I am eagerly awaiting every new album by Helloween because this is a band that I highly appreciate, respect and in the very end I dig the majority of their back catalogue (contrary to their live shows which I think that they are below par, but that’s another issue whatsoever). I want to be straightforward right from the beginning…in the last 13 or so years, I was fully content only with “The Dark Ride” and “Unarmed” (which of course didn’t include new material). Nevertheless, I wanted to see what the successor of the descent “7 Sinners” had to offer…
Well, “Straight Out Of Hell” must be the most indifferent album of Helloween’s entire career. It’s not bad…not even mediocre. It’s somewhere in between and it defies you to give it a repeated listen so as to spot (with everything you got) a few good moments in there. If “Rabbit…” was embarrassing and “Gambling…” was simply OK then “Straight…” is simply indifferent. There are only a handful of good moments in there. For example, “Nabataea” includes some very interesting tempo changes as it is the case with “Burning Sun”, “Waiting For The Thunder” displays a good chorus and “Years” has all the trademark elements of a typical Helloween song. This is as far as we can go.
On another negative point, I must say that Deris’ voice is a little bit worn out although he remains a very capable singer. I am certain that if “Straight…” would be released by any other band, we wouldn’t go into the trouble to spend time on it. “Straight Out Of Hell” will be easily and quickly forgotten.
Highlight: Art in general is a subjective matter but some thing must be objective so as to have a common ground of conversation. When you rave about such a record then either you have been bribed or you don’t know the history of this band. Maybe you are listening with your…eyes glued at the band’s logo and you don’t use your ears.