Various Artists The Keepers of Jericho-A Tribute To Helloween
Released: 2000, Arise Records
Tribute albums….man there’s been so freaking many of them lately. So many that I normally don’t bother with them. However, here we have an exception, an exception for a few reasons: it’s a tribute to classic-era Helloween, Helloween (in my opinion) are the most influential and the first true power metal band and finally most all the bands paying tribute on here are awesome!!! Before I move onto the actual music on this CD, one other cool thing I would like to mention is that the cover art for this tribute was done by Uwe Karczewski the same artist who painted the covers for Keeper’s 1 & 2 and Walls of Jericho!
Rhapsody – Guardians | Rating: 4/5
Very cool version but on first listen I was scratching my head at all the extra orchestration they put on here. After hearing it a few more times I have gotten used to it and I realize they have indeed added their own unique touch to the song.
Sonata Arctica – I Want Out | Rating 3.5/5
This is perhaps the most classic and well-known Helloween song. I thought HammerFall did a better cover on this one and having Kai Hansen of Helloween on it sure helped. In Sonata Arctica’s version, after the breakdown the glorious long held note is left out…too bad, I missed it. Still, a good cover and it does justice to the original even if it’s not that adventuresome.
Heaven’s Gate – A Little Time | Rating: 3/5
This song sounds like a classic rock song, visions of Queen come to mind. To my knowledge this is the latest and perhaps LAST recording we’ll hear from Heaven’s Gate. The renowned producer, Sascha Paeth, plays guitar in this band.
Metalium – Ride The Sky | Rating: 3.5/5
First thing I noticed about this cover is the awesome thick guitar sound but what a horrible drum sound. The double kicks sound fake and very weird. I suppose if you had a full album of this you’d get used to it, but alongside the other songs it sounds weird. The next thing is the vocals…if you’ve heard the original you know that Kai sings some REALLY high parts in this one. This guy nails it all!! Awesome!
Luca Turilli – I’m Alive | Rating: 3.5/5
Olaf Hayer has one of the best voices in metal today, seriously!!! What a voice! Not much to say about this one really, the vocals are what really make this one, despite the fact that this is not near the top of my list of favorite classic Helloween songs.
Morifade – Judas | Rating: 4/5
Morifade have been around for a few years now but have yet to make a huge dent in the international metal scene. Probably because they are one of those “second tier” power metal bands. That is not a reflection on the band’s ability of course, just the nature of the genre. Their cover of this song sticks to the original yet the song is so good and they nail it perfectly. Kai’s extremely high vocals in the chorus near the end are not done as ear splitting as Kai…. then again, who else could do that like Kai? NO ONE!
Vision Divine – Eagle Fly Free | Rating: 2.5/5
This is Fabio Lione’s other band, his main gig being Rhapsody. The band begins this Keeper Pt. II track with the intro “Invitation.” This is another one on here where I do not like the mix. The rhythm guitars are buried and the vocals and drums are cranked. Of course, Fabio’s vocals are godly, but the mix takes away from the song. Vision Divine are a great band, but one that should stick to their own material.
Brainstorm – Savage | Rating: 5/5
This song sounds like the title - SAVAGE! This band is so damn powerful that it’s borderline thrash metal (I hear Anthrax in the middle of the song)!! Brutal power metal with face ripping guitar tones and drums that are relentless. This song definitely stands out on here amidst bands that play more “friendly” versions of the songs.
Labyrinth – Future World | Rating: 3/5
Another of Helloween’s “anthems” is covered here by this Italian band. Of course the original is better, but this tribute would be incomplete without it.
Cydoina – Save Us | Rating: 4/5
What is the foolishness they put at the intro? It’s from Star Trek (TOS). It has Kirk saying “Kirk Here” followed by Spock saying “Captain” – then there are farting sounds….hmmmm whatever?!?! This band also chooses to play it safe and they play a version of “Save Us” that is very close to the original.
Squealer – Victim of Fate | Rating: 1/5
Right off the bat…if you’re gonna pick a song like this then you’d better have a bloody singer who can hit the notes!!! This guy is not a BAD singer but he is not a high singer and for me that ruined this great song to the point where one listen through this one is all I’ll ever want. This is not a reflection of this band because they have the chops; they just are not suited to cover this sort of song in my books.
Dark Moor – Halloween | Rating: 4.5/5
This band goes the Rhapsody route in that they throw on a fair bit of orchestration that was not in the original. The thing is, they do it well! The sound of this song is awesome though. This has a great mix and is very powerful sounding. The thing that is interesting about this band is that there is a female vocalist. Some of the vocals on here are a bit different from the original, but still good.
Secret Sphere – How Many Tears | Rating: 2/5
Although this band sounds good, this doesn’t move me at all. Perhaps this is more a factor of the song that is nowhere near one of the “classics” in my opinion.
So there you have it, a rundown and look back at classic Helloween. If you love old Helloween you should really check out this CD!