Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (album review 3) (2024)

Review Summary: A major letdown.

To me, Helloween are a fun band. They've got everything a decent power metal group needs. At least, that's what I thought until I heard this album. Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 was a fine effort, featuring near-perfect guitarwork with impressive vocals as well. Unfortunately, the band's follow-up, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2, was not nearly as good as their prior release. The energetic heaviness of Part 1 is gone. Kai Hansen's guitar is not as apparent, in fact, it's tuned down quite a bit. This was a very disappointing album.

The album starts with a pointless, one-minute instrumental (which barely has any real instruments), and it leads into the true opener, Eagle Fly Free. Unlike the opener for Part 1 (I'm Alive), this song lacks heaviness, catchiness, and basically everything. Things are mildly decent until the awful chorus kicks in, in which Michael Kiske is screaming his lungs out, but not in a good way. His vocals are simply irritating. Basically, there are no decent tracks until Dr. Stein comes, and this is only good to a certain extent. It's far too long, and it begins to bore quickly.

And that's another negative aspect of Keeper Part 2. It's too long! 50 minutes is not that great of a length, but I think the album would have worked better with shorter songs. Nearly all of the songs drag on far too long than they should. The perfect example of this is the title track, Keeper of the Seven Keys. It clocks in at thirteen minutes and thirty-seven seconds in length, and judging by the fact that Helloween's previous epic (Halloween) was awesome, I figured that this would impress. You know what? I couldn't have been more wrong. Halloween was fast, diverse, and overall just a fun song. However, Keeper of the Seven Keys is the exact opposite. It has no speed, whatsoever. The guitarwork, unlike in Halloween, is incredibly bland. The song has no real hook, as it is all over the place a little too much. The chorus, like with most songs on the album, is flat-out awful. My expectations weren't too high by any means. This is just a song that it painful to listen to. A shorter length couldn't have saved this mess.

Ok, so the album is boring, bland, uninspired, too long, and it barely qualifies as power metal (which is obviously a bad thing). Is there any good to it at all? The answer is yes. There are a couple of redeeming factors. First of all, Michael Kiske has an impressive voice. While it can be irritating, and while it can also make you think "Why am I listening to this crap?", the man's voice can be very good at times. At certain instances, he sounds a little too much like Bruce Dickinson, but overall, I like Kiske's voice. Songs like I Want Out and We Got The Right display his vocal talent well. Back on the subject of redeeming values, the aforementioned song I Want Out is definitely the best song here. It begins with some absolutely spectacular guitar-playing by Hansen, and then the vocals begin. This song is catchy and fun, and while it can't compare to some of the songs on Keeper Part 1, it does a great job of providing a good time. Like every other song on the album, even it screws up and starts to decline at one point, but at least it fixes its mistake and gets good again, unlike some of the songs. Another positive aspect of this album is the musicianship. While Kai Hansen is not doing nearly as great of a job on this album as he did on Part 1, he pulls off some decent stuff every once in a while. Ingo pulls off some great things on the drums, though. Truly an underrated drummer.

Overall, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 was a very disappointing album. First of all, it has way too much experimentation. It's like Helloween just spent a day in the studio adding synths and a bunch of bullcrap to their music. Kai barely shows off his skills at all during the album, and did I mention that this is too long? Every single song is longer than it should be. Michael Kiske can sing, but at times, his voice is too high-pitched, which makes it quite annoying. Although there are a few good songs, such as I Want Out and Save Us, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 is incredibly bland, and just an overall poor album. It's a shame really. Helloween had the potential to put out something excellent. I guess experimentation killed the cat.

Songs Worth Listening To:
I Want Out - Great song. It's fun, it's catchy, and it's just a good song to rock out to. Featuring some great guitarwork and impressive vocals too.
Save Us - It's a very good song, but the chorus is dull and dumb. However, what's good here is good.


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Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (album review 3) (2024)


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