Helloween – My God Given Right

Helloween - My God Given Right
Helloween – My God Given Right

It’s been the best part of 25 years since I was first introduced to Helloween back in the late eighties. I remember being blown away by, at the time, these Germanic speed metal merchants that were something akin to Maiden but with pace and even more wonderful vocal and guitar melodies. My God Given Right most definitely shows there’s still a LOT of life in the old dog yet and comes so close to being a brilliant before it runs out of steam towards its end.

As Helloween have matured, they’ve long since moved away from their speed metal beginnings and straddle that great rock/metal divide that makes them very accessible to everyone. It’s a huge part of their charm and a huge part of what has made them such a mainstay of the scene. Heroes kicks off the album along these lines to great effect, drawing you in with a killer metal hook before throwing you into a more melodic rock approach then pulling you back in with a huge chorus. It’s a great start to the album and leads us perfectly into Battle’s Won, a track that hearkens back to the early days of Deris taking up vocal duties. It’s a track that wouldn’t be out of place on Time of the Oath or Master of the Rings and once again has one of those hugely uplifting choruses that are one of their trademarks.

The title track keeps up the pace, melody and killer chorus and carries on the hugely impressive start to the album before you’re hit with a thumping, driving rocker of a track in Stay Crazy. It’s a great change of pace and has a real fists in the air, anthemic feel to it. Lost in America maintains that drive while introducing that slightly eccentric side of the band lyrically that they replicate later on in If God Loves Rock n Roll but to nowhere near as great an effect as this track.

My favourite track by far though, Russian Roulé, rounds off the first half of the album with brilliantly realised melodies both musically and vocally as well as a real dirty solo lick.

The second half of the album treads paths of dark and light, with the likes of The Swing of a Fallen World and You, Still of War really taking a dark and thunderous turn. It’s quite a turn too against the more light hearted joviality of If God Loves Rock n Roll and the uplifting Creatures in Heaven. It’s this swing I think that sits uneasily with me, as if the band can’t really decide what way they want to close the album out. Claws in particular feels really muddled and is probably the most disappointing track of them all because of this.

But I don’t want to end on a low note! This is probably the best Helloween album to my ears since The Dark Ride. While it’ll never convert anyone to the band if you didn’t already like them, Helloween have been around long enough that they don’t really need to do anything revolutionary. And that’s good enough for me.

MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT is available from May 29th (EU), June 1st (UK) and June 2nd (NA) via Nuclear Blast.

Track Listing:
1. Heroes
2. Battle’s Won
3. My God Given Right
4. Stay Crazy
5. Lost in America
6. Russian Roulé
7. The Swing of a Fallen World
8. Like Everybody Else
9. Creatures in Heaven
10. If God Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll
11. Living on the Edge
12. Claws
13. You, Still of War

Helloween are:
Andi Deris – Vocals
Michael Weikath – Guitar
Sascha Gerstner – Guitar
Markus Grosskopf – Bass
Dani Löble – Drums


About Scott Watson

Part time guitarist and wannabe rock star. Long time lover of metal, xbox, football and my family while writing and editing for Planetmosh.com