Rating:
8.8
Helloween - Gambling With The Devil
31 October 2007


Disc I
01. Crack The Riddle (Intro)
02. Kill It
03. The Saints
04. As Long As I Fall
05. Paint A New World
06. Final Fortune
07. The Bells Of The Seven Hells
08. Fallen To Pieces
09. I.M.E.
10. Can Do It
11. Dreambound
12. Heaven Tells No Lies
13. We Unite [Japanese Bonus bonus]

Disc II [2008 Bonus CD with Enhanced Videos]
01. Never Surrender
02. Revolution
03. Run
+ Mrs. God [video]
+ Light The Universe [video]
+ As Long As I Fall [video]
+ Paint A New World [video]

Disc III [Ltd. digipack only]
01. Find My Freedom
02. See The Night
+ As Long As I Fall [video]
+ Making Of... [video]

Disc IV [Special Edition]
01. Find My Freedom [European Edition bonus]
02. See the Night
03. Never Surrender [USA Tour Special Edition bonus]
04. As Long As I Fall [demo] [Japanese Edition bonus]
05. As Long As I Fall [Enhanced Video]
06. Trailer [Enhanced]


Finally I have in my hand the new album of the kings of Power Metal, Helloween! After a really good Keeper III, the Germans are back with their new album which will confirm one more time that a band which is alive since the beginning of the 80s is not still here for nothing. "Gambling With The Devil" is in my opinion a great album of Power Metal, not comparable to the two first Keepers albums but at the top of the list of all the productions of the German combo. Helloween still know what good Metal is!

On a side, "Gambling With The Devil" is a really predictable album. It's classic Helloween music, I mean that all the songs are pure German Power Metal with the Helloween touches, big riffs plus really catchy melodies in addition to the high pitched vocals of Andi Deris. That's right Helloween didn't write anything surprising here and actually, "Gambling With The Devil" follows the road that band took with their last album. On the other hand, the album is really homogeneous and all the songs are really good but also really dark (don't expect any "happy" Power here, except maybe for some choruses). I didn't find anything in the vein of a "Mrs. God" for example all the tracks of "Gambling With The Devil" are direct, catchy of course, but not so easy and this album is in my opinion one of the most complex releases of the combo. Don't worry I'm not meaning that it will be hard to listen to it, it's still Power Metal and not Prog but I cannot say that we have a lot of really commercial choruses on the new Helloween album. Also, the songs are deep, long in general and I like the fact that we have some real complex structures in this album. Without forgetting its roots, Helloween has released this year an album which is not so easy and that's a good thing. On the other hand, don't expect any mega-hits on the new CD. As I said just above, "Gambling With The Devil" is full of good songs and that's a homogeneous album without any letdown but without anything that we can compare to the jewels which are "I Want Out" (of course…) or even "The Invisible Man". Same with the unique ballad of the album "Fallen To Pieces" which is a good song but not as good (in the style of course) as an "If I Could Fly".

"Gambling With The Devil" is really well produced and the performances of all the musicians, especially Andi Deris who is perfect here, are really honorable. The sound is excellent (as always with the Germans) and we even have an introduction where Mr Biff Byford read a little text (too bad that we don't have a real duet between the two singers…). On the other hand, the cover is horrible and reminds me the terrible 3D cover of Iron Maiden's "Dance of Death". I hope that the bands will stop to use such kind of 3D drawings, they're terrible and just don't have any charm…

The new Helloween is a great album. If you like to listen to Power Metal, this is a must of course. Ok, I'm already hearing the ones who will say that it's not their best album that Keeper I and II are untouchable… they're just right! But "Gambling With The Devil" is a great album of Power Metal and I'm happy to see that the band is still able to write such kind of music. Too bad that we didn't have any real hits on this CD (except maybe "Paint A New World"?) but all in all but at least it's not a commercial and poppy/radio album, and you all know like me that the band is able to release such kind of music too… Twenty years after their first full length album, Helloween is still a leader of the Metal scene and that's the mark of the kings. Don't miss this album if you pretend to like Helloween!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Helloween
Album: Gambling With The Devil


 


written by Jeff | 03.11.2007



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Baz Anderson - 03.11.2007 at 03:06  
yes!!! this is Helloween at their best. this is the best album of the year and maybe the best album that has been released in the past few years. certainly one of the best Helloween album, in some ways I could even say that this is my favourite Helloween album they have ever done

the album is full of great tracks, both you and Cyrille say that there are no standout tracks on it but come on!! "Paint A New World" is one of the best songs they have ever recorded, what an amazing song!! they sound so heavy, also very catchy of course but the main point about this album is how natural they all sound together now. also the lyrics on this album are different to the usual Helloween - here we have cynical, almost political lyrics that leave you to make your own conclusions.

