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Helloween - United Alive In Madrid review


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Band: Helloween
Album: United Alive In Madrid
Release date: October 2019

Disc I
01. Halloween
02. Dr. Stein
03. I'm Alive
04. If I Could Fly
05. Are You Metal?
06. Rise And Fall
07. Waiting For The Thunder
08. Perfect Gentleman
09. Kai's Medley (Starlight / Ride The Sky / Judas / Heavy Metal Is The Law)
10. Forever And One
11. A Tale That Wasn't Right

Disc II
01. I Can
02. Living Ain't No Crime / A Little Time
03. Sole Survivor
04. Power
05. How Many Tears
06. Invitation / Eagle Fly Free
07. Keeper Of The Seven Keys
08. Future World
09. I Want Out

Disc III [bonus]
01. March Of Time
02. Kids Of The Century
03. Why?
04. Pumpkins United

In 1984 in Hamburg, one of the most important European power metal bands was born. More than three decades later, egos were left aside and a 7-member line-up toured around the world in a live reunion that, until then, seemed to be a possibility only in Helloween fans' wettest dreams.

Live albums in general are lame for two main reasons: a) because the setlist is nearly impossible to please everyone, and b) because a live recording can never convey the magic of actually being at a live show. United Alive In Madrid features almost every track a Helloween fan would want on a live album, but it also manages to capture the atmosphere of what must have been an incredible experience. Unfortunately, I did not attend one of these shows, but listening to this album makes me think that I'd donate one of my kidneys to have been there.

United Alive In Madrid finds the current Helloween line-up on stage with the addition of Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen. While this reunion is a dream come true, I would have also liked Uli Kusch and especially Roland Grapow to have been there. In any case, the musicians that are on stage give their best performance on the songs that they were part of in the studio recordings but also on those that they weren't. It's great to listen to Andi singing Michael's parts and vice versa, as well as Kai enjoying not only the songs he wrote for Helloween but also the ones that were crafted after his departure. There is a sense of respect for each other's contribution in the band's legacy on United Alive In Madrid. There is great interplay between the two vocalists in particular, and they keep the crowd on fire throughout the whole set. The way the ballads "Forever And One" and "A Tale That Wasn't Right" are executed back to back showcases the perfect marriage between two very different and very talented vocalists.

The focus of the album's tracklist is mainly on the band's '80s era and quite rightly so. Helloween, Walls Of Jericho and the two Keeper albums are among the top releases in the history of the genre, but this does not mean that there aren't enough favourites from the Deris era. People may notice that albums like Pink Bubbles Go Ape and The Dark Ride are under-represented and others have been completely ignored, but I can't think of one Helloween fan complaining about the inclusion of any song on here (except maybe "Rise And Fall"?). The sequence of the tracks is also well thought, mixing nicely those that were first sang by Kiske with the post-1994 ones, and there is also a four-track medley sang by Kai on the first CD.

So, what do you need from a live album? An energetic and responsive crowd (✓), fantastic performances by all musicians involved (✓), and a stellar and cohesive tracklist (✓). It's all here, even the new track "Pumpkins United", which is closing the third (bonus) CD in a celebratory atmosphere. It may not be Helloween's best track but it is catchy and uplifting and does its job well in capturing the whole essence of this reunion. I only hope Ingo were somehow able to listen to this; or, even better, be a part of it.

"Here we are, here we go
Shout it out, let them know
We're a light in the dark
Pumpkins united we are"

Written on 09.11.2019 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 1   Visited by: 65 users
10.11.2019 - 12:29
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I never liked live albums, only live bonus songs on remaster CD... one day I listened all IM live albums and I get sick, lol
Only Iced earth alive in atenas can reach the level, now maybe this ----
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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