“Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” (remaster) by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” (remaster)
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 8/8/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5/5

As the follow up to their debut “Walls Of Jericho”, Helloween would find lead singer/guitarist Kai Hansen choosing to focus on the axe work while they brought in a then 18 year old Michael Kiske to handle the vocal duties. The song writing would grow by leaps as well, and as a result the 1987 release of “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” would become one of the most revered albums in Power Metal music history. Interestingly enough, Power Metal was not yet a widely used term and based on their efforts, Helloween is regarded as one of the prime founders of the genre. It’s easy to see why this is the case based on the direction that the group took with the second album for instead of maintaining course to the more thrashy debut they increased the use of melody and double guitar leads. Yes bands like Maiden and Priest also had twin axe men but theirs was a sound based on the influences of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and while also melodic it did not reach speed levels like the Helloween players delivered. The release in remaster and expanded format is a real treat for any Metal fan or study of the genre as the classics come to renewed life with the cleaner production of this CD.

Tracks like “Future World” and the monster hit “Halloween” sound as great today as they did back then. As an added treat the disk offers you several bonus tracks which were originally songs on the “Walls Of Jericho” album but this time around you get to hear how Kiske sings them. One of the bonus tracks is the edited version of “Halloween” which was also used in the video that even ran on MTV. At the time it was great to see this very different from the normal supply of Hard Rockers take over the airwaves and generate more fans that still remain loyal to this very day. A richly detailed booklet features articles on the band from this point in history along with some great photos. It makes the special editions of the Helloween catalog very worth investigation and a must have for your Metal library. The only downside is in the incredibly small print that was used as this makes for a slightly difficult reading experience.

Metal Refresher Course: The Helloween line up in 1987 was Michael Kiske (vocals), Kai Hansen (guitars), Michael Weikath (guitars), Marcus Groskopf (bass), and Ingo Schwichtenberg (drums).

Song Listing:
1. Initiation
2. I’m Alive
3. A Little Time
4. Twilight Of The Gods
5. A Tale That Wasn’t Right
6. Future World
7. Halloween
8. Follow The Sign
9. Victim Of Fate – bonus
10. Starlight – bonus
11. A Little Time- bonus
12. Halloween – bonus

Official Website: www.helloween.org

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