I wasn’t holding much out for Helloween after Rabbit Don’t Come Easy, which while not being the disaster some made it out to be, seemed fairly lacklustre. The departure of Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, it seemed, had knocked that special something out of the band (although they then gave us the awesome Masterplan, so all is forgiven)
As a result, The Legacy was one of the biggest surprises I have ever had – truly Helloween have returned to show the world why they are considered the forefathers of this genre. This album combines the good production of RDC Easy, the epic scope of Keeper 1 and 2, mixed in with a little bit of wackiness and fun from Master Of the Rings.
Inevitable comparisons will be made to Keeper 1 and 2 – does it live up to the name? Well, give it time, but if you ask me, this easily holds its own. I have no idea what the original story was (nor do i care). Theres a few references to keys here and there, and some songs that clearly have nothing to do with anything. But then, neither Keeper albums stuck with the theme all the way through.
Kiske versus Deris? No contest. A few years ago I would have said otherwise, but Deris buys and owns Kiske with this album – the man has never, ever sounded so good. Like it or not, Deris, IS Helloween. He can’t hit the high notes with the smoothness, but he can hit them, and when he does (quite frequently throughout the album) its all the more satisfying.
And the songs? This is the most consistent offering for a long time. The Opener, King For A 1000 Years, is an absolute monster of a song, one of the best they’ve ever done. Invisible Man, Pleasure Drone and Silent Rain are all similar – speedy rockers with catchy choruses, that would not be out of place on Master of the Rings, or Better That Raw.
The first half is better than the second, though not before delivering us the second epic of the album, Occasion Avenue, which is both dark and grand, complete with choir backing. In fact, there is no song that is particularly bad, save for Mrs God which isn’t actually bad – but it sticks out and was truly a daft choice for a single. It doesn’t reflect the rest of the album at all!
This review is a bit long, but only because I believe this album truly is worth a listen from any Helloween (or metal) fan. I was so surprised at how good this album was – if you were like me and had written Helloween off, think again. Hopefully, with a more solid lineup, and some success with this, they’ll keep up the good work!