Released: 2007, SPV/Steamhammer/Playground Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
These German Power Metal legends are releasing a double live album taken from the Keeper of the Seven Keys – The Legacy World Tour that was on the road from 2005-2006. It’s not a funny thing to witness these legends live today, but hearing them on this album is an even more depressing experience. I saw them when they were here in Sweden last summer, and the set list is the same as the CD except they didn’t include the really looong guitar and drum solos, thank God.
The album is taken from when the band visited Brazil and the city of Sao Paulo, along two songs that were recorded in Tokyo (“Occasion Avenue”) and the marathon song “Helloween” which was recorded in Vicovice, Czech Republic. The Sao Paulo fans are absolutely wild and sing and scream along with almost every chorus. Helloween does a perfect but boring performance, and everything is taken straight from the book. The sound is brilliant, but I wished for more out of singer Andy Deris, who sounds really tired to say the least - especially on the older songs. He is not and never will be Michael Kiske, but his voice works much better in the new songs.
The set list revolves around the three KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS albums. The only songs that are played from the non-Keeper albums are “Hell Was Made in Heaven”, “Mr. Torture”, “If I Could Fly”, and “Power”. Nothing more is played from the gigantic back-catalogue the band has. Whoever it was that fooled the band into going for this set list ought to be shot, because it was a lousy idea from the start. “Power” and “Future World” are almost drowned out in a sing-a-long from the crowd and the band stretches the song to over 10 minutes, which is way too long to keep your interest when you only experience a recording of it. The ordinary show ends with the encore “Dr. Stein” and after that comes the two bonus tracks that are featured. First is “Occasion Avenue” which is another marathon song around 10 minutes long, and as if that’s not enough “Helloween” follows at 13 minutes long before it ends. This live album is almost two hours long, so it is a lot of music.
This album is probably most fun for the hardcore fans that collect every single thing the band does. I think it’s a boring statement of how power metal shouldn’t sound these days. The material is fine, but Deris drags down the experience quite a lot. They stretch the songs into oblivion and at the end of the songs you’re too tired to appreciate them. But, if you can’t get enough of Helloween then this show is also available as a double live DVD with every single guitar and drum solo featured along with interviews and videos. For me, this album is a parenthesis in an otherwise decent flood of albums.