Rating:
9.0
Helloween - 7 Sinners
31 October 2010


01. Where The Sinners Go
02. Are You Metal?
03. Who Is Mr. Madman?
04. Raise The Noise
05. World Of Fantasy
06. Long Live The King
07. The Smile Of The Sun
08. You Stupid Mankind
09. If A Mountain Could Talk
10. The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner
11. My Sacrifice
12. Not Yet Today
13. Far In The Future
14. I'm Free [deluxe digipack edition bonus]
15. Faster We Fall [Japanese bonus]
16. Aiming High [iTunes bonus]


Helloween have been forging a new path for themselves for many years, seemingly cursed in the way that anything with the Helloween name on it will be compared to those influential Keeper... albums, and almost every time the new offering inevitably falls short.

7 Sinners is the third album with the current line-up, and the first since The Dark Ride that has been able to square up to the Keeper... albums and come off looking pretty good. The reputation of those early albums will never be matched again, but Helloween are determined to continually prove their worth as the genre's kings and still as a legitimate and current power metal band.

The album itself is faster, harder, catchier, and simply better than the previous few by a long way. 7 Sinners is a much more organic and natural-feeling album, perhaps due to the line-up bonding closer still and for the first time ever recording an album without a drum click track. Each band member except for drummer Dani Löble wrote songs for the album, and it perhaps the mixture of styles each of the four brought to the table that makes 7 Sinners a diverse and interesting album.

Andi's presence is felt with the tongue-in-cheek "Are You Metal?" but also with the "If I Could Fly"-esque ballad of "The Smile Of The Sun". Weikie's quirkiness is brought out with the flute solo in "Raise The Noise", and Sascha once again shows his merit in the writing department with the killer track "Who Is Mr. Madman?" and its catchy chorus. Markus' input comes out on top this time however, with the similarly catchy "World Of Fantasy" and epic "If A Mountain Could Talk", both keeping a good pace and making evident some of the best material the band have put out for years.

Indeed, quality-wise 7 Sinners has hit the jackpot. It has been many years since Helloween have released an album so solid and consistently enjoyable. It is therefore strange that the production of the album is a little muffled and actually quieter than most other modern albums. As long as you have the sound system though, this shouldn't be so much of a problem when it comes to enjoying this magnificent modern power metal album from the kings doing it their own way.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 6


Band profile: Helloween
Album: 7 Sinners


 



Written on 29.12.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
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Vikcen - 06.02.2011 at 23:39  
Written by Empyror on 06.02.2011 at 04:03

I love this album and had it been a different year perhaps, it would have been my pick for power metal album of the year. There was just too much good power metal released this year for this to be the best. Strong releases from Gamma Ray, Allen/Lande, Kamelot, (despite the shit people have been giving it) Yngwie, Masterplan, Seven Kingdoms, Revolution Renaisance. While Angra(again, not sure why some are giving it shit), Avantasia, Blind Guardian, Dark Moor, Freedom Call, and Rhapsody all put out some of the best albums of their careers. My favorites off this album are "Who Is Mr. Madman" "World Of Fantasy" and "The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner."


Have you listened this album Ancient Bards of this year =)
RavenKing - 07.02.2011 at 02:25  
Written by Empyror on 06.02.2011 at 04:03

Strong releases from Gamma Ray


"To The Metal", a strong release from Gamma Ray? My god, this album is the worst piece of crap the band ever released, and by a long shot.

Everything about it screams SUCK in capital letters: album cover, album title, music, songwriting, production, lyrics, etc...
I still have a hard time believing a band like Gamma Ray could release such an awful album. A real shame, considering the skills of the musicians involved. They didn't even try.
I thought I would never see the day Kai Hansen would fail miserably (I'm not into Powermetal since a decade but I still have lots of respect for the guy and I think pretty much everything he's been involved in is at least quite decent) but now it happened.
Empyror - 07.02.2011 at 03:05  
@ Vikcen/ Thanks for the Ancient Bards suggestion. I listened to the songs they had on myspace and thought it was really good. It seems inevitable that because they are Italian they are compared with Rhapsody, but it reminded me of Dark Moor, especially their older stuff when Elisa Martin was in the band.

