Helloween - Chameleon review



Reviewer:
9.0

353 users:
5.90
Band: Helloween
Album: Chameleon
Release date: 1993


Disc I
01. First Time
02. When The Sinner
03. I Don't Wanna Cry No More
04. Crazy Cat
05. Giants
06. Windmill
07. Revolution Now
08. In The Night
09. Music
10. Step Out Of Hell
11. I Believe
12. Longing

Disc II [2006 Expanded Edition]
01. I Don't Care You Don't Care
02. Oriental Journey
03. Cut In The Middle
04. Introduction
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!


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 8

Written by Spyroid | 10.12.2006


 


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


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 40   Visited by: 196 users
29.01.2010 - 06:55
MegaTheJester
THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW!! - I've spent SO much time constantly defending this album against people who want all heavy and nothing more. - I mean, diversity is the strongest strut of heavy metal, and this album gave that. It's the same tale for PK69's "Changes" or Axxis' "Voodoo Vibes/Matters of survival". - Experimentation brings a LOT of blessings. This album was one of them.

Although, if I ever meet Helloween, I'd sit them down, give them a drink and say "Sooo... remember the chameleon album? 'You guys don't talk about it anymore... what's THAT about?" - Or! I'd say "Hey, remember the Chameleon album? Well, how about re-recording it NOW adding what you've learned to it..." that would be OMEGA.

...And if you don't wanna remake the whole thing... ...remake Crazy Cat... ...Just for me?
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06.10.2010 - 08:49
Guib
Thrash Talker
Written by Dark Seraphim on 16.12.2008 at 01:27

Written by Spyroid on 16.12.2008 at 00:48

Written by Dark Seraphim on 15.12.2008 at 23:10

If you think of this album not being a Helloween album then it's brilliant, a very catchy pop/metal/rock album. As a Helloween album it's quite confusing. I know that Helloween were at the experimental peak when they released this. I hope no-one who has never heard Helloween picks it up first because they would not get what the band is about. Personally I like the album....but 9 is a little high


I even think it's good for a Helloween album, very even Better than Time of the Oath, Master of the Rings and The Dark Ride, and quite close to many other albums - mainly because it has so many good songs. Keeper 1 is great but there's only six songs if you don't count the quite meaningless outro and the intro. Chameleon contains 100 % more songs, and I like almost all of them - so I think Chameleon can compete quite well about being one of the best Helloween albums. I think I'm pretty alone with that opinion


I meant that it doesn't have a Helloween "sound" to it. It's a good album, just not a good reflection of what the band is like as a whole. There are some great songs on it, "First Time", " I Believe", "Crazy Cats" etc. It a very enjoyable listen, though it did take me by suprise when I first heard it. It is a better album than Master of the Rings and Dark Ride. But not Time of the Oath, love that album. Good review though, sorry, forgot to mention that...


Oh well I don't think Chameleon is better than Dark Ride at all... Just an Opinion though
----
- I love my technical, melodic, my thrash, agressive and fast paced, my sludge, well thought, my heavy, heavier and my metal, ever-growing -
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06.10.2010 - 14:42
RavenKing
Written by Guest on 07.10.2008 at 06:22

I love Helloween...but this album is bad.

Let's start by saying this I am not one of those who said this album is not good just because it's not metal...let's put it like this:

This album is not very as good as a hard rock/progressive rock/pop album at all either, it's alright but no more than that. The song "When The Sinner" sounds like a mix between Tina Turner and Phil Collins late 80's releases. "I don't want to cry no more" sounds like it has a few ABBA influences and some progressive rock influences but none of them are very well implemented.

What I hate about all this is that Helloween deny the album and all because it was a commercial failure, if the album had been a commercial success despite the changes then the band would've probably said it was a great album or their best album which is what pisses me off.
Creativity-wise I think they somehow must liked it themselves otherwise they wouldn't have released it (the same with Pink Bubbles Go Ape), are you going to tell me that they were in turmoil in the band for like 3 years and nobody (except Kansen) left the band and then even released Chameleon? c'mon...that's what I hate sometimes, money matters more!

