This is the final release to feature Mr. Kiske and I could see why. Let's break it down here. "First Time" is up beat and energetic, but it's nowhere near Metal or Power Metal that the band is known for. The vocals are lazy sounding. It's like Mike doesn't even want to do this record. It has more of a pop feeling than the days of yore. Ok, but weak thus far. The solo is the only thing solid on here. "When The Sinner" is a better song, but what were they thinking by adding horns to the mix? It's out of place. Musically, it's catchy and while not as strong as the older material, I would accept this over many of the songs presented here. The bass lines are the best thing on here.
"I Don't Wanna Cry No More" is a weaker than weak power ballad that sucks on all fronts vocally and musically. What the hell is this? HELLOWEEN combining Blues and ELVIS along with Metal for "Crazy Cat." This is another mess. I can just imagine in the studio all the conflicts that were going on. I know if I was the record executive that heard this I would tell everyone to scrap the material and start fresh or give me back the advance and go home. "Giants" has to be the first track that almost got the sound right despite it being poppy as hell and not having any oomph to their overall sound. I have to say that each track is worse than the next. If I paid attention to this band up until this point which I didn't, I dropped out two records ago (please read.Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. II) I would have told the boys to hang it up.
The bonus cuts on here are interesting. "Oriental Journey" has got to be the heaviest cut on the whole two disc set. Great guitar work shines through brightly. "Red Socks" is a ten minute instrumental jam that adds Blues to the mix and is intriguing to hear the boys interpret the Blues. In the end, this isn't exactly a recommended disc except if you are an absolute die hard that has to have the whole collection, but even then that is pushing it. (Online May 2, 2006)