Rating:
8.0
Helloween - Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary [Compilation]
16 December 2009


01. Dr. Stein
02. Future World
03. If I Could Fly
04. Where The Rain Grows
05. The Keeper's Trilogy
06. Eagle Fly Free
07. Perfect Gentleman
08. Forever & One
09. I Want Out
10. Falling To Pieces
11. A Tale That Wasn't Right


One of Germany's most successful bands of all time along with the likes of Scorpions and Accept, Helloween are celebrating their 25th anniversary in style. Unarmed is not just any compilation album, this is a disc of completely re-recorded and re-arranged songs from throughout the band's history. It will certainly catch you off guard as the band put on their smartest suits and jazz it up with this compilation of acoustic rock versions of all your favourite songs.

You'll be looking at Helloween from a completely different perspective with this release. Some of the songs fair better with their acoustic rock make-over than others, for example this slower version of "Where The Rain Grows" transforms the entire song entirely from the joyful, original version. The suave "Perfect Gentleman" might also even suit better in this style. Either way, with this disc you will be waiting in anticipation for the next song to see how it has been adapted and re-worked in this style.

Realistically, if you are new to Helloween you're not going to start with this release. This compilation is in no way an indicator towards the rich history of the band, and is therefore restricted entirely to the enjoyment of the band's loyal fans.

Perhaps the most re-arranged composition on Unarmed is "The Keeper's Trilogy", which sees the band team up with the Prague Symphony Orchestra for a symphonic rock mash together of "Halloween", "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" and "King For A 1000 Years". The seventeen minute-long opus works well, but unlike the other re-worked acoustic songs on the disc, this song does not deviate so far from the original versions other than the stylistic change from metal to rock.

Helloween have been around for many years now, and this compilation offers a breath of fresh air to the Helloween approach. We have all heard these songs a million times before, and this disc allows you to enjoy these classics as if you had never heard them before. The band don't need to please anyone, and Unarmed gives the impression of the band taking a step back and having a bit of freedom and fun with these songs. This isn't something for newcomers to the band, but it can be refreshingly enjoyable for the old fans.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: -
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Helloween
Album: Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary


 



Written on 23.02.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

Guest review by
Nemo Atkins

Rating:
7.5
2010 was definitely an interesting year for Helloween, wasn't it? The two albums they released that year were practically polar opposites of each other: one was this album, an acoustic re-imagining of some of their best hits, and the other was arguably their darkest album to date, the awesome (and my personal favourite album from this band) 7 Sinners. In celebration of this band's upcoming (at the time of writing) 14th album, I figured it was time to examine this album. And the results...are very hit and miss, if I'm honest.

Read more ››
published 09.01.2013 | Comments (3)



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JÄY - 23.02.2010 at 18:22  
I'm glad to see someone besides me liked this

its just fun
iMorphball - 23.02.2010 at 19:29  
Eh, it was okay, but, really disappointing. I wanted to hear what fantastic songs like Dr. Stein, Keeper of the Seven Keys and others would sound like with today's production values. Instead we got this orchestrated/acoustic stuff.

Meh.
Lanzaddt - 23.02.2010 at 20:26  
Jajajaja you got to be kidding me.....
BudDa - 23.02.2010 at 20:28  
I most certainly commend Helloween for the originality and balls to put out an album such as this one. I thought the album was enjoyable but I also thought there were better ways to celebrate their 25th Anniversary..for example, they would have done what CoB did last year or what StU is fond of doing; covering other bands' classics and shitting all over them. Helloween instead decided to shit on their own classics...genius!
Ellrohir - 23.02.2010 at 21:45  
Very nice album indeed
floydiac - 23.02.2010 at 21:59  
I liked it a lot. I was expecting it to be slated. Rather than copy their old songs, they have decided to pay tribute to them. In a controversial way.
Reign - 23.02.2010 at 22:09  
A really fun and enjoyable album, gotta love it
And the Dr. Stein video is hilarious
Harlequin Devon - 23.02.2010 at 22:10  
Butchering Kiske era songs is not cool.
Lamahe - 23.02.2010 at 22:16  
This really was a big disappointment. Certainly not something to celebrate 25th anniversary with. Why would legend of speed/power metal like to celebrate anything with this poppish/boringly arranged legendary songs?! Fortunately this is not matter of life and death and I could just skip it...
Kincaid - 24.02.2010 at 01:30  
It's really sad to see those metal heads with a limited mindset. This album is brilliant, every song is performed professionally. A perfect 25th anniversary gift for their real fans. Enjoy!

