Metal Life Album Review: HELLOWEEN – My God Given Right
The German power metal ensemble is on the fifteenth leg of their heavy metal marathon with the recent release of My God Given Right. Though the album title sounds like it embraces the entitled tendencies of our modern society, its contents are anything but pretentious. It is a bountiful collection of bouncy ditties enlaced with metallic riffage, choral harmonies, and a spirit of vitality that has been long lost amidst an age that still finds it cool to be as brutal and fast and savage as possible.
Helloween celebrates their 30th anniversary with playful sculpts of the plain Jane “verse-chorus-verse” structure that turn into compelling and heart-warming anthems such as “Heroes” and the title track. “Stay Crazy” takes on the party spirit made infamous by glam metal but with a more intelligent approach a-la Hardcore Superstar. From the cheesy operatic chorus of “Lost in America” to the endlessly fun rhythmic teases and flirtatious growls of “Russian Roulé,” the band has never seemed happier to be alive. I haven’t been more captivated by a Helloween album since Keeper of the Seven Keys.
The Captain of Guitars and the Major of Strings are also at creative highs on this album. The twin guitar collaborations on “Battles Won” and the seamless solo work of “Heroes” are both uniquely hypnotic. The Opeth-like marches of “Swing of a Fallen World” take the composition to a darker place before ambushing you with blistering solos. Andi Deris’s vocal range never quits, composing a new inflection at least every other song. The closing track “You, Still of War,” sounds like the brain-child of a young Queen and Iron Maiden project on all fronts.
Of course this album will sound like bubblegum pop in comparison to the newest Cannibal Corpse, Skinless, or even Paradise Lost records. I’ll admit, even with how much fun I had listening to this album, that thirteen songs of cheesy lyrics and power riffs laced with highly caffeinated ecstasy may wear you down quickly. This album is still worth a listen for its uplifting messages and its artistic varieties that imply Helloween has no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Editor’s Note: While the editor enjoyed this album, My God Given Right is missing that certain special something that most previous HELLOWEEN albums contained. The editor was sadden to not find the “stand out” gem on this album. No one track made a huge impact. A good album for fans of HELLOWEEN, but not one of their best…