Helloween - The Dark Ride review


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Band: Helloween
Album: The Dark Ride
Release date: 2000

01. Beyond The Portal (Intro)
02. Mr. Torture
03. All Over The Nations
04. Escalation 666
05. Mirror Mirror
06. If I Could Fly
07. Salvation
08. The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)
09. I Live For Your Pain
10. We Damn The Night
11. Immortal
12. The Dark Ride
13. The Madness Of The Crowds [Japanese bonus]
14. Deliver Us From Temptation [Japanese bonus]

They did it! They have made an album that can reach a cult status of The Keepers! Of course that will never happen, because the only ones who like this album were the ones who left Helloween and made Masterplan, so it's a shame, because I would really like to see "The Dark Ride 2 - The Dark Fucking Legacy." Instead of returning to classic names to try to succeed again, they should make a new classic without Kai or Kiske on its name, really.

Another important fact is Deris. Here we can hear his best performance to date. His voice here sounds like nothing he has done, ever. If they even dare to make a follow-up to this album, it needs Deris, because it's voice fits perfectly to the dark sound, something I don't think Kiske could do. A very important fact.

Oh, yes! The music, the music. Here you can find 100% classic Helloween. That doesn't mean clones of our beloved classics. No. All the material here is new, powerful, heavy as hell, and dark. Everyone here knows the dark history of this dark album, so there is no need to explain it. This, my friends, is the best Deris-era album, hands down. Probably even if "Keepers - the Legacy" didn't have that blasphemous title it wouldn't be better than this just because of the originality of making a Helloween album that is dark, and succeeds!

Each of these tracks are as good as the previous one. Even "All Over the Nations" (somewhat of a happy tune in a dark album, but still shines a lot.), "Mirror Mirror" (second evil track in a row, where the previous, "Escalation 666" is MUCH better, with an amazing solo), "I Live For Your Pain" (that it's between two of the best tracks of the album, but the uplifting chorus saves it and still shines) and the underrated "Immortal" which is probably even as good as "If I Could Fly" but that was the single, and we know everyone loves the piano. Fuck them. This still shines.

What makes this album different to the previous ones is, probably, the choruses. Instead of the classic happy, happy chorus, every one here is really evil (don't count "All Over The Nations" here), which makes this album much, much better. "Mr. Torture" is the best opening track since "I'm Alive" (yes, "Mr. Torture" kicks "Eagle Fly Free" as an opening track). "Escalation 666" and "The Departed" are heavier than any previous song. "Salvation" is a very uplifting song.

Finally, the title track and the epic of the album, which is the best track of the album (and best Deris-era Helloween song), manages to rule without copying the structure of the previous epics. The song sounds really evil, and the solo is the best Helloween has made in a lot of time.

So well, if you have been a Helloween fan from the beginning until the end, you just can't miss this album. But if you are one of those dudes who think Halloween is just Jericho and Kiske's Keepers, and didn't even dare to try the previous Deris-era albums because they aren't amazing (they are just average, good or very good, but not amazing), try The Dark Ride. You will be amazed.

Best Tracks: "The Dark Ride" is just better than anything here, and "Mirror Mirror " is, maybe (and just maybe) a bit worse than the other tracks, but here they manage to keep a constant stream of amazing music. Every track shines here.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10

Written by Talvi | 05.08.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
As the name tells, this album has a really dark atmosphere. Helloween takes you to the latest hour with this one, and the sound is heavy and mean. Andi Deris puts his voice a little lower, and you get a kind of creepy feeling when you listen to it. But the humor is there and tracks like 'Mr. Torture' is kind of funny to listen to. Specially the intro on this album is a masterpiece, once you have heard it, you know what it's all about, that's for sure.

published 18.09.2003 | Comments (3)