@RavenKing/ I'll admit that it is by far not the best album in their catalogue, but I don't think it's the worst either. I like it better than all the Scheepers albums. I think those albums had some killer songs on them here and there but overall despite those two being power metal gods, just didn't have alot of great songs together. I will also admit that I was dissapointed with this release at first because it wasn't exactly what I expected. There are some weak tracks like the title track and "No Need To Cry" but I really like the rest of the album, especially "Empathy" and "All You Need To Know" feat. the almighty Kiske. I liked the cover art well enough. Title definitely sucked though with the song. As for lyrics, I would never listen to a Gamma Ray album, or most power metal, for the lyrics as they are usually pretty bad. Love the Kai Hansen love you have though. He is one of my idols and while our opinions differ on this album, it seems like we agree on a lot of other ones. At least your opinions seem like educated ones. Hopefully he can redeem himself to you in the future.
Vikcen - 07.02.2011 at 03:17  
Written by Empyror on 07.02.2011 at 03:05

@ Vikcen/ Thanks for the Ancient Bards suggestion. I listened to the songs they had on myspace and thought it was really good. It seems inevitable that because they are Italian they are compared with Rhapsody, but it reminded me of Dark Moor, especially their older stuff when Elisa Martin was in the band.



Hehe, well... another power metal suggestion from this year: Soulitude =)
RavenKing - 07.02.2011 at 03:34  
Written by Empyror on 07.02.2011 at 03:05

@RavenKing/ I'll admit that it is by far not the best album in their catalogue, but I don't think it's the worst either. I like it better than all the Scheepers albums. I think those albums had some killer songs on them here and there but overall despite those two being power metal gods, just didn't have alot of great songs together. I will also admit that I was dissapointed with this release at first because it wasn't exactly what I expected. There are some weak tracks like the title track and "No Need To Cry" but I really like the rest of the album, especially "Empathy" and "All You Need To Know" feat. the almighty Kiske. I liked the cover art well enough. Title definitely sucked though with the song. As for lyrics, I would never listen to a Gamma Ray album, or most power metal, for the lyrics as they are usually pretty bad. Love the Kai Hansen love you have though. He is one of my idols and while our opinions differ on this album, it seems like we agree on a lot of other ones. At least your opinions seem like educated ones. Hopefully he can redeem himself to you in the future.


For me, "To The Metal" is by far the worst Gamma Ray album but I agree with you about albums having lots of fillers during the Scheepers era. I never liked "Sigh No More" and "Insanity & Genius" much.
Yes, the title sucks and the title song is awful.

I also agree on lyrics being often not very good on Powermetal albums but some are worst than others.

Concerning Kai Hansen, I'm afraid he sat on his laurels too much recently. He needs to gather himself and put real effort in his work. Even LOTF II had glimpes of 'old Power/Speed Metal greatness', if you know what I mean, but it had its share of weak moments. Perhaps age is playing a part in this also. And I think unfortunately that hanging out with Tobias Sammet (Imo, the worst poser, idiot and arrogant douchebag of the Powermetal scene) had a bad influence on him. Lets hope he won't turn Gamma Ray to pop shit like Sammet did with Avantasia and Edguy. Until now, Kai is one of the only old icons of the Powermetal scene who has not taken a hard rock direction but I think he got closer to it with "To The Metal". Pretty much all others have betrayed their Powermetal roots long ago.
Baz Anderson - 07.02.2011 at 09:04  
It's one of the worst ones, but "Majestic" might be my least favourite. The albums with Ralf are all very good in my opinion.
Angelic Storm - 07.02.2011 at 09:19  
I prefer "Majestic" to both LOTF II and "To The Metal". I think it's probably their most underrated album, and most of the material on it is great. At least to my ears. lol

The Ralf era I feel is a very neglected one overall by most Gamma Ray fans, and I have to say, that I enjoy a lot of the stuff from the first 3 albums. I also think a lot of the songs that Ralf originally sang on, like "Tribute To The Past", and especially "The Silence", sound inferior when Kai sings them. Id actually like one day for Ralf to get up on stage with Gamma Ray, and sing on a tune or two with them again. I certainly like the Ralf era a lot.
Baz Anderson - 07.02.2011 at 16:55  
Indeed, the Ralf stuff is so much more organic and original. Very underrated. I have given "Majestic" ample time, because that was the Gamma Ray album I looked forward to most out of any before being released... "No World Order" was so good.
Empyror - 07.02.2011 at 20:50  
I love "Majestic". My favorite song is "Fight" and it's not even a Kai Hansen song. Henjo wrote it. Usually the Hansen penned songs are the better ones. As for the Ralf era, don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite Ray songs are from that era and I think Ralf is a far better singer than Kai, so I agree that the originals are better than the re-recorded or live versions. "Last Before The Storm" is like in my top 3 favorite Ray songs. There are just so many weird and un-Kai sounding songs on those albums. It's kind of frusterating that both these guys are two of my favorite power metal gods, yet together just didn't sound the way I envisioned or wanted them to, which of course doesn't matter to them and shouldn't. And Baz..."No World Order" was so fucking good. It's my favorite album by them.
RavenKing - 08.02.2011 at 02:11  
Written by Angelic Storm on 07.02.2011 at 09:19

