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Helloween - My God-Given Right review



Reviewer:
6.5

309 users:
7.35
Band: Helloween
Album: My God-Given Right
Release date: May 2015


01. Heroes
02. Battle's Won
03. My God-Given Right
04. Stay Crazy
05. Lost In America
06. Russian Roulé
07. The Swing Of A Fallen World
08. Like Everybody Else
09. Creatures In Heaven
10. If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll
11. Living On The Edge
12. Claws
13. You, Still Of War
14. I Wish I Were There [bonus]
15. Wicked Game [bonus]
16. Free World [bonus]
17. Nightmare [bonus]
18. More Than A Lifetime [bonus]


All-told, I guess I can count myself pretty darn fortunate to have gotten my hands on the new Helloween prior to its release, so I could dribble out a few choice zingers on the internet for total strangers to read as if I know something they don't (even if I wound up sitting on my adipose sarcophagus watching Parks & Rec all day and had to wait until after the release date to listen to it like a regular chump-asaurus). I just wish this had happened two, five, or possibly 28 years ago.

It's by no means a disaster on the level of a certain 2004 Roland Emmerich film (which will remain nameless and stupid) from which the cover art takes inspiration, but watching My God-Given Right waltz down the red carpet in the wake of Straight Out Of Hell, 7 Sinners, Gambling With The Devil, etc. requires a period of adjustment. It becomes easier to process after adequate fermentation, like most albums, but something about this still feels threadbare and disappointing. My first taste of the album came from the strangely-cheery "Battle's Won," which strikes me as the most lukewarm and inoffensive single Helloween has had in years. The song came so close to success, too; that perfectly uncomfortable chord on which "all foes defeated, done" and "victor to the core" land ferociously curb-stomps any chances this song had of growing on me. The great bluegrass guitarist and luthier Wayne Henderson once said, "There's no such thing as a bad note. But that there was a bad selection of notes."

Helloween can usually be compared to a cheeseburger. The Deris-era maturity, seasoned artfully with darkness and a powerful bite, serves as the succulent beef; the humor, the friendlier and more intentional light-heartedness, forms the bun. The cheese is the cheese. Typical Helloween albums strike an adequate balance between the three and wind up being delicious. My God-Given Right largely forgoes the interesting part and leaves you with a soggy bit of bread and melted cheese all over your hands, trying to feel around under the table for the actual burger before the dog gets it while also trying not to get cheese everywhere. In layman's terms, its bark is worse than its bite; it lacks a truly powerful and impressive something that Helloween can so often lay down. Its best moments are comparable to the weaker songs from the last several albums, while at worst it scrapes an all-too-familiar barrel of hard rock/power pop/flowery accentuations.

The key to enjoying My God-Given Right is properly negotiating the nature of the album you're getting. I've had half of Straight Out Of Hell and the original Keeper duology on heavy rotation these last few weeks - not in preparation for this, but by pure happenstance - and that definitely colored my reception in a somewhat more negative fashion. My God-Given Right sounds tamer and warmer, embracing the less adventurous aspects while shying away from anything too violent, explosive, or magnificent. Songs like "Lost In America," "Claws," and the bombastic finisher "You, Still Of War" definitely save the album from a life of mediocrity, but it won't soon be remembered in the same breath as its predecessors.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 7





Written on 31.05.2015 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 388 users
31.05.2015 - 12:08
Nihil Aeternum

Very good review. I will sell my CD as long as I still get something for it.
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31.05.2015 - 12:53
Lokaeda
Account deleted
Another cheap 3D-guys album cover -_- Bands should understand that if you want something with 3D characters you should either put a real budget in it, or stick with a drawing/painting.
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31.05.2015 - 13:24
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Originality 5 , I would give 6, because last 2 they have some kind, more as whole 90's list. IMO from samples and songs I know its good, Lost in America is great song might be best, if it would be written in 80's its bbe over kulted (if such fraise exist) status. Now its just powerful kick ass song what needs proper video, directed by me
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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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31.05.2015 - 15:56
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
I think I like it more than the last 2 albums.
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31.05.2015 - 16:08
musicalkaratekid

Not expecting this to be any better than the band's last few albums (the last truly great album Helloween did for me was The Dark Ride), but I'll still give it a spin seeing as I've still got a soft spot for the band.
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31.05.2015 - 16:52
Metal Invader

Written by Belegûr on 31.05.2015 at 15:56

I think I like it more than the last 2 albums.

Me too,but i didnt like it that much after First listening..after 3.or 4.and now i like it more (maybe cos its fresh ) then last two albums and imo have more good songs!
And bonus tracks "Free World","Wicked Game" and "Nightmare" are just great imo!
Two others are shit
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31.05.2015 - 21:22
Nicko's Nose

I think it's much better than Straight Out of Hell. I would give SOOH a 2 for originality.
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31.05.2015 - 22:24
Skoda

I agree with this review, though I found the pre-chorus in "You, Still of War" way too happy-sounding and the chorus itself to completely throw the song out of whack. I did find "Heroes" and "Creatures in Heaven" to be choice cuts, but a lot of the album just plays it too safe; and when they try to do something out of the ordinary, it comes across as a little forced, like the chorus of the aformentioned "You, Still of War". Completely kills the song's energy. Easily their weakest since Rabbits, if you pretend Unarmed doesn't exist like I do.

