Rating:
8.2
Helloween - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
2003


01. Just A Little Sign
02. Open Your Life
03. The Tune
04. Never Be A Star
05. Liar
06. Sun For The World
07. Don't Stop Being Crazy
08. Do You Feel Good
09. Hell Was Made In Heaven
10. Back Against The Wall
11. Listen To The Flies
12. Nothing To Say
13. Sheer Heart Attack [Queen cover] [American bonus]
14. Fast As A Shark [Accept cover] [Japanese bonus]
15. Far Away [European Digipak bonus]


Helloween returned in 2003 with their tenth studio album "Rabbit Don't Come Easy". This was a somewhat complicated period for Helloween as Roland and Uli has just left to make their Masterplan project a full-time band, and so recruited former Freedom Call guitarist Sascha Gerstner and had originally replaced Uli with Mark Cross - but mononucleosis prevented him from continuing with the band and also had to leave.
Mikkey Dee from Motörhead stepped in to record the drums for the rest of the album before Stefan Schwarzmann was announced as Helloween's new drummer (although he only stayed a couple of years after openly admitting he could not play as fast as the band required.)

These problems as well as a flooded recording studio in Hamburg are reflected in the album title - trying to pull a rabbit (album) out of the hat - and it not coming easily!

The album opens with the album's single and sets the album off in the right direction. A faster paced Helloween with light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek lyrics compared to the band's last album "The Dark Ride".

As the album progresses this theme is carried forward with straightforward, double bass-clad heavy metal tracks with lyrics along not such a stern line even though some lyrics do have a touch of real-life to them ("Open Your Life", "The Tune")
The band clearly wanted to move away from the heavy influence Roland and Uli had on the last album, towards something less serious and more similar to their earlier days - much like the band did with the "Master Of The Rings" and "The Time Of The Oath" albums after "Chameleon".

The album has just a couple of questionable songs ("Never Be A Star" being one) but it comes out overall as a very solid album.
Very worthy of a place in the Helloween discography and I recommend to all heavy/power metal fans that have not yet picked up this album.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Helloween
Album: Rabbit Don't Come Easy


 



Written on 24.02.2007 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Ernis - 24.02.2007 at 19:39  
Well.....what can I say......it sounds good so I may consider borrowing this album from someone.....
Baz Anderson - 24.02.2007 at 19:45  
yes indeed!! if you are new to Helloween though - I wouldnt suggest this album..
if you want to get into the happy world of Helloween I would recommend the three 'Keeper...' albums and probably 'The Time Of The Oath'
iaberis - 24.02.2007 at 20:29  
Yeah, it's not from their best, so not recommended for people who know little about Helloween...
About, Mark Cross... Hmm... he was fired for being sick! Not a good attitude from the band...
Baz Anderson - 24.02.2007 at 20:55  
Written by iaberis on 24.02.2007 at 20:29

Yeah, it's not from their best, so not recommended for people who know little about Helloween...
About, Mark Cross... Hmm... he was fired for being sick! Not a good attitude from the band...


he wasnt fired just for being sick!!
he had to leave the band because he got infectious mononucleosis!! - that means he would have been very sore, aching and fatigued all the time and it would have just been impossible for him to play his drums..
he also didnt know how long he would be suffering from it - the band wanted to keep him in (they wanted a stable line-up), but there was no way of knowing how long he wouldnt be able to play for..
he left the band because he was incapable of playing the drums.. that is what had to happen
iaberis - 24.02.2007 at 21:09  
Written by Baz Anderson on 24.02.2007 at 20:55

Written by iaberis on 24.02.2007 at 20:29

Yeah, it's not from their best, so not recommended for people who know little about Helloween...
About, Mark Cross... Hmm... he was fired for being sick! Not a good attitude from the band...


he wasnt fired just for being sick!!
he had to leave the band because he got infectious mononucleosis!! - that means he would have been very sore, aching and fatigued all the time and it would have just been impossible for him to play his drums..
he also didnt know how long he would be suffering from it - the band wanted to keep him in (they wanted a stable line-up), but there was no way of knowing how long he wouldnt be able to play for..
he left the band because he was incapable of playing the drums.. that is what had to happen

