Helloween - Chameleon review
01. First Time
02. When The Sinner
03. I Don't Wanna Cry No More
04. Crazy Cat
07. Revolution Now
08. In The Night
10. Step Out Of Hell
11. I Believe
Disc II [2006 Expanded Edition]
01. I Don't Care You Don't Care
02. Oriental Journey
03. Cut In The Middle
05. Get Me Out Of Here
06. Red Socks And The Smell Of Trees
07. Ain't Got Nothin' Better
08. Windmill (Demo) [Previously Unreleased]
I got this album as a Christmas gift some years ago. I used to listen to Helloween with my friend and this was the only album we hadn't heard. He paid something equal to 8 dollars (the backside said 30 $m imported from the U.S) which says pretty much about what people think about this album. At first I didn't like it at all because it was not metal enough of course. People seem to look at this album as Helloweens "Risk" or "St. Anger" and they all think it's to much pop/rock and not enough metal. I absolutely disagree, and especially nowadays when I've started to be more open minded with music. In my opinion, Helloween does this kinda music great and much better than most other bands. The daring to do something different - and succeeding (that's what I think) is so unique for power metal bands, Hammerfall for example wouldn't want and wouldn't be able to create something like this.
The extra ingredients that makes this stand out from other good pop/rock stuff is:
1. The muscians. Roland Grapow is a mastermind, I love his guitarwork. Michael Weikath is a great musician, his songwriting is as great in this genre as in power metal. Ingo (RIP) is one of my favourite drummers, he really is underrated. The bass lines are not significant but definitely not bad, and different from a lot of other power metal you can actually hear the bass. The piano played by Tommy Hansen (?) and orchestral arrangements rule. Also, Kiske is my favourite power vocalist. He gives me shivers each time I hear him. Again, awesome guitar work and great guitar solos (check out I Don't Wanna Cry No More).
2. The Helloween spirit is still there (check out the mandatory humour track, Crazy Cat)
The lyrics are really great sometimes, but some of them are actually kinda bad: Crazy Cat is not very intelligent; The First Time is very silly; I Don't Wanna Cry No More (about Rolands dead brother) is pretty cheesy and not very deep; I Believe is pretty boring and about religion (it's my personal "worst track"). The production is nothing extra ordinary but not bad at all like Pink Bubbles.
I sum this up by saying that this is one of the most original and interesting albums made by a power metal band and it's a real favourite of mine. I've even bought the album on LP...
Some songs to check out: Giants and First Time (the only real "power" metal songs), the awesome ballads Windmill and Longing and, well... pretty much the whole album!
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