you know, when the last album came out "Keeper... The Legacy" I was so happy, I thought it was a great album, but compared to this I don't think I am going to be listening to "The Legacy" very much at all. the tracks flow very well here, it doesn't sound forced at all wheras the last album did - this was probably due to the fact they had a new drummer and were all adjusing once more. I am sure if any one of these tracks were to appear on the last album, it would have been one of the highlights

I can't tell you how happy I am that this album is such a masterpiece - I didn't want to have to have to make an effort to like it, the quality of the album speaks for itself
wrathchild - 03.11.2007 at 15:41  
Hum, so I have listened to ti once again, the first and only time so far was during the listening session where - paradoxically - I wasn't able to listen to it in good conditions.

Now I can identify more clearly what makes this album NOT a masterpiece to me: the production. It's great, no doubt, but it's like everything is set to 100% while some passages would require something softer, more intimater. Instead we've got the homogeneous aspect Jeff wrote about. It's a good thing but they've gone too far so all the differences between the songs are erased. Apart from the intros.

That feeling is also powered by the fact all choruses are sung the same way, which is boring after a few songs.

A solid and very enjoyable power metal album (and a very Andi Deris era Helloween album) as I said earlier, yet not a masterpiece. I like it, it will probably be a good reason not to miss them on tour (well, as if Gamma Ray and Axxis wre not enough lol) though I hope they don't play The Saints (the closest to a fast and boring power metal song on the album).



PS: I disagree with Jeff: "If I could Fly" has to be the worst Helloween song ever. It's a great song but totally out of place in the band's discography.
iaberis - 03.11.2007 at 17:32  
I thought Baz was going to write this!
Anyway, I think it's a great album; I've already ordered the limited edition.
I'll come back with my comments when I get it
jacut - 03.11.2007 at 17:42  
Strange, unlike you "Fallen to pieces" is my favourite song on the album along with "The Saints"... I don't like this album so much anyway, it's at the same level of "Rabbit don't come easy" but very far from "Keeper Of The Seven Keys Legacy" or "Better than Raw for me". I don't really see how this can be one of the best Helloween albums so far, it's pretty average in my opinion. And I bet that all those who love "Gambling with the devil" will totally change their minds after listening just once to the new Gamma Ray "Land Of The Free II", THIS is true power metal and probably the best power album of the decade (and without a doubt the best Gamma Ray album ever!).
MrEddieG - 03.11.2007 at 19:44  
This album is great without a doubt and clearly deserves a good rating, 8.4. One of the songs in the album, The Saints, is good but I just got tired of it and really drags along after sometime but almost all the songs in the album are very well put together and Deris' voice sounds phenomenal here-compared to other albums. As far as "Land of the Free II" I am still waiting for the album to come out and see what Hansen has dished out for us this time, I hope the album is as good as Jacut saids. I think No World Order is their greatest album yet.
jupitreas - 04.11.2007 at 00:19  
Hmm, the atrocious cover alone would scare me away immediately but I guess if so many of you are praising this album I might give it a try. Definitely not my cup of tea but u gotta be open minded, no?
selken - 05.11.2007 at 14:59  
totally agree: there's nothing original in this album but all is listenable and well performed, fair rating.
4look4rd - 09.11.2007 at 19:55  
Great review, I really cant wait to get my hands in this album. Lot of people are saying that its really good, but as you said no super hits (like Symphony X's new album xD)
Dowi - 09.11.2007 at 20:50  
Yeah, not a masterpiece actually, it's an average power metal album, it was hard to listen for me, anyway, I'll have to listen to it again, maybe I wasn't paying much attention, but when "kill it" was playing I thought "Give me a break...it is Push in a slower tempo"???
Spyroid - 12.11.2007 at 23:29  
It reminds me a lot of Better than Raw, even the cover art does. It's an album full of great songs but still it lacks some soul, I would've liked another couple of catchy choruses and also a funny touch wouldn't hurt. Great performances, awesome guitar solos (best solos in any Deris album).
One thing made me react though:
"but all in all but at least it's not a commercial and poppy/radio album, and you all know like me that the band is able to release such kind of music too… ", ehm sorry? has any power metal band ever had their songs played on MTV, NRJ or stuff like that? Don't think so. And Helloween is not an exception.
Of course pop\rock albums might be commercial in one way, but so may power metal albums be, right? Commercial is not equal to "music that will be played on MTV".
Rusher - 13.11.2007 at 19:53  
I'm on my way to buy it in the store in a few minutes from now, can't wait until I get home and put it on the system to listen for the 1st time! Everyone is saying this album is one of their best!!

