Rating:
9.0
Helloween - Chameleon
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!

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


Band profile: Helloween
Album: Chameleon


 


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.



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Talvi - 11.12.2006 at 01:12  
Yeah, this album is so underrated. Even it's not my favorite Helloween album, it's not half bad. Master of the rings is SO much worse than this. Good review, even though a bit too high rating...
Spyroid - 11.12.2006 at 10:28  
Written by Talvi on 11.12.2006 at 01:12

Yeah, this album is so underrated. Even it's not my favorite Helloween album, it's not half bad. Master of the rings is SO much worse than this. Good review, even though a bit too high rating...


Agree! Haha ^^ yeah maybe... But I really like this album a lot! Maybe 8.5...
JohnDoe - 12.12.2006 at 12:57  
A great album, one of my favourite Helloween albums. The thing that I like most about it is that it is the most varied Helloween album, being different from any previous releases of the band. As far as I'm concerned, this album is a masterpiece.
Great review by the way.
Spyroid - 12.12.2006 at 21:33  
Written by JohnDoe on 12.12.2006 at 12:57

A great album, one of my favourite Helloween albums. The thing that I like most about it is that it is the most varied Helloween album, being different from any previous releases of the band. As far as I'm concerned, this album is a masterpiece.
Great review by the way.


Yeah didn't think there would be anyone agreeing with me! Thx for sharing my opinion!
Baz Anderson - 15.12.2006 at 05:55  
i really love this album - it is something different and interesting to listen to
i really like most of the songs on the album - i cant really fault the album at all apart from its obvious huge diversion from what Helloween was supposed to be
it would get a high rating from me
iaberis - 06.01.2007 at 18:00  
Yeah, I want to buy this album too! It's in my "to buy" list!
I haven't heard the whole CD yet, but just somne parts I found here and there...
Spyroid - 06.01.2007 at 22:43  
Written by iaberis on 06.01.2007 at 18:00

Yeah, I want to buy this album too! It's in my "to buy" list!
I haven't heard the whole CD yet, but just somne parts I found here and there...


I haven't heard the bonus disc, but the new release is so expensive and I already have the original - and the LP
iaberis - 06.01.2007 at 23:36  
Well, here usually, the remastered version is around 50% cheaper than the original... so I love the new ones! They sound better too!
Spyroid - 07.01.2007 at 00:57  
Written by iaberis on 06.01.2007 at 23:36

Well, here usually, the remastered version is around 50% cheaper than the original... so I love the new ones! They sound better too!


I have to get it!
Grey_Dandelion - 19.05.2007 at 23:11  
only first time,music and giands remind me the greatness of helloween-overall a rather mediocre music disk
iaberis - 09.06.2007 at 05:27  
Yeah, Now I've heard it, it's indeed their most pop/rock album! It's even more pop/rock than the Pink Bubbles! But this doesn't mean it's bad . At least not all of it!
Baz Anderson - 10.06.2007 at 00:58  
yeh.. like I said up there half a year ago, I love this album.
when I get to the track "Windmill" I can never think of anything other then what Ingo apparently used to call it
apparently he hated the direction Helloween had taken and always called the track "Shitmill"
..bit of trivia for you there
4look4rd - 11.07.2007 at 01:44  
This album is way too Kiske for me, although I consider him a good vocalist, his attitude pisses me off, and I think that this album is somewhat close to his solo career (popish) it does have some good tracks (and I agree its a bit underrated) but overall this album average or below average, maybe a 6.5 or 7
Hyvaarin - 27.09.2007 at 16:40  
Maybe it gets spat on a bit much, but NINE?!?!?! Are you fucking serious?!?!?!?!? Crazy Cat is awesome, but pretty much every other song is completely unmemorable. 7, I can understand. 8, you're really pushing it. But man...9 is just ridiculous.
Spyroid - 27.09.2007 at 17:31  
Written by Hyvaarin on 27.09.2007 at 16:40

Maybe it gets spat on a bit much, but NINE?!?!?! Are you fucking serious?!?!?!?!? Crazy Cat is awesome, but pretty much every other song is completely unmemorable. 7, I can understand. 8, you're really pushing it. But man...9 is just ridiculous.


