Helloween - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
Great, great, great!!! After their previous metalpearl The Dark Ride one of the most classic and loved power metal band in the world is back with their eleventh studio recording and the fifth one with vocalist Andi Deris. With no label or record company pulling the strings or ruling the show the result wasn't long in coming. Helloween immediately found their way to their happy metal roots and left the dark and gloomy dark ride behind.
Once again the brilliant Charlie Bauerfeind was the mastermind in charge of the production of the album that was recorded in Andi Deris' own studio Mi Sueno Studios in Tenerife. The result is the absolute best production Helloween's ever had up to date. The sound is distinct and clear but at the same very fat and mellow and overall it's like a combination of the Master of the Rings and Better Than Raw albums.
But some of you might wonder what Helloween will be without Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch. The guy to replace Uli was first former Metalium drummer Mark Cross but after recording only two songs he got the Epstein Barr virus and had to be replaced. Mikkey Dee from Motorhead did the rest of the studio hammering and then former Running Wild and Accept drummer Stefan Schwarzmann became a full time member. So without having heard his performances with Helloween, I'm still asuming he'll fill the position with the honours considering his excellent performances with those former two...
As for Sascha Gerstner, he has already proven to be a great replacement for Roland Grapow and especially as a songwriter. His romoured departure from Freedom Call was said to be that he didn't want to play metal anymore, but thank heavens, Helloween took such nonsense out of him =) The songs he's written on the album are easily among the top five and a greater start in a new band seems hard to beat. Markus Grosskopf has also started to write songs in a bigger way than before and his contributions really whoops some ass. Liar is for instance perhaps the most aggressive Helloween track ever and besides that an extremely good one. So please, Markus, write more songs in the future!
Andi Deris does his best vocal performance ever and overall the album is very short of the slightest weakness. Weiki has directed his troopers back to the Helloween we want to hear and what can I say? This is plain and simply Helloween as we want to hear them. It's fast, it's melodic and catchy as hell, it's fat and bombastic and I just love it! I know I wrote in my review of The Dark Ride that that was the best effort of the band during the Deris era, but that's not true anymore. This release comes very very close to the greatness of the Keeper Albums and Walls of Jericho and easily pushes The Dark Ride down to a second place.
With the setlist of Rabbit Don't Come Easy, it shouldn't matter if you're a fan of the Kiske or Deris episodes because your appetite for pumpkin should be completely satisified. So the date to remember here is May 12 people. Then the rabbit is loose on the market and trust me, you don't want to miss it!