
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HELLOWEEN Gambling With The Devil (2007 German limited edition 16-track enhanced 2-CD album from the legendary metallers their 12th studio album - the band recorded 16 tracks at Mi Sueno studios in Tenerife among them the impressive intro featuring Crack The Riddle with Biff Byford [Saxon] as a guest speaker. The focal point of this diverse album is a 3-part epos consisting of the chapters The Bells Of The Seven Hells Falling To Pieces & I.M.E. includes bonus discfeaturing CD-Rom content presented in fold-out die-cut embossed digipak sleeve)
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I am also loathe to criticise this album because it is blooming good! You'll have noticed the 4 stars - one dropped for being derivative, or ploughing the same old furrow, or regurgitating the same old stuff, or however else you may criticise this sort of release. Yes it is all of these things, but here's the rub. If this IS derivative, then it is excellently so and it is is ENJOYABLE! You know, music that makes you smile, music that get's you nodding your head, music that is FUN!
Lets face it, this lot have been doing this for years now and hopefully, like me, those of you who haven't yet caught up with them will now dip into the back catalogue and SMILE!
There have been glimmers on previous releases; The Dark Ride, Rabbit and Keeper (Legacy) were not without their high points, though they certainly lacked consistancy. Finally, with "Gambling..." we have a Helloween album that works from start to finish again.
The very best thing i can say is that there is no filler whatsoever and every track is different enough, within the confines of the power metal genre, to be interesting and worth repeated listening (and that Biff Byford spoken word intro is short enough not to worry about!)
Initial favourite, the very heavy "Kill It" has been replaced by the soaring chorus of "Paint a New World" (That one's going to slay the arenas!) But there are chorus's and kick drum breaks, lead's and riffing, speed metal and heaviness plentiful enough to satisfy even the 'stick in the mud' Hansen and Keeper (pt.I) era Helloween fans. True, it's not another "Keeper..." and thank God for that! It's different and it's so much the better for it.
I'd recommend this, without reservation, to any doubters or old school metal heads with fond memories of those Noise Record days.
Yes, it's that good!
The best track by far is the totally thrashtastic 'The Saints' which is 7 minutes long and played at a couple of hundred miles an hour. God knows how Dani (drummer) doesn't drop dead! Close second in my opinion is 'Kill It' - the only time I've ever heard Andi sing (some lines) in an evil voice - suits him. These two blinders are closely followed by 'Paint A New World', 'I.M.E.' and 'The Bells of the 7 Hells'. These are all fast and furious but superbly composed and played.
Just wish they'd taken this tour round the UK more!
Helloween have never really been known for solid album titles - Pink Bubbles Go Ape, Chameleon, Rabbit Don't Come Easy; the list goes on. Do not let that put you off from listening to this mighty fine album though.
At last the band seem to be embracing the Deris Helloween for what it truly is. I very good metal band in it's own right, that doesn't need to live off old glories.
You'll see that I was rather scathing (and rightly so in my firm belief) about the massively failed attempt to sell the last album by linking it to the Keeper albums, squillions and squillions of years after those fantastic albums were released. Well, thankfully this album has taken the band full circle.
Hats off to the boys. They've put out a mighty fine metal album here, sounding very much like a rejuvenated Helloween.
The opening track is a bit of a strange spoken word intro - and why they needed a guest to do this I do not know.
However, once the album kicks off proper you can't help but shout "YES BOSS"; 'Kill It' is a wonderfully dark thrash metal piece, and Andy's voice sounds rather evil here. Great versatility. I really like this 'experimentation' by the lads.
Then we're off into 'Saints'. Think 'Jericho' speed metal Helloween, but with lots of melody and voice harmonies to make it sound much better than way back then (sorry Kai). It even has bits of Maiden in the solo section.
The obvious highlight of the album is the triumvirate of 'Bells' 'Pieces' and 'IME'
Bells is quite simply epic, and no doubt will be a stalwart of the live set for a while to come. In fact they should do an Iced Earth and play all 3 back-to-back live.
Welcome back Helloween.
Disc two has Find my Freedom and See the Night, two great tracks and with As Long As I fall video with a making off too, this could be released as a stand-alone cd single. But it comes with this album so a little icing on the extremely yummy cake!
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