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Review: Helloween - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
Rabbit Don't Come Easy

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 61:00
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: August 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
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Rated 3.64/5 (72.78%) (36 Votes)

Helloween are back after three years without a studio album. "Rabbit Don't Come Easy", – like its funny title à la "Pinks Bubbles Go Ape" suggests –, is more a return to the happy happy Halloween songs than their latest opus, "The Dark Ride", which sounds good to me at first glance. I was however afraid by the departure of two important skilled musicians of the pumpkin, Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch (respectively guitarist and drummer), but very pleased that the mighty Mikkey Dee (ex-King Diamond, Motörhead) was behind the drum kit.

The album kicks in with the very fast paced "Just A Little Sign", a very generic power metal song with a lame high voices chorus (remember the Chipmonks?) and a cheesy line written by Andy. I think he should keep "something growing in my pants" for his other band, Pink Cream 69! Next is another weak song, "Open Your Life", another speedy power metal cliché song. This tune could be on any Freedom Call album. Oddly, the new guitarist Sascha Gerstner came from that band. I made the Freedom Call reference before I even knew that Sascha wrote it with Andy! Track number three is once again another fast paced power metal song. This song is a bit better than the first two, with a very good classical verse but the chorus is once again a bit too common in Power Metal music.

Fortunately, the band changes the pace after this lame start. "Never Be A Star" is a very good heavy song with a solid, but a bit too repetitive chorus. "Liar" is a good very fast and heavy song à la "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest with an excellent intricate guitar picking in the verse. "Sun 4 The World" is an excellent track which opens with a good oriental feel. Pure solid moderate fast Helloween just the way I like it. "Don't Stop Being Crazy" is the softest song on the album. Great track with an excellent chorus and melodies. However, the pre-chorus is a bit too similar to David Bowie's "Space Oddity", which they played on the "Metal Jukebox". The next tracks are "Do You Feel Good" and "Hell Was Made In Heaven", two typical great Helloween moderately fast numbers. The latter contains an excellent heavy riff just before the verses and excellent fast lead guitar solos and harmonies.

"Back Against The Wall" was probably a track laid off the "The Dark Ride" sessions, an heavier downtuned song with a dark vibe. Good song though. "Listen To The Flies" is another very good fast paced song with some sublime lead guitars. The more than eight minutes "Nothing To Say" finishes the regular CD weirdly with a rip off of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" with a small reggae pre-chorus and a "Stairway To Heaven" mood near the end! What a strange song! I don't hate it, it's a good one overall but a little too Zeppelinesque. Finally, the fast and acceptable bonus track "Far Away" finishes the CD.

The pace of the album is overall fast. The production by Charlie Bauerfeind is fine and extremely polished, a little bit too much I think (due possibly to the recording having been done in a fully digital studio). The cover and booklet are - as usual for a Helloween album - generous and admirable. Everyone in the band got involved on the songwriting of this CD. There are some very good lead guitar solos and harmonies on this album. Also, Mikkey Dee did a very good work behind the drums.

Overall, a good decent album from Helloween, but I expected a little more from them. The result is uneven with some very good and some average tracks. The first three tracks (especially the first two) weaken "Rabbit Don't Come Easy".

Additional Information

Bonus track on edition reviewed: Far Away

Total time with bonus track: 65:26 (13 tracks)

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