I have been a Helloween fan since the Keepers days. I have, for the most part, enjoyed all of their albums as they are my favorite band. However, my tastes often differ from other Helloween fans. My favorite three Helloween albums in order are Chameleon, Master of Rings, and The Dark Ride. What I like about these three albums are that they each take risks and expose different sides of Helloween other than the traditional approach that usually trademarks each album. So it is for that reason the new album, Gambling with the Devil, scores big with me.
Upon it’s first spin, Gambling sounds like a cross between the fast and heavy sound of Better Than Raw mixed with the dark, sonic vibe of The Dark Ride. However, there is even more depth to this album. Songs like Final Fortune and Fallen to Pieces sound like nothing Helloween has ever done, and they are the finest songs on the album. The opener, Kill It, certainly harkens back to the brilliant Push (from Better Than Raw), however, again it has way more depth and does not follow the typical Helloween structure, making it overall, a much better song than Push.
Gambling with the Devil may prove to be Helloween’s best album yet, or at least the best one with Deris. It is a flawless album with absolutely no filler. Having been somewhat dissapointed with the inconsistant Rabbit Don’t Come Easy and completely let down with The Legacy, Gambling with the Devil will restore fans’ faith in Helloween. The Germans once again prove they can move foward in 2007 and create something new and exciting without abandoning the principles that got them to where they are.