HELLOWEEN may have been one of the founders of the Power Metal genre in its speedier form back in the 1980s, but their age seems to have had no effect on their output since. Of course the band has gone through its ups and downs (as any Metal band that’s last this long has), but as of late they have been on a major upswing. This includes their 2010 Power Metal opus, “7 Sinners”.
Their last album, “Gambling With The Devil” showed us a HELLOWEEN that was using a more aggressive and fast paced style to their music. “7 Sinners” pushes it even further. At times, these melodic Germans might even dabble on the bubble of sounding Thrash with some of the tracks (just listen to “Long Live The King” and tell me that they aren’t) and this new style has simply revitalized their music.
HELLOWEEN approaches “7 Sinners” much like they did with their last album except with an even darker tone to it reminiscent of what they did on “The Dark Ride”. Lyrically, the band is darker and the general tone of the album is just plain heavier. The drums really seem spastic with lots of snare driven energy and the dueling guitars, both riffs and leads, seem about half a step from going off of the Power Metal structuring and straight into pure shred. Andi Deris does a solid job at keeping the vocals melodic and grounding the album back into Power Metal territory, but it is more aggressive and matches the tone of the album well.
The band doesn’t lose their HELLOWEEN sound though. The longer more Progressive edged tracks make their appearances with the final and epic sounding “Far In The Future” and others still retain that classic melodic sound that we’ve become accustomed to like anthem like “Raise The Noise”. Even these seem to be faster and darker though.
It’s another great album from this classic outfit and perhaps one of my personal favorites that they have released. It does have a couple of songs that are rather skippable (mostly due to sounding like a standard HELLOWEEN affair when the rest is much more memorable), but its new aggressive and darker tone makes “7 Sinners” an instant saint in days when Power Metal has been more than forgettable in the last few years.
Songs to check out: “Where The Sinners Go”, “Are You Metal?”, “If A Mountain Could Talk”.
(Online February 18, 2011)