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on 28 November 2016
A good replacement for my old cd
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on 13 November 2000
Well, it's only been two and a half years since Better than Raw struck us square between the eyes with Helloween's unique sound of speed metal! Instantly accessible and recognisable as Helloween. the Album kicks off with the customary mini-track and breaks into the quirky and humourous Mr Torture - typical helloween lyrics with a chorus that sticks in your head and musical structure that only the German metal meisters are capable of. The album continues in a fashion very similar to Keeper pt2 with the "we got the right" sounding All over the Nation followed by.... the grinding Escalation666 and grim fairytale Mirror, Mirror. But Helloween aren't finished with your ears there! The album takes you on a musical roller-coaster and takes your breathe away with the fantastic If I could fly - a definite single. While I don't want to go on repeating myself, each track has its own quirky nature that only the boys can produce and finishes with the triumphant and ungodly Dark Ride. Helloweens darkest album yet with probably the best production and technique heard for a while from these guys. All 'weeny fans rejoice! It's pumpkin season again!
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on 22 August 2013
Absolutelly Outstanding! - I think, this describes the whole album perfectly: great sound, great technique, fabulous melodies. As Mr Grapow said for Metal Shock Finland, "it's [The Dark Ride album] one of my favourite albums, it changed my life totally".

The album is very typical for Helloween up to that time: it is very original in many ways, songs make you sing, and the album overall is different to the former albums. The production is of a very high quality - simply the sound is incomparably better than those in the past.

My top 5 tracks from the album are Mr Torture, Salvation, I Live for Your Pain (great solo), Immortal, and, of course, The Dark Ride. Mr Torture is a usuall opening song: full of energy... power! All Over the Nations is a "sing with me" song. The tracks Escallation 666 and Mirror, Mirror are little bit "darker", so it depends on your taste. The next one, If I Could Fly, is a quite simple piece with nice solo, a song that is good for impovising if you play any instrument. Salvation, the 7th track, can be characterised as melodical with a story-telling solo, some kind of Helloween trait. The Departed is a monotonic song, nevertheless, I liked it because of the Grosskopf's bassguitar sound, especially at the solo's end. I Live for Your Pain is the 9th track, and I like singing it while driving :). This song has an excellent solo consisting of 2 parts with electrifying drums in the second part (this is, in my opinion the best solo the album gives). We Damn the Night is again a good song to sing while driving :), really! The 11th song, Immortal, is very melodical and not so fast. It is a very impressive song makeing you dreaming about superhuman issues. Finally the last one, The Dark Ride, is a quintessence of the whole album's scenery. Sometimes fast, sometimes melodical, with strong rythm; simply the most dominant song of the album.

Summary: I think, Helloween (including former members who participated) must be very proud of this Album. From my personal view, the album can really influence your feelings while listening to it, it is an album that will not let you sit calm.
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on 15 January 2002
After the stunning "Better than raw" album, I was looking forward to this one with a fair amount of anticipation. The press buildup (and, of course, the title) had lead me to expect a dark, moody album, and I was somewhat disappointed at first. The album begins with two almost unbearably happy sounding tracks, "Mr Torture" and "All over the nations". The next couple of tracks are OK, but nothing great, and it isn't until "If I could fly" that the album starts to get into full swing. From there on in, it's a great album, and fulfills much of the promise shown by the previous album, with "We damn the night" and the aforementioned "If I could fly" particularly standing out. The real gem, though, is "The departed (sun is going down)", which if pushed, I would have to say is the best track Helloween have ever recorded. It's head and shoulders about the rest. A strong album, but the comparatively weak opening tracks prevent it from getting a 5 star rating.
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on 3 February 2014
“The Dark Ride” was the first (and so far, the last) Helloween album that was produced by Roy Z, whose other production credits include Bruce Dickinson and Halford. Perhaps as a result of this rather unexpected choice for a producer, the album was quite a departure from the power metal veterans’ trademark style, with a noticeably “modern” feel. In many of the songs, the guitars are heavily down-tuned, and vocalist Andi Deris sings in a rather rough, raspy voice. With song titles such as “Mr. Torture”, “Escalation 666” and even “I Live For Your Pain”, you aren’t too off the mark in saying that this isn’t a very happy album. There are a couple of tunes with a more traditional Helloween sound, but the overall feeling is very dark and sinister.

