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Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2

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No Description AvailableNo Track Information AvailableMedia Type: CDArtist: HELLOWEENTitle: KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS PT. 2Street Release Date: 08/08/2006<Domestic or Import: DomesticGenre: HEAVY METAL

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  • The second part of the groundbreaking Keeper Of The Seven Keys! Now EXPANDED, containing 3 must-have Bonus Tracks and Remastered, providing an improved sound quality to the original release of 1988.

    To be fair (without being influenced by the love and respect I have for this album) PartII wasn’t as good as the first one, but it came pretty close and was also longer in length. Nevertheless, Keeper II is a record containing some of the most known power metal songs ever! The album continues with the same energy and atmosphere as PartI but with the majority of the songwriting coming from guitarist Weikath and a slightly more commercial feel. All in all a wonderful conclusion to the first part.

    “Eagle Fly Free” is considered to be the best power metal song ever written. It is a fast paced number with thundering drums and comprises of dual guitar solos, melodic vocals and both a bass and a drum solo. “Dr. Stein” is a wonderful, melodic, funny (lyrics) and catchy heavy metal song. “March Of Time” is a technical, melodic and strong speed metal tune with an addictive and epic chorus. “I Want Out” is a catchy heavy metal song with a strong chorus that fulfills its purpose. “We Got The Right” is a strong power-ballad where Michael Kiske shines the most, delivering a breathtaking performance filled with melodic and high-pitched vocals.

    The progressive title track is a musical journey into a fantasy world and a battle between good and evil. A balladry intro, a melodic chorus, many guitar solos, tempo changes, brilliant twin-guitar passages, one of Kiske’s most varying and powerful vocal performances and an epic ending round off this 13 and a half minute song. Overall Keeper has some magnificent ideas but it sadly can’t surpass the masterpiece “Halloween” from the previous album. “Save Us” is the perfect speed metal closer with some amazing guitar solos, intense drumming and an excellent Michael Kiske.

    Bonus Tracks “Livin Ain’t No Crime” and “Savage” are the best of the bunch. The first is a catchy and optimistic melodic metal tune and the second follows a thrash metal approach and is the fastest track on the album.

    Musically the album is characterized by mid-tempo and fast double-bass drumming, melodic and speed metal riffs, mindblowing guitar solos, excellent bass lines and outstanding vocals.

    The production is slightly better than the first part, as the album sounds tighter and kind of clearer. The band sounds a bit tighter too compared to their previous release. Michael Kiske has surely glued in the band and his charismatic voice gives you the chills throughout the whole album (he sings higher than ever, hitting all possible notes with great precision)!

    The only minor drawbacks are the track “Rise and Fall” which cannot by any means be considered a bad song, but doesn’t seem to fit here…and the fact that most of the song writing was done by Michael Weikath, who is an exceptional songwriter and guitarist but not as good as Kai Hansen.

    This is a classic and groundbreaking record in the history shelves of metal, together with part I. A source of inspiration and influence to countless bands to follow. This is also the last chapter in the Hansen – Helloween (80’s) glorious era, from where onwards the band went downhill (in my opinion).

    A MUST HAVE for any power/speed,heavy metal and open-minded hard rock fan.

    (Be sure to check out “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I” and “I Want Out: Live”)

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Quality-wise, this album is the best studio album in my life. ‘Eagle Fly Free,’ ‘Rise and Fall,’ ‘Dr. Stein,’ ‘We Got the Right,’ ‘March of Time,’ ‘I Want Out,’ ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ are all great songs. The best melodic metal album.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Helloween may have started the power metal thing with “Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt1″ after they began including more melody and “epicness” after “Walls of Jericho” but they perfected it with “Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt 2″ – this thing is flawless power metal from start to finish. Many bands would follow in Helloween’s footsteps following this album and this is where the power metal really began. “Eagle Fly Free” is a speed metal track with a very catchy chorus, trade-off shred guitar solos, a bass solo (!), and even a little drum solo as well! Michael Kiske’s vocals soar here like an eagle, but then again there’s not a moment on this album that doesn’t happen. “March of Time” is a personal favorite in the power metal genre – the song is simply about “time” but they make it so epic and that chorus just gives me chills up and down my spine listening to it – it’s just that powerful melody that Helloween is so good at creating, it’s just epic from start to finish. I think Kiske’s voice shines the best here, and it’s probably one of the fastest tracks on the album. “I Want Out” is Helloween’s well known song, not really a power metal track, but it has Helloween’s traits of dual lead guitar lines and guitar solos, along with Kiske’s vocals. “Keeper of the Seven Keys” is a gem in the power metal genre as well – the 13 minute epic track starts off slow before gradually speeding up with it’s progressive-like song structure. The chorus is very melodic, heroic, slow but still powerful. The best part is the guitar solos – they are everywhere in the middle of the song, and the speed metal part of the song is where the climax is! After that, the song finishes with a final chorus that brings the heart pounding action to a close. “Save Us” is a typical Helloween speed metal track with the well known band-”chorus” that raises hands and pumps fists.
    Helloween’s “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” brought the band into new heights and notice, and brought out power metal to the masses. If you are a fan of power metal, you’re incomplete without this album as it is essential.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I still find myself thrashing out to Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 (and Part 1, natch). The Seven Keys albums are two of the all-time progressive metal greats. Bands are still trying to recreate the genius of this era, but I can’t seem to find anything that lives up to it. Just goes to show that you have to keep moving forward, not back.

    There isn’t a single weak track on either of these albums. I should probably point out some highlights, though. Dr. Stein is silly, but classic Helloween. Much as I enjoy the song, I tend toward the songs that peel paint off your walls. I find myself continually looping Eagle Fly Free, with it’s soaring chorus and driving, relentless drumming. I Want Out is equally inspiring and anthemic. Though the track ordering is different than the original release (the version I have–yes, I want to check out the remaster), Save Us is a great way to finish the album. Just as you think things are winding to a close, the intro quickly builds into a galloping rhythm that leads to one of the most enduring guitar solos I’ve ever heard. The song (and album) end leaving you breathless and wanting more.

    Disc 2 here includes Savage, which is another one of my favorite go-to Helloween songs when I am in the mood to thrash hard. I have my version off of The Best – The Rest – The Rare, which isn’t a bad disc for those new to Helloween to get a feel for what they are in for.

    Side note: Um, Amazon, would it be too much to correctly title albums and tracks in your music department?

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - 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, Pt. 1). 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 years 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. Listen to songs like Eagle Fly Free, I Want Out, Save Us, and the epic title track, and you hear the foundations for the next two decades of power metal. Heck, just about every song on this album has been covered countless times by a whole host of artists.

    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 II. Well, Sanctuary finally got around to the job last year, and they certainly did it right. In addition to digitally remastered sound, you get a second CD containing 5 bonus tracks. The remixed versions of existing songs don’t add much, but adding the b-sides Savage, Livin’ Ain’t No Crime, and Don’t Run For Cover 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 II, you need to order this album now. It truly belongs in every power metal fan’s collection.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now