(I've simply copied and pasted what I wrote about this album in the forum)
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2010 at 01:50  
A great idea to celebrate a 25th anniversary this way instead of just re-recording the songs in a normal way. It's just a shame that it turned out so totally bland and uninspired. But I truly applaud the balls the band had to do it this way.
Lord_Regnier - 24.02.2010 at 02:48  
Bands should leave their classics untouched instead of turning them into pop-ish crap and making fools of themselves.

The old PM bands have no fucking idea what they're doing anymore.


P.S. Call me a close-minded metalhead as much as you want, I'm proud of it. If being open-minded means starting to congratulate every once great metal band who starts to be lame, ridiculous and shitty, I prefer a thousand times to be close-minded. Honestly, seeing as what people call open-mindedness nowadays, I consider being labeled as open-minded an insult, not a compliment.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2010 at 02:52  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 02:48


P.S. Call me a close-minded metalhead as much as you want, I'm proud of it. If being open-minded means starting to congratulate every once great metal band who starts to be lame, ridiculous and shitty, I prefer a thousand times to be close-minded. Honestly, seeing as what people call open-mindedness nowadays, I consider being labeled as open-minded an insult, not a compliment.


You're not close-minded. You're an elitist, which I am as well concerning my favourite genres. Close-minded means you won't even listen to it, which you do or else you won't be able to pass judgement. Elitist means you're all for total quality control.
Lord_Regnier - 24.02.2010 at 03:02  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2010 at 02:52

Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 02:48


P.S. Call me a close-minded metalhead as much as you want, I'm proud of it. If being open-minded means starting to congratulate every once great metal band who starts to be lame, ridiculous and shitty, I prefer a thousand times to be close-minded. Honestly, seeing as what people call open-mindedness nowadays, I consider being labeled as open-minded an insult, not a compliment.


You're not close-minded. You're an elitist, which I am as well concerning my favourite genres. Close-minded means you won't even listen to it, which you do or else you won't be able to pass judgement. Elitist means you're all for total quality control.


I would describe myself as a metal purist but not an elitist in the way people usually conceive it, because I'm not like those tr00 kvlt kids, you know.
I'm for the protection and preservation of the quallity level in metal music, indeed, but it's not because I believe it gives me any kind of superior status (it does not). It's just that I think some basic rules need to be respected, otherwise metal will become as shitty as pop music is in general.

For me, it's only a matter of musical quality and not a matter of personal ego.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2010 at 03:09  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 03:02

I would describe myself as a metal purist but not an elitist in the way people usually conceive it, because I'm not like those tr00 kvlt kids, you know.
I'm for the protection and preservation of the quallity level in metal music, indeed, but it's not because I believe it gives me any kind of superior status (it does not). It's just that I think some basic rules need to be respected, otherwise metal will become as shitty as pop music is in general.


You're right. Most elitists consider themselves to be of a superior status. Come to think of it most of them are teenagers who never leave their room or their computer.
A purist is a better word, I agree. Henceforth I consider myself a metal purist when it comes to my favourite genres. And I agree that some basic rules need to be respected, otherwise metal will become as shitty as pop music is in general. Just look at power metal. I used to love old Helloween (up to and including Keeper of the Seven Keys part 2) And Angel Dust. Or take a look at symphonic female fronted metal, my God if there ever was pop metal then this certainly is it, or look at Keep Of Kalessin ttotally pop black, although it has nothign to do with black anymore. Same for the Gothenburg bands who call themselves melodic death metal when in fact they have nothign to with dm at all and are just watered down Iron Maiden clones with harsh vocals.
Lord_Regnier - 24.02.2010 at 03:22  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2010 at 03:09

Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 03:02

You're right. Most elitists consider themselves to be of a superior status. Come to think of it most of them are teenagers who never leave their room or their computer.
A purist is a better word, I agree. Henceforth I consider myself a metal purist when it comes to my favourite genres. And I agree that some basic rules need to be respected, otherwise metal will become as shitty as pop music is in general. Just look at power metal. I used to love old Helloween (up to and including Keeper of the Seven Keys part 2) And Angel Dust. Or take a look at symphonic female fronted metal, my God if there ever was pop metal then this certainly is it, or look at Keep Of Kalessin ttotally pop black, although it has nothign to do with black anymore. Same for the Gothenburg bands who call themselves melodic death metal when in fact they have nothign to with dm at all and are just watered down Iron Maiden clones with harsh vocals.


I'm aware that no one cares what I am in real life but I don't need metal to feel like I'm someone, you know. I have a very good job and all so I don't need anything to boost my pride or to brag about.

I share the same views about PM, though I'm aware lots of people would strongly disagree with us.
Same for KoK.

As for Gothenburg, I like a few bands that might be labeled as Gothenburg (Dissection, Gates Of Ishtar, Sacramentum, Cryptic Wintermoon) but, imo, they're still closer to BM than PM. But I'm not a fan of Gothenburg in general. And surely not of the bands who are closer to PM than Black.
Some people even label bands like Children Of Bodom and Wintersun as melodic DM. Imo, they're nothing else than PM with harsh vocals.

