Classic German power metal group, Helloween, offers new twists on classic cuts on Unarmed: Best of 25th Anniversary. Some of the bands favorite tracks have been rerecorded with new arrangements that display anything but heavy metal.
Most of the tracks incorporate a feel similar to 80’s adult contemporary radio hits in the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon. The band employs saxophones, jazzy beats, and acoustic guitars to the nth degree while maintaining their signature operatic styled vocals. The opening track “Dr. Stein” as well as “Eagle Fly Free” featuring Hellsong’s Harriet Ohlsson exemplify these characteristics well.
The two high points of the disc are the 17-minute “The Keeper’s Trilogy (Medley)” and the sexy girl (Yesenia Adame) wielding a cello on the album’s cover. “The Keeper’s Trilogy (Medley)” features both an evil and joyous feel while maneuvering through old favorites “Halloween,” “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” and “The King For a 1000 Years.” The best element of this epic journey is the work of the Prague Symphonic Orchestra. If you enjoy Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Christmas Eve then you would enjoy this one on Helloween.
The album’s major flaw is the under-utilization of the electric guitar, or rather the non-existent utilization of the electric guitar. Another problem I had was the mix during the early songs of the record. There is a lot of slurring sounds between the vocals and the high hats.
All in all, Unarmed is a fun listen for the band’s long time fans. It is not a heavy metal album and does not offer any spectacular breakthrough performances. In one line, this record is Fantasia meets Phantom of the Opera. If that is your thing, then enjoy. Did I mention the hot girl on the cover?
Helloween is Andi Deris (Vocals), Michael Weikath (Guitar), Sascha Gerstner (Guitar), Markus Grosskopf (Bass), & Dani Löble (Drums).
- “Dr. Stein”
- Future World”
- “If I Could Fly”
- “Where the Rain Grows”
- “The Keeper’s Trilogy”
- “Eagle Fly Free”
- “Perfect Gentleman”
- “Forever And One (Neverland)”
- “I Want Out”
- “Fallen to Pieces”
- “A Tale that Wasn’t Right”