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Review: Helloween - Gambling With the Devil
Gambling With the Devil

Label: SPV
Year released: 2007
Duration: 57:33
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: October 1, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.12/5 (82.41%) (58 Votes)

I honestly haven't been following Helloween since the colossal insult that was Pink Bubbles Go Ape, and though I loved their early albums, I wasn't the huge fanboy some people seem to be. So when this turned up in my mail I was like "hmmm", but far be it from me to condemn a band before I listen. This is, believe it or not, Helloween's twelfth studio album, and their ninth without Kai. Man, that makes me fee old, as I still think of Andi Deris as 'the new guy' when he's been with the band longer than Kai ever was.

There are good and bad things about this album, and mostly it seems to suffer from a lack of real direction. Overall this is darker and angrier than I was expecting, but it's still not that dark and angry. Opener "Kill It" is pretty good, but forgettable, and then "The Saints" comes in and sounds, well, like a bad Gamma Ray song. The good songs here are farther in: "Paint A New World", "Bells of the 7 Hells", "Falling To Pieces"and "I.M.E." There are only a few songs here that really suck, "Final Fortune" probably being the worst, though "Can Do It" sucks pretty bad too. Too many of the songs here are just kind of unremarkable. They are well-played and well-produced, but even though they have highly enjoyable parts they fail to cohere as really good songs.

So even though I mostly enjoy this album, it doesn't really have much reason to be here. There are a dozen bands that do this better, and while Helloween get some cred for being veterans, if you want to be a legend, you have to come up with something better than good. Gambling With The Devil is enjoyable, but I don't see it having much longevity. An entertaining, overproduced album from a band who need direction in the worst way.

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