I prefer "Majestic" to both LOTF II and "To The Metal". I think it's probably their most underrated album, and most of the material on it is great. At least to my ears. lol

The Ralf era I feel is a very neglected one overall by most Gamma Ray fans, and I have to say, that I enjoy a lot of the stuff from the first 3 albums. I also think a lot of the songs that Ralf originally sang on, like "Tribute To The Past", and especially "The Silence", sound inferior when Kai sings them. Id actually like one day for Ralf to get up on stage with Gamma Ray, and sing on a tune or two with them again. I certainly like the Ralf era a lot.


I prefer "Majestic" to LOTF II and "To The Metal" also.

Songs will always be better for me if Kai Hansen is the vocalist for the simple reason that I never liked Ralf Scheepers.
GroundZero - 31.05.2011 at 06:00  
Markus wrote some of the best songs in this album. He rarely write something, but he surprise us when doing it.

Helloween's member changing has been a big problem to the band. Since Kiske, who is an amazing singer, but he pretended to make of Helloween a pop rock band or something like that. I don't know why Gamma Ray, Avantasia and others continue inviting him to be part of the metal scene when he hates heavy metal.

Also, the Hansen's departure left a big gap in the band, he was an essential Helloween member.

With Deris the band started to raise again (musically talking), and Roland Grapow took a primordial role in the band as a player and songwriter, but when "The Dark Ride" appeared there was something (perhaps the darkness?) in the album that disagree to Weikath (the band leader) and he decided to fire Grapow and Kusch (Who wrote Escalation 666), leaving the band again in poor conditions.

Then, they launched first "Rabbit don't come Easy", later "Keeper Legacy" and finally "Gambling with the Devil", which are not very good albums and are comparable to Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon.

Finally, "7 Sinners", an excellent album, recall us why Helloween is one of the best power metal bands ever.
Metal Invader - 31.05.2011 at 15:32  
Written by GroundZero on 31.05.2011 at 06:00

Markus wrote some of the best songs in this album. He rarely write something, but he surprise us when doing it.

Helloween's member changing has been a big problem to the band. Since Kiske, who is an amazing singer, but he pretended to make of Helloween a pop rock band or something like that. I don't know why Gamma Ray, Avantasia and others continue inviting him to be part of the metal scene when he hates heavy metal.

Also, the Hansen's departure left a big gap in the band, he was an essential Helloween member.

With Deris the band started to raise again (musically talking), and Roland Grapow took a primordial role in the band as a player and songwriter, but when "The Dark Ride" appeared there was something (perhaps the darkness?) in the album that disagree to Weikath (the band leader) and he decided to fire Grapow and Kusch (Who wrote Escalation 666), leaving the band again in poor conditions.

Then, they launched first "Rabbit don't come Easy", later "Keeper Legacy" and finally "Gambling with the Devil", which are not very good albums and are comparable to Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon.

Finally, "7 Sinners", an excellent album, recall us why Helloween is one of the best power metal bands ever.

i agree with 7 sinners but i dont know who compares Gamling with Pink and Chameleon..i think that Gambling is much much much better then those 2 albums..even if you dont like it imo is not comparable with them..
GroundZero - 01.06.2011 at 06:17  
Written by Metal Invader on 31.05.2011 at 15:32

i agree with 7 sinners but i dont know who compares Gamling with Pink and Chameleon..i think that Gambling is much much much better then those 2 albums..even if you dont like it imo is not comparable with them..


To be honest with you I prefer "Chameleon" to "Gambling With The Devil". Although Chameleon is less heavy than Gambling, compositions from the former have more quality. Chameleon was out of context, and many people hated such an album for that reason.

Pink Bubbles Go Ape is almost the same as Gambling With The Devil, just 2 or 3 good songs can be picked out from them.
Metal Invader - 02.06.2011 at 12:57  
Must say that there is one song on Pink that i like and its The Chance..nothing else icluding hole Chameleon album(dont like that heavy/pop rock crap)..but Gambling i like cos its more speedy and power..well that is matter of taste and strange taste you have just kidding!:)

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