I mentioned a few times that PM in general is more like a different kind of pop music than really metal nowadays, from my point of view.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2010 at 03:31  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 03:22

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2010 at 03:09

Written by Lord_Regnier on 24.02.2010 at 03:02

You're right. Most elitists consider themselves to be of a superior status. Come to think of it most of them are teenagers who never leave their room or their computer.
A purist is a better word, I agree. Henceforth I consider myself a metal purist when it comes to my favourite genres. And I agree that some basic rules need to be respected, otherwise metal will become as shitty as pop music is in general. Just look at power metal. I used to love old Helloween (up to and including Keeper of the Seven Keys part 2) And Angel Dust. Or take a look at symphonic female fronted metal, my God if there ever was pop metal then this certainly is it, or look at Keep Of Kalessin ttotally pop black, although it has nothign to do with black anymore. Same for the Gothenburg bands who call themselves melodic death metal when in fact they have nothign to with dm at all and are just watered down Iron Maiden clones with harsh vocals.


I'm aware that no one cares what I am in real life but I don't need metal to feel like I'm someone, you know. I have a very good job and all so I don't need anything to boost my pride or to brag about.

I share the same views about PM, though I'm aware lots of people would strongly disagree with us.
Same for KoK.

As for Gothenburg, I like a few bands that might be labeled as Gothenburg (Dissection, Gates Of Ishtar, Sacramentum, Cryptic Wintermoon) but, imo, they're still closer to BM than PM. But I'm not a fan of Gothenburg in general. And surely not of the bands who are closer to PM than Black.
Some people even label bands like Children Of Bodom and Wintersun as melodic DM. Imo, they're nothing else than PM with harsh vocals.

I mentioned a few times that PM in general is more like a different kind of pop music than really metal nowadays, from my point of view.


Actually current Euro Flowery PM has nothing to do with metal whatsoever. They have more in common with New Kids On The Block, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, Sugababes etc than anythign metal. They are all targeted at trying to get as many people to buy their stuff as possible. Nowadays people seem to think keyboards are an integral part of pm whereas back in the day a pm band would get scorned upon for using keyboards. I have loads of albums from that ear that proudly state no keyboards were used (even though quite a few bands did use them on said albums )

And yes, Nightwish, Children of Boredom, Wintersun are all power metal bands... just listen to the music.
Lord_Regnier - 24.02.2010 at 03:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2010 at 03:31


Actually current Euro Flowery PM has nothing to do with metal whatsoever. They have more in common with New Kids On The Block, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, Sugababes etc than anythign metal. They are all targeted at trying to get as many people to buy their stuff as possible. Nowadays people seem to think keyboards are an integral part of pm whereas back in the day a pm band would get scorned upon for using keyboards. I have loads of albums from that ear that proudly state no keyboards were used (even though quite a few bands did use them on said albums )


Sometimes, the music can still be fast and relatively complex (in lots of cases, it isn't) but the mentality is mainstream, commercial, superficial. Lyrics, production, image, attitude, sound, marketing, interviews, album covers, etc...
Everything is commercial in its essence.

I don't blame young people who don't see the things we're talking of on this thread. After all, they weren't there back then. It can be hard or even impossible to imagine how different it was and why old metallers feel the way we do. On the other hand, though, I know teenagers who think exactly like us. So I think it's not only a matter of age.
Pap - 24.02.2010 at 11:44  
The only thing that really captured my interest was to find out how they refrormed each song. It's an album which deserves hearing from every helloween fan. I think that i could describe this album as an interesting and brilliant in designing effort but to be honest after the first or let me better say the fifth attempt i made to listen to it i don't feel like playing the cd on and on. The loss of the initial curiosity is setting the album to a moderate level which seems nice to exist as only a collective item in my helloween discography. At least i have to recognise two things, the fact that this release was preferable to another best of compilation and that the band really worked on offering us an album innovative and experimental. If only the sound was a liitle more interesting.. My personal rating wouldn't be more than 6.5.
YoreLore - 24.02.2010 at 14:40  
I would have honestly preferred a massive 25th album, re recording certain songs from ALL the albums and maybe even some guest appearances from former members to celebrate the band. A bit like the Treasure Chest collection from Helloween I have. They could have done two CDs of normal re recordings and a cd of the acoustic style they have done on this album with certain songs that would work in this style. Maybe even throw a live cd/dvd in and charge a fortune for it, I would buy it to celebrate the history of one of my favourite bands and it would have been a massive success had they done so. People would have had the metal they wanted but also the acoustic cd and definitely would have appreciated it a bit more.
DayFly - 24.02.2010 at 16:17  
I wish Mr. Grumpy and Mr. Grumble would take a bit more care when quoting. It's getting difficult to follow, and I rather enjoy watching you two rant.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2010 at 16:35  
Written by DayFly on 24.02.2010 at 16:17

I wish Mr. Grumpy and Mr. Grumble would take a bit more care when quoting. It's getting difficult to follow, and I rather enjoy watching you two rant.


