The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

QUICK shots - April 2010


HELLOWEEN - Unarmed

 

 

Instead of a traditional “Greatest hits”/”Best of” compilation, Helloween have boldly recreated some of their best and best known songs for this new album. Some songs work better than others – the swing-jazzy version of Dr Stein and whistling folk of ‘Perfect Gentleman’ are not a patch on the originals, but a seventeen minute medley of ‘Halloween’, ‘Keeper of The Seven Keys’ and ‘The King For a 1000 Years’ featuring the 70-piece Prague Symphony Orchestra is a glorious and beautiful epic which will almost bring a tear to your eyes. If only they had done the whole album in this style…

 

Shane

 

ORPHANED LAND - The Never-ending Way Of ORWarrior

 

 

Marrying riff-laden metal, political and religious themes, and world music is a pretty rare thing, but Israeli’s Orphaned Land are nothing if not ambitious. Produced by Porcupine Tree’s Stephen Wilson, there is a definite progressive feel to this release, and the band stretch themselves and metal by singing in 6 languages and using an array of ancient middle eastern instruments.

 

The quality of production and songs throughout is excellent, and elements of death metal, power metal, world music and high melody all come together to create a heady brew which provides new surprises on each subsequent listen. “Party metal” this is NOT- if you feel like something a little cerebral and adventurous, give Orphaned Land a go.

 

Shane

 

GAMMA RAY – To The Metal

 

 

This tenth studio album from ex-Helloween frontman Kai Hansen is a masterclass in the style of metal he made famous with his former band, but suffers from just that – it’s Gamma Ray by numbers, with many riffs and melodies sounding like their earlier work. Certainly this is no detriment to producing a good or even great album (just look at Status Quo or AC/DC!), but while the performances here are solid, it lacks a vibrancy. Hansen’s old band have combated this malaise with a bold recreation of earlier songs in different styles, but here Gamma Ray are only rehashing old ideas.

 

Shane