Not everyone was happy with the direction the band was heading for, with guitarist and founding member Michael Weikath voicing his dissatisfaction afterwards. As a consequence, “The Dark Ride” marked the end of Helloween’s longest-serving line-up until then, with guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch exiting the band the following year. However, this wasn’t the last time the pumpkin metallers would use such sounds and themes, as they were heavily present on “7 Sinners” and, to a lesser extent, on “Gambling With The Devil”.
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The Dark Ride, from 2000, is the ninth full-length studio album by the legendary German Power Metal band Helloween. It was produced by Roy Z (Halford, Judas Priest, Bruce Dickenson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Sepultura) and Charlie Bauerfeind (Angra, Blind Guardian, Primal Fear, Hammerfall) and released through Nuclear Blast records.

It was the fourth and final record by the Derris, Weikath, Grapow, Grosskopf, Kutch line-up, who released the Master Of The Rings, Time Of The Oath and Better Than Raw albums in the 90s. After this album, guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch left Helloween and started the band Masterplan.

Sometimes people tend to dismiss The Dark Ride as a bad record and sometimes people tend to think of it as a massive departure from the band’s usual style. I feel this album is a bit of an underdog album in their discography that has a bad rap that it doesn’t deserve. Initially I wasn’t crazy about it, but it is a real grower and with repeat listens I really, really warmed to its charms.

It is undoubtedly true that there are a few mid-tempo numbers like “The Departed (Sun Is Going Down),” “Immortal (Stars)” and “Mirror, Mirror,” some of which have with some downtuned guitars and pinch harmonics (“Escalation 666”) which isn’t what you’d expect from this band most of the time …and of course, there is a Power Ballad (“If I Could Fly”), but to be fair, there has been one on every Helloween album since The Keepers.

There are however also some of the bouncy, happy, up-tempo Power Metal songs with melodic choruses and great guitar solos just like you’d expect from Helloween (“Salvation,” “All Over The Nations,” “We Damn The Night,” “The Dark Ride”). As well as just fitting the bill of being in the band’s usual style, these are top-quality tracks as well. The Title-Track in particular is excellent. If you wonder whether this album is too dark for you, give the Title Track a listen first.

I wouldn’t make this your first Helloween record if you are a newcomer (Go for the Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums) or your first Derris-era record if you are a Derris-skeptic (Go for Time Of The Oath) but it is still a good record with a lot to offer and not worth skipping entirely. The musicianship, vocals and production job are all pretty great and there’s plenty of memorable and enjoyable material on offer throughout.

If you are an existing Helloween fan but haven’t chosen to pick up a copy of The Dark Ride yet, I don’t think its wise to think of this album as being way too different from the Helloween you know and love. Even if you only like Helloween doing strictly their usual stuff, you’ll enjoy half of the record. Furthermore, Even when songs aren’t in the style you expect from the band, they are usually quite great songs anyway. “I Live For Your Pain” for example isn’t speedy, but it has a great melodic chorus and an absolutely fantastic guitar solo. When you’re listening to the finely produced record, during an uplifting neoclassical sounding guitar solo you should find yourself entertained, even if magazine reviews at the time said the album was darker than usual.

Overall; The Dark Ride is not your typical Helloween record, and sees the band adding a few more strings to their bow, but there’s still plenty of what makes them great in there, and just because there is some change, does not necessarily mean its bad change, look at it more like a bit of variety to break up things and keep it interesting. Don’t miss out on this one due to the reputation.
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on 5 August 2014
What's not to love
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