Of course I am. I don't see this as a metal album by a metal band, I see this as a really good, outstanding and totally original pop/rock album. And 10 on originality just because it's released by a metalband. Maybe my overall isn't really as high as nine, but that's what came out after I'd been fair with the ratings on performance, songwriting, production and originality.
I really find the mixture between different kind of songs on this album great - there are long songs, short songs, a high amount of catchy "singles", each with a different structure and each glaring at a new genre, there are metal influences, lots of humour, lots of seriousness, great ballads - everything! Therefore I can't understand how you find the songs unmemorable, maybe you should try to listen more to it. I find the songs on this album much more memorable than for example on Time of the Oath or The Dark Ride.

I respect your opinion but please don't call mine ridicolous
Zenzero - 28.09.2007 at 01:32  
bleah.... there aren't other words for this album!!
Spyroid - 28.09.2007 at 01:40  
Written by Zenzero on 28.09.2007 at 01:32

bleah.... there aren't other words for this album!!


Sorry, what do you mean?
Zenzero - 28.09.2007 at 01:43  
Written by Spyroid on 28.09.2007 at 01:40

Written by Zenzero on 28.09.2007 at 01:32

bleah.... there aren't other words for this album!!


Sorry, what do you mean?

Sorry you! I think you all understand this word.... it means disgust!!!
Spyroid - 28.09.2007 at 13:51  
Written by Zenzero on 28.09.2007 at 01:43

Written by Spyroid on 28.09.2007 at 01:40

Written by Zenzero on 28.09.2007 at 01:32

bleah.... there aren't other words for this album!!


Sorry, what do you mean?

Sorry you! I think you all understand this word.... it means disgust!!!


Ah, I get you.
I don't share your opinion though. Everyone can't have as good taste as me
iaberis - 11.03.2008 at 03:44  
Written by Baz Anderson on 10.06.2007 at 00:58

yeh.. like I said up there half a year ago, I love this album.
when I get to the track "Windmill" I can never think of anything other then what Ingo apparently used to call it
apparently he hated the direction Helloween had taken and always called the track "Shitmill"
..bit of trivia for you there

You share his thoughts?
I find it a very good song
Baz Anderson - 11.03.2008 at 10:32  
Written by iaberis on 11.03.2008 at 03:44

You share his thoughts?
I find it a very good song

I like the song as well, indeed - it just isn't very "Helloween" though..
still, that doesn't matter looking back on how everything has turned out - this is still a great album
iaberis - 11.03.2008 at 16:23  
Written by Baz Anderson on 11.03.2008 at 10:32

Written by iaberis on 11.03.2008 at 03:44

You share his thoughts?
I find it a very good song

I like the song as well, indeed - it just isn't very "Helloween" though..
still, that doesn't matter looking back on how everything has turned out - this is still a great album

Indeed.
BestMetalstormer - 11.03.2008 at 16:34  
Love the song Windmill, very healling and calm lyric.
Dowi - 28.05.2008 at 23:00  
Written by Grey_Dandelion on 19.05.2007 at 23:11

only first time,music and giands remind me the greatness of helloween-overall a rather mediocre music disk


I agree
Moonfrost - 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!).
Srdjan Glava - 16.10.2008 at 19:28  
I think this is original album but ...no way man...after mad thrashin' Walls of Jericho and masterpieces like Kepper 1 and 2 ...no way...after Hensen left the band...
Dark Seraphim - 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
Spyroid - 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
Dark Seraphim - 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...
Spyroid - 16.12.2008 at 19:49  
Written by Dark Seraphim on 16.12.2008 at 01:27


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...


Well, thanks I agree with you - It doesn't really sounds like their other albums - on the other hand, it's quite hard to believe that Walls of Jericho and Better Than Raw is released by the same band. That's why I like Helloween so much, they're one of the few experimenting, evolving, interesting AND most importantly almost good power metal bands
MegaTheJester - 29.01.2010 at 06:55  
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?
Guib - 06.10.2010 at 08:49  
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
RavenKing - 06.10.2010 at 14:42  
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.
Metal Invader - 06.10.2010 at 16:07  
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..
Guib - 06.10.2010 at 22:16  
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
renai - 02.11.2011 at 02:53  
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.
deadone - 23.05.2014 at 04:40  
I gotta check this one out. I've only heard the track Windmill and I think that's one helluva good song!
gnirpz - 21.11.2014 at 18:13  
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.
deadone - 24.11.2014 at 03:29  
I really like WIndmill. Great song.

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