Quoting is a very difficult task at our age
enumaelis - 24.02.2010 at 18:49  
If being open minded means you are forced to like this ... thing... I prefer people call me whatever they like, cause this album is just lame and unbearable. I tried to listen every song and I couldnt finish any of them cause I got so bored :/
Fun? probably yes, mostly for the band and some fans
Boring? as hell for me and I guess big part of metal fans
The Shape 1973 - 25.02.2010 at 01:58  
Marcel and Lord, however much you debate how you hate modern power metal it doesn't matter. I can't be bothered to argue anymore, too drunk sorry.

I like what I like.

I don't care if it is fashionable or not, elitist or not, purist or not. If I like it I will buy it, if I don't I won't, simple as that.

Other people's opinions do not change MY opinion of a record or a band.

It feels good to disagree with Marcel again, back to as it should be.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.02.2010 at 02:05  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 25.02.2010 at 01:58

If I like it I will buy it, if I don't I won't, simple as that.


And that's how it should be. Sorry to agree with you

Quote:

Other people's opinions do not change MY opinion of a record or a band.


And that's how it should be as well. Sorry to agree with you once again

Quote:

It feels good to disagree with Marcel again, back to as it should be.


The only thing we disagree on with this release is you think it is good whereas I think it is bad. I totally respect Helloween for what they tried to do here. It's just a shame I find their execution of it to be horrendous.
Hermann Langke - 25.02.2010 at 09:52  
Great review
Tornado Of Souls - 25.02.2010 at 16:47  
I listened to most of the songs and couldn't stand them it's terrible.
The Shape 1973 - 25.02.2010 at 20:36  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.02.2010 at 02:05

Written by The Shape 1973 on 25.02.2010 at 01:58

If I like it I will buy it, if I don't I won't, simple as that.


And that's how it should be. Sorry to agree with you

Quote:

Other people's opinions do not change MY opinion of a record or a band.


And that's how it should be as well. Sorry to agree with you once again

Quote:

It feels good to disagree with Marcel again, back to as it should be.


The only thing we disagree on with this release is you think it is good whereas I think it is bad. I totally respect Helloween for what they tried to do here. It's just a shame I find their execution of it to be horrendous.

I think it is crap as well, I was just talking about the genre of power metal in general. Damn, can't we argue again, ah the good old days.
Metal4life87 - 27.02.2010 at 07:30  
This album was a joke and a HUGE letdown!
juanopereira - 05.03.2010 at 20:03  
Helloween just killed their old hits. Why didn't they just re-record their old songs?!
Ellrohir - 05.03.2010 at 21:40  
Because it would be boring...hypnotized masses of fans will be bowing before them, but will be anything more in it? no...
viani24 - 14.03.2010 at 00:14  
Mr. stain video is just great !! Well done...:banger2:
Spyroid - 19.03.2010 at 01:09  
Agreed with a lot of your points, great review! I myself loved this album - I really enjoy Pink Bubbles and Chameleon (see my reviews ) and finally Helloween dared to do something alike!

Helloween is my favourite power metal band because they might be the only band out there in the power metal genre who dares to try new things, and they don't take everything seriously like most other bands in the genre. (tell me one more power metalband that could've recorded a song with lyrics like Dr. Stein or Heavy Metal Hamsters, or with the sound of a sheep beehing?)

I'm so glad Helloween did this - I really enjoy rearangements and I loved listening to this! And seriously, who couldn't like the trilogy? Blew my mind for three weeks!
Fat & Sassy! - 04.07.2011 at 21:35  
Written by BudDa on 23.02.2010 at 20:28

I most certainly commend Helloween for the originality and balls to put out an album such as this one. I thought the album was enjoyable but I also thought there were better ways to celebrate their 25th Anniversary..for example, they would have done what CoB did last year or what StU is fond of doing; covering other bands' classics and shitting all over them. Helloween instead decided to shit on their own classics...genius!


Unna Med - 26.06.2012 at 12:59  
To be honest, the only songs on this album that appeal to me are Dr.Stein and Perfect Gentleman, but those can give me a perfect mood for the entire day!
Only Helloween songs can do that to me. Because of that I love all of their albums, even Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape.
bayern - 30.11.2012 at 01:57  
Forever & One - Helloween

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