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Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★★
(20 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Tossing my horrible review title aside, this album is a great piece of power metal mastery. I know I’m only echoing other reviewers here when I say this album is incredible. The entire band is in top form here and every song is a classic. There are no dull moments at ALL in this album. My favorite track is of course the 13-minute epic “Halloween.” The double guitar tremolo melodies in this track keep me coming back for more. The remaster definitely sounds better than the previous release. If you already have that, then throw it in a dumpster or give it to a used CD store, because you won’t be needing it anymore.

    Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1 is Helloween’s greatest album and no metal fan should be without it. Be sure to check out Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys p. 1″ is considered one of Helloween’s best along with Part 2, and is often considered the birth of power metal or one of the key albums influential to the genre. Either way, this album is a real gem in metal.

    Out is Kai Hansen on vocals and enter Michael Kiske while Kai remains playing guitar and a key songwriter. Michael Kiske’s dynamic, powerful and soaring voice provided the prototype for power metal to follow, and his voice really shines on songs like “I’m Alive,” “A Little Time,” “Halloween” and the new version of “Victim of Fate.”

    The album kicks off after an intro to “I’m Alive” which is now a style we know as power metal – speed metal, catchy melodies, happy lyrics. It’s a really feel good song as well. Other happy songs either musically, lyrically or a combo of both include the fan favorite “Future World,” “Twilight of the Gods.” There are a couple of slower songs here and there as well with “A Little Time” (more midpaced), and the ballad “Tale that Wasn’t Right.” Of course, the epic “Halloween” which is the key song on this album written by master Kai Hansen himself. Epic songs, soaring vocals, lively production, melodic-yet-wild guitar solos? This album’s for you!

    Overall, grab this album if you’re a power metal fan, or even a metal fan in general.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When you hear the term “power metal”, or more specifically “European Power Metal”, Helloween has to be one of the first bands that come to mind, largely due to the impact of this particular album (and its companion piece Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II). Both albums completely reestablished both the band’s sound as well as the whole idea of what power metal was all about. This is due largely to Kai Hansen adopting a more epic approach to his songwriting (as opposed to the Judas Priest style thrashers on Walls of Jericho) as well as the addition of vocalist Michael Kiske, who brought a powerful yet melodic aspect to Helloween’s sound.

    I don’t think the impact of the Keeper albums can be overstated. In the 2 decades since they were originally released, their sound has been adopted, adapted, and flat out imitated by countless bands. Without Helloween, there would be no Blind Guardian, no Rhapsody, no Edguy, at least not as we now know them.

    That said, why on earth has it taken 20 freaking years to get remastered versions of the Keeper albums? In an age where even the most recent bands keep reissuing their albums, we had to go way to long without a sonically improved Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I. Well, Sanctuary finally got around to the job earlier this year, and they certainly did it right. In addition to digitally remastered sound (which is quite good despite what a previous reviewer would have you believe), you get 4 bonus tracks. The remixed/alternate/edited versions of existing songs don’t add much, but adding the b-side Victim of Fate was a nice touch. You also get expanded liner notes, photos, etc. plus a nifty slipcase for the disc.

    This is what a remastered version of a classic album is supposed to look and sound like. If you’re already a Helloween fan, it’s time to replace your old version. If you’re a power metal fan and for whatever reason haven’t heard Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I, you need to order this album now. It truly belongs in every power metal fan’s collection.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Helloween’s best album (together with part II) now EXPANDED, containing 3 must have Bonus Tracks and Remastered; providing an improved sound quality compared to the original release of 1987.

    By combining influences such as Iron Maiden, Queen, Judas Priest, Rainbow and Queensryche together with fast double bass drumming, higher pitched-melodic vocals, fabulous twin-guitar solos and catchy riffs, Helloween achieved to lay the foundations for European power metal, as it is known today.

    In Keeper Of The Seven Keys part I the band changed its sound, from the speed metal that dominated their debut album, to a much more melodic, technical and epic approach. The songs were still fast paced and heavy but contained catchy melodies, memorable choruses, outstanding vocals and evoked an uplifting feeling.

    But besides the captivating music, a new charismatic vocalist named “Michael Kiske” joins the band to take this album to the skies! Influenced by Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate; but equipped with more emotion and power, 18 year old Kiske makes this album a MUST HAVE for any metal and hard rock fan. (Kiske is still considered one of the best and most copied vocalists in the heavy metal genre)

    The album begins with an operatic marching type intro which successfully sets the mood of the album. The intro leads nicely into the fast paced and uplifting “I’m Alive”. The song carries an optimistic message and includes a memorable chorus, fast drumming, raving guitar solos and twin-guitar harmonies.

    The heavy “A Little Time” comes next with another catchy chorus and an addictive guitar riff, while the melodic mid range vocals in the verses sound really emotional and warm.

    The power ballad “A Tale that wasn’t Right” arrives to slow things down a bit. It’s strongest points are the truly emotional vocals and the wonderfully played guitar solo.

    “Twilight Of The Gods” continues in the same vain as I’m Alive but is more epic, contains more intense vocals and a chorus that you’ll never forget.

    The heavy metal anthem and most famous track “Future World” follows next. It is performed in mid-tempo, includes one of the best twin-guitar solos of the album, funny lyrics and vocals that vary from low range to really high-pitched.

    Next comes the true masterpiece of the album “Halloween”; an operatic, fast, progressive, melodic power metal hymn raving over 13 minutes (which never gets long nor tiresome). Halloween is probably one of the best metal epics ever. It contains an eerie chorus, tempo changes, varying vocals, choirs and hundreds of guitar riffs, leads and solos.

    All of these songs are still considered classics and are also some of the best power metal songs ever written.

    Bonus Tracks: “Victim Of Fate” and “Starlight” are two truly amazing renditions of older songs, originally from the Helloween EP, with Michael Kiske on vocals.

    Even if you are not a metal fan, this album will please you or even blow you away with the mythical and uplifting atmosphere it creates and the technically proficient orchestration it achieves.

    Will be loved by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Rainbow…fans. Just listen…you’ll be amazed!

    (Definitely check out Keeper Of The Seven Keys pt II!!)

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Looking at this as a fan of the album when it originally came it, it’s not bad. If you’re looking to check out Helloween for the first time, this is a great place.
    First of, a remaster of one of the best metal albums ever is always a good thing! The liner notes are great, reprinting the orginal album sleeve artwork and also offering an intereview with a member of the band.
    The bonus offerings, are not so bonus…
    If you own “The Best, The Rest, The Rare” you already have Victim of Fate.
    The Starlight remix is good.
    The alt version of A Little Time is not much different from the original, which I prefer.
    Still trying to figure out why they included the video edit version of Halloween. Having been listening to the 13 minute original version for over 15 years, this is just horrible. I’ve seen the video and understand they need to cut it down about 10 minutes but it just doesn’t work in that context. If you heard this without knowing it was an edited down version you’d wonder what the band was thinking.
    Overall, if you have this already you may want to skip over it. But if the original album artwork and remastering are your thing, then check it out.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now