Comments: 18   Visited by: 108 users
23.10.2006 - 17:12
Account deleted
A great album, it proved once again the value of the band and the fact that helloween still rocked/rocks after fifteen years. There are no filler songs, all of them are highly enjoyable. it reminds me of the good ol'days of Helloween. A must have for all heavy and power metal fans IMHO.
25.10.2006 - 14:14
Baz Anderson
this is a great album
when i first listened to it a long time ago, it didnt really do much for me - but after a few listens it really grows on you a lot!
there are lots of great songs on this album - 'The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)' always sticks out for me
i saw them do 'Mr. Torture' and 'If I Could Fly' live as well which always makes it interesting lsitening to them here

i wouldnt give the album such a high rating as 9.8 - but it is still a brilliant album
it would get more like 9/10 from me, i would give very few albums 9.8 or 10 out of ten
25.10.2006 - 16:46
Well, probably it's just that this is the album that got me into Helloween. If it weren't for that, probably it would get a few points less, because All Over the Nation and Mirror Mirror. But hey, honorific points, no?
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25.10.2006 - 18:54
Southern Wind
Account deleted
this is by far the best Helloween album, and probably my favourite Power Metal release...
09.12.2006 - 13:19
Rosetta Stoned
I don't like the darker stuff on this album, Helloween shouldn't be doing that.
It a good Deris album, I'd say 7,5/10. Better than TotO and MotR
25.02.2007 - 23:29
I agree with you!!!All of this album is great!!!!Deris too!!!Even if he's considered bad only he came in helloween after kiske!!!
Things will be ok in the end!
10.06.2007 - 00:37
Bitch Boy
A really great album, I like this darkish atmosphere in the album. One of their best without any doubt, but as Baz said, I would give very few albums a 9.8
30.06.2007 - 01:35
Account deleted
The Dark Ride, the most Dark album of Power Metal ever !!!
15.07.2007 - 09:13
Joey Jo Jo
Piece of shit
This is totally their worst album, like I can't even start to name the flaws without coming off with a full length review of my own. I doubt anyone would call this album dark if the songs "Escalation 666" and "The Departed" were removed, and the albums' name changed. Just a forced, overproduced album. The only good song is the funny and clever Mr. Torture. and "All Over the Nations' and "If I could Fly" are the gayest Helloween songs ever made (counting "In the Night" on Chameleon). The rest are lukewarm, generic and forgettable. They lost me as a fan after I heard this. Just really dull song writing overall.

It's really sad, since Better Than Raw showed signs of maturing and taking interesting directions.
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16.07.2007 - 02:48
lol, i'd say All Over the Nations is their only non-dark song on the album...
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08.08.2007 - 20:38
It's a pretty good album. Just got it like 10 minutes ago and I have to say, I'm impressed. Not quite what I was expecting, but still, they are great, and bring a dark atmosphere into the music, without making it seem like something satan spat out. I tihnk Helloween will defenitly be on my top ten list now. The song Escalation 666 rules:metal:
<Philosophy>Insert Intelligent Sounding yet meaningless Philosophical Quote Here</Philosophy>
28.05.2008 - 23:20
This album is awesome, I mean, it's funny, fresh, melodic, fast and heavy as shit. If it was just meant to be an "experiment", I would say that the results were much better this time.
30.07.2010 - 01:49
Man I'm hoping to get this album soon! I don't own a Helloween album, but I'm going to make this one my first, this just sounds amazing!
30.07.2010 - 14:09
Angelic Storm
Written by Talvi on 16.07.2007 at 02:48

lol, i'd say All Over the Nations is their only non-dark song on the album...

Nah, there's one other one. "Salvation". lol Both written by Weiki incidentally, and are the happy sounding speed metal Helloween is known for.

"Immortal" is the only song on the album that Ive never liked. Although Im not a big fan of "If I Could Fly" either... I think it probably is their most experimental album, songs ike "Escalation 666" and "The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)" being a real departure from their signature sound. Though I think it definitely works. xD Although Weiki has stated that he didnt enjoy the process of recording this album at all, (something which ultimately led to the firing of Uli and Roland) I think its a mostly great album with really memorable songs on it. And the title track is just amazing. <3
29.01.2011 - 19:42
Written by Talvi on 16.07.2007 at 02:48

lol, i'd say All Over the Nations is their only non-dark song on the album...

Which is why I loooove this album! By the way, 'Immortal' is one of my favourites.
06.06.2011 - 00:16
This is by far the best album of the Grapow-Kusch era. They reached a higher level here.

Due to his voice, Deris sounds amazing in this kind of compositions.

Post Dark Ride albums (with the exception of the newest 7 sinners, another dark tinted one) weren't as good as this was.
19.08.2014 - 21:49
Best Helloween album IMO
power metal 'til death!!!!!!!!!
20.07.2017 - 03:02
Bad English
Written by Talvi on 16.07.2007 at 02:48

lol, i'd say All Over the Nations is their only non-dark song on the album...

I would say it is If I Could Fly, classic power metal song as flower style ,
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