The Metal Crypt on Facebook  The Metal Crypt's YouTube Channel
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: January 11, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4.12/5 (82.41%) (58 Votes)

While for many Helloween continue to be the musical equivalent of a sight gag, the legendary German metal crew maintains their credibility as one of the top bands in the field with a constant, steady output of quality albums. Their twelfth studio excursion sees the revered genre-inventers paying homage to a series of past releases while sparking that original flame of German eccentricity that garners their successful progression. Without being a further sequel to 2005's third "Keepers..." opus, "Gambling with the Devil" is more in the same ball park as "Better Than Raw", with a number of the tracks having a similar feel - namely pulsating opener "Kill It" to the respective icebreaker "Push" - but there is a fair amount of old school pumpkin smashing with the bouncy "Final Fortune" and the sprawling "Heaven Tells No Lies". Symptomatic of the Deris-era material, "Gambling with the Devil" has a few odd twists and turns, keeping the listener engaged throughout. Mr. Deris himself is in fine form, though his vocals aren't quite as startling, or indeed as daring as they were on their last album, but his soaring, idiosyncratic whine is as streamlined as ever. The production is sturdy too, giving drummer Dani Löble a sonic boom in which to demonstrate his monster talents.

Things are a little heavier in places, a little softer in others, but as usual Helloween give us a lot to digest, making this excursion quite varied, but like many pumpkin-heads, I think their last release was the highlight of their post-Kiske career, and keeping that in mind, this is probably as close as they're going to get in the immediate future. I've been a Helloween fan for a lot of years, and I can honestly say I've never seen them in better shape. Since the recruitment of ex-Freedom Call axe-slinger Sascha Gerstner, things have become a lot tighter in the rhythm section and the songs themselves are wide-ranging and speckled with modern inflections, yet reach farther back into their past than any of the early 90s material. The lyrics seem to have taken a slump this time -most are reduced to rambling garble that doesn't even qualify as GCSE English - but the catchy melodies and gripping vocals make up for this lapse in effort.

With monstrous tracks like the infectious "Can Do It", the blasting, double-bass fuelled "Paint a New World" and the "Where the Rain Grows"-esque "Dreambound", "Gambling with the Devil" is a fine addition to the Helloween cannon that probably won't pick up any new listeners, but will please the Power Metal garrison immensely. Top marks would be awarded however, if Biff Byford didn't make an unsavory appearance...

More about Helloween...
Review: 7 Sinners (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Better Than Raw (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Chameleon (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Gambling With the Devil (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Helloween (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Helloween (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Helloween (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: High Live (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Keeper of the Seven Keys - Part I (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Master Of The Rings (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Metal Jukebox (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: My God-Given Right (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Pink Bubbles Go Ape (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Rabbit Don't Come Easy (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Rabbits On The Run 2003 (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: The Dark Ride (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Dark Ride (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Time Of The Oath (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: United Alive in Madrid (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Walls of Jericho (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Click below for more reviews
Latest 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Various Books/Zines 

The Metal Crypt - Crushing Posers Since 1999
Copyright  © 1999-2024, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt.  All Rights Reserved.