Helloween - The Dark Ride
I had serious doubts about Helloweens future career after albums like Pink Bubbles go Ape and Chameleon. But with the departure of Michael Kiske and the arrival of Andi Deris the band found their way back to their metal roots. Master of the Rings was the first step of the return and with The Time of the Oath I really thought things were starting to turn out more than ok. Perhaps this good development halted a bit with Better than Raw, but then it came- The Dark Ride. An album that really lives up to its name, since it's the darkest and heaviest Helloween effort ever.
Tracks like Escalation 666 and The Departed are among the gloomiest and darkest the band's ever made. Even more traditional Helloween songs like All Over the Nations and Salvation have a dark touch over them and this is present throughout the entire release. Other tracks that are worth bringing attention to are of course the brilliant and catchy single, If I could Fly and the opener Mr Torture where we find yet another Helloween trademark with it's comical lyrics. The album closes with the title track which is located somewhere between mid- and uptempo and I'd say this is the best song on the album.
The Dark Ride is the absolute best Helloween album since Andi Deris joined the band and it's only outdistanced by the Keeper albums and Walls of Jericho. It could also be considered as something out of a cult-album too, since it's the last Helloween release with Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch in the line-up.
Every true metaller should be the owner of at least the three previous mentioned Helloween albums and proudly have them on display in the cd-rack. The next one you add to that collection should defintetely be this latest achievement. With this the pumpkins prove that Helloween by no means plan to retire and that they haven't at all lost the touch to deliver high quality metal. So all aboard- and join Helloween on The Dark Ride!