Also, I miss the days when they actually had cool album art. Remember how awesome the Time of the Oath and Better Than Raw looked?
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Sleeping on his laurels.
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01.06.2015 - 19:28
D.T. Metal
Admin
Written by deadone on 01.06.2015 at 02:19

I'd give originality a 2 from the 3 songs I've heard - they're so famiiar sounding and completely uninispiring.

the real question here: what IS originality based on? Originality to the genre? Originality of the music? Well, it's Helloween, what does one really expect? And as you said, the sound is familiar.
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01.06.2015 - 20:41
Nihil Aeternum

Written by D.T. Metal on 01.06.2015 at 19:28

Written by deadone on 01.06.2015 at 02:19

I'd give originality a 2 from the 3 songs I've heard - they're so famiiar sounding and completely uninispiring.

the real question here: what IS originality based on? Originality to the genre? Originality of the music? Well, it's Helloween, what does one really expect? And as you said, the sound is familiar.


An objective measure would be the difference to the most similar album that was ever released. But I have no idea of how this could be "measured". For me, personally, it's the difference to the most similar album that I have in my collection and the reason to buy the new album. I don't care about originality, however, if an album is just not good.
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02.06.2015 - 09:22
slim pickings
Account deleted
It's an ok album, at least I find it better than Straight Out of Hell which was a big disappointment for me.
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03.06.2015 - 02:59
Troutface Killah

I like it. I think it's classic Helloween being classic Helloween. I believe some of these songs would be right at home on "The Dark Ride". Of course I do agree it sounds a lot like the last few albums, and to Helloween fans that's not a bad thing. Some bands today who dramatically change their sound end up seriously alienating most of their fans, <cough>...Opeth...<cough> and Helloween feels they owe more their fans than that.

I'm definitely a big Helloween fan, but not to the point where I think they can do no wrong (Pink Bubbles Go Ape / Chameleon anyone?) I just don't think they did wrong this time.

BTW, ScreamingSteelUS, I am still a fan of your reviews. I usually agree with you at least 75% just not this time. This one was a little harsh...but keep doing what you do man, I value your opinion because you are a pro and never come across like you believe your opinion to be the word of God, or sound like a hateful holier-than-thou fuckface who desperately needs a solid thrashing.
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03.06.2015 - 07:58
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Troutface Killah on 03.06.2015 at 02:59

BTW, ScreamingSteelUS, I am still a fan of your reviews. I usually agree with you at least 75% just not this time. This one was a little harsh...but keep doing what you do man, I value your opinion because you are a pro and never come across like you believe your opinion to be the word of God, or sound like a hateful holier-than-thou fuckface who desperately needs a solid thrashing.

Well, this is some of the highest praise I have ever received, and I really appreciate it. Thank you for saying so. I agree that I was a bit harsh here, which I think is partly because I enjoyed their last few so much and this one seemed that much worse by comparison; I've also been pretty pressed for time lately, so I didn't have the opportunity to let it sit and settle in my brain. Usually that helps to get a more accurate and lasting reading. Either way there are some good songs and some not-so-good ones on here, so I'll keep returning to it at least in fragments.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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03.06.2015 - 11:53
lightndw

I agree that straight out of hell might be Helloween's worst album. This is one is better in every aspect.
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09.06.2015 - 14:14
Pelcu

To keep consistency all new Helloween albums should be always published in October/November, October 31st or November 1st - the best. Not in Summer time what took out some very important Helloween's flavor.
And about the album itself... I'm not sure it's better than Straight Out From Hell. For me they are equal like been written during same music session. One thing is better on Stright Out - track Nabataea Something like that is missing on My God-Given Right.
Best Helloween album last years for me is for sure 7 sinners... Harder, heavier and more musically differentiate than Stright Out or My God-Given. Both sounds a bit too light for me.
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Don't look for solution - look for EXIT!
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05.07.2015 - 02:39
lemme

Too high note in my opinion. Low quality melodies (except 'Lost in America') plus shitty pumpkin in logo (cover was mentioned above).

My overall note would be nothing more than 4,5. This band is lost (not in America) for me.
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11.09.2015 - 18:52
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
"all foes defeated, done"

I love this part of the review, every time that note appears I just think it's completely wrong and sounds so off.
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14.10.2016 - 19:33
IcePickLodger

While Battle's Won, Russian Roulé and Claw are really mediocre/boring, the rest is pretty cool, especially the bonus tracks are outstanding...IMHO this is the best pumpkin album of the last decade!
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