Helloween - Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary review


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Band: Helloween
Album: Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary
Release date: 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

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.

Firstly, the good points. Deris does a pretty good job, considering he is singing over material that doesn't normally suit his voice. Also, all of the songs are well re-imagined, in that they are noticeably different from their originals, but are still recognisable as the original songs. One danger of re-imagining a song is that it is possible to get so engrossed in the changes that you forget to make the original recognisable under the changes; on the whole, Helloween manage to avoid this trap. Also, some of the tracks come pretty close to outdoing the originals: "Perfect Gentleman" suits the re-imagining so well that I would personally argue it should be the version Helloween should perform live. Similarly, "Dr Stein" sounds fantastic and "A Tale That Wasn't Right" takes the emotional undertone of the original and ramps it up perfectly. "The Keepers Trilogy", despite being a bit too long for my liking, is also worth a listen if you want to hear the awesomeness of "Halloween", "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" and "The King For A 1000 Years" all in one place.

However, I have to admit that there are some serious flaws with this album. Firstly, "I Want Out". It's not the worst song I've ever heard, but it sure as hell is one of the worst Helloween songs I've ever heard. Credit for trying, but that really doesn't need kids singing along to it. Secondly, Dani Loble doesn't really get a chance to shine on this album. He's probably my favourite drummer, but you could have replaced him with any other drummer on this record, that's how unimpressive he sounds here. Otherwise, it mostly stays politely indifferent across the whole album, which might be worse than just being bad, depending on how cynical you are. The production isn't bad, but it doesn't really fit this style that well.

All told, if you don't mind acoustic versions of power metal tracks, this is worth a listen. Otherwise, this will probably be better ignored in favour of 7 Sinners (or, hell, any other Helloween album you've not got around to purchasing).

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by Nemo Atkins | 09.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Baz Anderson
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.

published 23.02.2010 | Comments (36)


Comments: 3   Visited by: 52 users
09.01.2013 - 18:53
Mountain King
K i K o
The best track is "Where The Rain Grows", better than the original...
11.01.2013 - 01:19
I have this album categorized under the genre of "Shit" in my media libray. However, I completely agree with "7 Sinners" being one of - if not the - best album by this band. Its mindblowing!!!
13.01.2013 - 17:09
I think it's a nice album if you are a helloween fan, as I am. But not recomended for the rest of the people. There are songs that it's really cool to hear that way when you are familiar with them, others...well, i am afraid you are right about I want out.

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