Marcel Hubregtse - 13.11.2007 at 19:55  
Written by Spyroid on 12.11.2007 at 23:29


"but all in all but at least it's not a commercial and poppy/radio album, and you all know like me that the band is able to release such kind of music too… ", ehm sorry? has any power metal band ever had their songs played on MTV, NRJ or stuff like that? Don't think so.


Ahum, yes, quite a lot of power metal bands have had their songs played on MTV.
Spyroid - 13.11.2007 at 21:23  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.11.2007 at 19:55

Written by Spyroid on 12.11.2007 at 23:29


"but all in all but at least it's not a commercial and poppy/radio album, and you all know like me that the band is able to release such kind of music too… ", ehm sorry? has any power metal band ever had their songs played on MTV, NRJ or stuff like that? Don't think so.


Ahum, yes, quite a lot of power metal bands have had their songs played on MTV.


Well, on headbangers ball and stuff like that maybe. (I don't know, I have never watched it). My point is that power metal is never commercial in a way that it appeals to the masses - even ballads. The genre is simply too nisched. Metallica would be able to make a globaly commercial song, that would, for example, hit number 1 on several sales top lists in the world. But it's only because they've got a name which is big enough. No power metal band has.

On the other hand, (to continue my point), power metal bands can make commercial albums in a way that appeals to more power metal\metal fans (Jeff was talking about radio friendly songs though). For example - Angra plays a pretty complex and nisched power metal compared to Edguy - if they cut away all their progressive and folk influenses and made a masterpiece of pure power metal they would probably sell more albums (not necesarily but in most examples probably). In that way Angra would have made a commercial turn.
Helloween surely has never done any commercial turns like that.
iaberis - 17.11.2007 at 23:55  
So, now that I bought the Limited Edition, I can say the album is really good.
9 by me. The artwork sucks major ass, as most artoworks of 3D animation, but the music is really good. I can say I meet no filler tracks and even the bonus disc was amazing. Recommended!
Probably their 4th best so far, after their first 3 albums...
BORT - 19.11.2007 at 08:20  
This album is pretty good. I think the single "As Long As I Fall" is the worst song on this album, so expect more if you buy this album.
Metalbound7 - 21.01.2008 at 22:58  
what the fuck happen with the cover man? looks like shit, and the intro is kindda stupid too. But anyway, i think is a good album, nothing to get exited about, but it wont let you down either. for me the best song of the album is "paint a new world". and i think that the riffs are great. and im agree whit you man, Andi Deris is just great in this album.
floydiac - 07.06.2008 at 02:30  
This album took a while to grow on me. I didn't like it much at first, but now I have listened more...

It has a couple of weak tracks, such as Can Do It, but I think it is a spectacular return to form after the more proggy Keeper: The Legacy of 2005. Particularly with the return of more speed metal orientated songs.

I actually quite like the artwork...

As for Gamma Ray...I found LOTFII to be quite weak, myself...well composed on the most part though.
Ag Fox - 05.04.2009 at 00:30  
Written by Baz Anderson on 03.11.2007 at 03:06

"Keeper... The Legacy" I was so happy, I thought it was a great album, but compared to this I don't think I am going to be listening to "The Legacy" very much at all. the tracks flow very well here, it doesn't sound forced at all wheras the last album did... I didn't want to have to have to make an effort to like it, the quality of the album speaks for itself
Totally agree with this. Thanks for putting in text of what I was thinking but not quite being able to pinpoint it
TheHumanMachine - 01.09.2009 at 02:59  
I think this cd is completely amazing, it´s direct and easy to listen to as iqual as the last one of gamma ray. The direction they are following i believe is property and well inspired. The topic of ¨gambling¨ is interesting and i ask myself why they didn´t release an special edition includings cards. Take a look at the backward part of the case cd!! it would be great some cards with those pictures and with all the keeper of the seven keys stuff pictures. XD it sounds estrange but i think it would be a good idea after all. well nothing more to say: good review.
JÄY - 12.01.2010 at 20:30  
I cant believe this is only rated an 8.1 on metalstorm, right now.....best album since keepers, i think
Nyoink - 02.05.2010 at 23:14  
Pretty good album, not like keepers of course, but it has lots of potential. I was bored to hear the songs at first, but after 3 or 4 months, i have understood the value of this album. Heaven tells no lies has to be my fave song there.

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