Well, Firewind didn't have a problem hiring him... Also I read in both his official site and wikipedia that he was forced to leave the band. Also as wikipedia also says about the disease "The disease is far less contagious than is commonly thought". A friend of me almost died from that, but hopefully he's ok now. I believe they could easily wait to recover from that, than just fire him...
Baz Anderson - 24.02.2007 at 21:14  
Written by iaberis on 24.02.2007 at 21:09

Written by Baz Anderson on 24.02.2007 at 20:55

Written by iaberis on 24.02.2007 at 20:29

Yeah, it's not from their best, so not recommended for people who know little about Helloween...
About, Mark Cross... Hmm... he was fired for being sick! Not a good attitude from the band...


he wasnt fired just for being sick!!
he had to leave the band because he got infectious mononucleosis!! - that means he would have been very sore, aching and fatigued all the time and it would have just been impossible for him to play his drums..
he also didnt know how long he would be suffering from it - the band wanted to keep him in (they wanted a stable line-up), but there was no way of knowing how long he wouldnt be able to play for..
he left the band because he was incapable of playing the drums.. that is what had to happen

Well, Firewind didn't have a problem hiring him... Also I read in both his official site and wikipedia that he was forced to leave the band. Also as wikipedia also says about the disease "The disease is far less contagious than is commonly thought". A friend of me almost died from that, but hopefully he's ok now. I believe they could easily wait to recover from that, than just fire him...


but put yourself in the bands position.. you want to finish recording an album and you want to go out and tour as fast as you can..
him having this condition meaning he cannot play the drums stopped that from happening.. the band had no cognitive control in the situation at all - they didnt know how long he wouldnt be able to play
they wouldnt have wanted to wait for him to recover but then still be waiting a couple of years down the line.. he could have been out for a lot longer then what he was
they did what they had to do in the situation.. they had to go out and record the album and tour
Katatronik - 24.02.2007 at 21:24  
not my favourite album, but it's not bad at all...
Anyway, I prefer the last album surely!
wrathchild - 25.02.2007 at 11:39  
Yes, definitely one of their best albums IMO. The song I like the least is the opening track (and first single) Just A Little Sign.

Speaking of Mark Cross, who I saw live yesterday with Firewind, I'm glad he had to leave the band. He's a good drummer but I'm afraid he doesn't compete with a guy like Uli Kusch. And my first Helloween show was with Mark on the drums, oopening for Iron Maiden: it may not be the guy's fault but Helloween's show was ruined by the sound of his double bass drums, definitely too loud...
Baz Anderson - 25.02.2007 at 14:32  
and also if he didnt leave - the band would not have had the opportunity to recrut Daniel Löble and his super fast feet!!
i saw him on the last tour and he played fantastic! 'Eagle Fly Free' played nice and up-tempo and his drum solo and everything. also tracks like 'Silent Rain' wouldnt have been possible from the new album
iaberis - 25.02.2007 at 15:22  
OK! I'm not saying he was a drum genius but it wasn't good to be dismissed at a time hard for him...
Baz Anderson - 25.02.2007 at 15:40  
but he understood that he had to leave the band.. you cant seriously expect a band like Helloween to wait around when they have no idea when this guy is going to be able to play drums or not..
they had no choice in the matter! he had to leave the band - else they could have been inactive for years just because of one guy..
Zenzero - 25.02.2007 at 22:42  
It's not a good album.... Should be a good album if it's not a helloween album!!!I like other helloween album after the kai era!but this album I think it's not good!!
The dark ride, the time of the oath of master of the rigs are 10000 times better!!
Graveshift - 28.02.2007 at 00:01  
I am glad to see a good review of this album as it is one of my favourites by helloween.
Dandelion - 01.03.2007 at 18:51  
its a brilliant album-i give 9.5/10
UnholyMenace - 01.03.2007 at 18:58  
Pretty decent album. There are some pretty good and catchy songs like Back Against The Wall, Don't Stop Being Crazy and Do You Feel Good.
Arcaliz666 - 30.06.2007 at 01:32  
An album Fast, heavy, and really happy ....!!!

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