Oh power metal, the genre every metalhead should have some kind of spot in their heart for. To be honest, I’m not the biggest power metal nerd in the world, but for those who play it right, I’m down for all the cheddar I can get. I love the cheese! One such legendary act from Germany has always intrigued me, and they go by the name of HELLOWEEN. Kids, please listen. If you like Dragonforce, please do your homework and check out the HELLOWEEN discography. HELLOWEEN has all the necessary shred, and they’ve always expanded their sound and pushed the boundaries in some quite mysterious ways, unlike Dragonforce, who has a one dimensional sound focused on guitar soloing. With how much beauty and aesthetics HELLOWEEN puts into their music, there is one word that does sum up this band, and that word is EPIC! And man oh man, their latest album, 7 Sinners, out via The End Records, is EPIC, and easily some of their best work to date!
7 Sinners opens up with “Where The Sinners Go”, and HELLOWEEN lets you know that this is going to be a metal album. Plenty of distortion, plenty of low end, and plenty of sing-a-long hooks build this beast of a song up. “Where The Sinners Go” is more of a traditional heavy metal song, but the ever evolving HELLOWEEN has plenty of tricks up their sleeve still…
“Long Live The King” is straight up melodic speed metal at its near best. Original guitarist and mastermind Michael Weikath is brilliant, as is his shredding partner in crime, Sascha Gerstner. The riffs in “Long Live The King” are absolutely killer, and hearing how fast they are playing, it was very incredible when I read that HELLOWEEN recorded this whole album without a click track! The vocal layers are absolutely incredible, and you will end up singing along, trust me. I love hearing HELLOWEEN with that aggressive approach, and “Long Live The King” is quite the juggernaut. Long live the kings of power metal, HELLOWEEN.
Plenty of other songs on 7 Sinners are hybrids of the traditional power / heavy metal sound, and the speed / thrash sound. “Raise The Noise” is a loud one with plenty of energy and authority, and the chords and progression in “World Of Fantasy” are enough to make any power metal nerd beyond satisfied. And hold up, was that a recorder (yeah, that flute-looking instrument) solo I heard in “World Of Fantasy”? “Who Is Mr. Madman?” could quite possibly be HELLOWEEN at their catchiest on 7 Sinners, and vocalist Andi Deris demands your involvement. What an anthem! Those who love the more experimental side of HELLOWEEN are going to dig “The Smile Of The Sun”. The keyboard is great, and if you’re looking for that power metal ballad with some interesting twists and turns in its concept, “The Smile Of The Sun” is your song, clocking in at 4:37 of epicness. Every second of its novelty is going to put you in a good metal mood. I’m still not done writing with my virtual pen. The symphonic driven “My Sacrifice” is a goliath of a song, and the band keys you in that the Mozart of metal has arrived. Its fast, fired up with alternate picking, guitar solos galore, a veeeery catchy chorus, and that spooky sound that HELLOWEEN does so well. There’s plenty of suspense building up in “My Sacrifice”, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this song becomes a fan favorite. I’ve used the word epic quite a bit I know, but daaaamn, man, this is an absolutely epic song made by the champions! “My Sacrifice” is my favorite song on 7 Sinners, but it’s so hard to say because this whole album is absolutely killer from start to finish. Go buy it now!
Overall, HELLOWEEN is impressive like always. Since the band’s initiation in 1984, who would have thought that 25+ years later they continue to grow and expand? 7 Sinners is easily some of their heaviest and best work to date, and with horns raised, any HELLOWEEN fan and enthusiast of metal is going to fall in love! 7 Sinners plays out as a classic HELLOWEEN album, and the band is still the best power metal band the world has seen.