PS: This album also has some influences of Glam...after all it's Kiske's fault since he was a pompous ass and a pop/mainstream idiot (listen to most of his solo albums, mainstream/pop/adult contemporary shit!).


This album sucks. Pure mainstream commercial garbage. People hated this garbage so much back in the days that it almost led to Helloween's demise. The band was pretty much dead when Deris joined, due to Helloween being pathetic and shitty back then. If you read the short interview included in the booklet of the expanded version of "Walls of Jericho", Weikath himself admits that "If it wasn't for the shitty contract we had with Noise Records, we would never have had to develop commercial ideas like the Chameleon album".
They released this piece of crap only for commercial reasons.

I totally agree about Kiske. He was a mainstream poser and very swollen-headed.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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06.10.2010 - 16:07
Metal Invader
I dont like this album as HELLOWEEN album..and as i dont like pop-rock..well sorry..! And i agree too about Kiske..he is a great vocalist but an idiot who almoust ruin Helloween(and ofcours label compay) with his music direction..that is my opinion..
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06.10.2010 - 22:16
Guib
Thrash Talker
Written by Guest on 07.10.2008 at 06:22

I love Helloween...but this album is bad.

Let's start by saying this I am not one of those who said this album is not good just because it's not metal...let's put it like this:

This album is not very as good as a hard rock/progressive rock/pop album at all either, it's alright but no more than that. The song "When The Sinner" sounds like a mix between Tina Turner and Phil Collins late 80's releases. "I don't want to cry no more" sounds like it has a few ABBA influences and some progressive rock influences but none of them are very well implemented.

What I hate about all this is that Helloween deny the album and all because it was a commercial failure, if the album had been a commercial success despite the changes then the band would've probably said it was a great album or their best album which is what pisses me off.
Creativity-wise I think they somehow must liked it themselves otherwise they wouldn't have released it (the same with Pink Bubbles Go Ape), are you going to tell me that they were in turmoil in the band for like 3 years and nobody (except Kansen) left the band and then even released Chameleon? c'mon...that's what I hate sometimes, money matters more!

PS: This album also has some influences of Glam...after all it's Kiske's fault since he was a pompous ass and a pop/mainstream idiot (listen to most of his solo albums, mainstream/pop/adult contemporary shit!).


Agreeing lol
I don't find anything special, original or interesting with this album
----
- I love my technical, melodic, my thrash, agressive and fast paced, my sludge, well thought, my heavy, heavier and my metal, ever-growing -
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02.11.2011 - 02:53
renai
Take a away the Helloween and power metal , this album will be a classic, maybe in hard rock category. I really love this, especially now the nostalgic factor subjectivity a lot ... . I less listen to this back there and now when re listen I can't believe how good it was.
----
hey...my blog >>> http://metalharem.blogspot.com/
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21.11.2014 - 18:13
gnirpz
I think nobody like this album at the first listen. But it will grow, thurst me... il will grow... I gave a 8 for this one. It way more creative than Pink Bubbles. Ballads are memorable and Kiske push his voice at another level, not higher level, just another, different. Not all the songs are good, but overall, I really like this album.

I red some comments here, and one about Ingo that I aggreed. Yes, I believe is one of the most underated drummer.
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02.01.2015 - 08:11
Lord_Regnier
Written by deadone on 24.11.2014 at 03:29

I really like WIndmill. Great song.


It's a pity that Ingo is dead, you could ask his opinion about this song.
----
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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26.08.2015 - 21:05
nb
Interesting. in the 90's I heard all of Helloween's stuff up to Pink Bubbles. I loved the Keepers, and I even thought Pink Bubbles was a nice listen. People told me Chamaleon was crap, and I never gave the album a chance. Come 2015 and I hear a couple of songs from the Album and I think, hey sounds a lot like Pink bubbles, which is not a bad thing. So here I am listening to the whole album and it is not bad at all, definitely not your usual Helloween heavy metal, but the guitar work is pretty good.
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15.01.2017 - 04:10
Bad English
Masterchief
I agree that those other factors what is not metal makes it somehow good. Well its better as st anger
st anger is nu metal, pop music is better as nu metal, many 80's pop songs are better, same this one, its not one of those smash whit an hammer chatergories, but keep deeper in the shell
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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