Released: 2005, SPV
Admit it – when you heard the Helloween was going to revisit their classic Keeper of the Seven Keys concept, continuing a legacy we’ve been worshipping for almost 20 years, you were excited and just a little scared – scared they might fuck everything up. Hell, I know I was worried. After all, RABBIT DON’T COME EASY wasn’t exactly the band’s finest hour. Finally, after months of anticipation, praying, and hoping, the release date finally came, October 31st, 2005. Needless to say, it was an appropriate date. So, was all the waiting worth it? Were Weiki and the boys able to deliver?
Well, I have to admit that at first I was convinced they had failed. My first listen to THE LEGACY slogged on and I was bored (!). Now you have to understand, Helloween elicits many emotions but boredom is usually not one of them (1991 – 1996 excepted). This couldn’t be right, could it? I listened again, and again, and FINALLY the album unfolded its treasures. The immensely catchy power metal melodies and riffs of “The King For A 1000 Years”, the lovable goofiness of “Mrs. God” (thankfully kept down to a single song), the complex intelligence of “Occasion Avenue”, and the absolute Helloween majestic glory of the wonderful finale, “My Life For One More Day”, all made themselves apparent after a few listens. Yep, in no time I was reveling in yet another triumphant Helloween disc, all concerns blasted away by the raging metal glory of “Born On Judgment Day”.
It’s shocking I know, but this is actually a Helloween album you have to pay attention to, and really get into to properly enjoy. Sure, Deris’ vocals are as top-notch as ever, Weiki and Gerstner duel their guitars like the pros they are, and the rhythm section of Markus and new boot Dani Leoble are rock solid, but THE LEGACY is not an immediate listen. The hooks and riffs are still there, but the Pumpkins have made us work a little harder to find them this time.
With that said, there are innumerable new glories added to the Helloween canon here, as just about every song on the album is a winner. Y’know what? Fuck it. I was going to give this a 4.5/5 but I just finished listening to “Silent Rain” and I’m in a good mood – 5/5! Congratulations all around for fulfilling a still-shining legacy.