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   HELLOWEEN
Rabbit Don't Come Easy
2003
Nuclear Blast
http://www.helloween.org


rating: 4/5

1. Just A Little Sign
2. Open Your Life
3. The Tune
4. Never Be A Star
5. Liar
6. Sun For The World
7. Donít Stop Being Crazy
8. Do You Feel Good
9. Hell Was Made In Heaven
10. Back Against The Wall
11. Listen To The Flies
12. Nothing To Say

Finally the German pumpkinmen are back with their newest effort, the rather oddly named "Rabbit Donít Come Easy". With their latest 3 albums being more or less disappointing, I was more than curious to see how high they would reach with this one, especially after some significant lineup changes. I was somewhat suspicious wheteher Helloween would succeed after Grapow and Kusch left the band and the gap they left in the songwriting area. Well, my doubts were in vain since both the new guitarist Sascha Gerstner and the rest of the band are in a much better shape than in a long time. Especially Gerstnerís songs are a pleasant surprise, but also Markus Grosskopfís songwriting skills need to be mentioned. Oh wottehell, the whole band has really improved since "The Dark Ride".

After the first listen I am happy to say that this sounds very promising and is probably the best Deris-era Helloween album since the "Master Of The Rings" album. Fast, happy, melodic, memorable power metal spiced with the weird sense of humour Helloween are known for. The dark-factor, that was present on "The Dark Ride", is now (luckily) gone. Eventhough some of those songs were quite good, I donít think they were the Helloween they should be. Or who the hell am I to say anything, but thatís just the way I feel. There are plenty of catchy melodies, nice riffs and both up- and midtempo songs. Sadly, there is still some song material that will be rated as filler in my books. To be more accurate, songs like "Liar" and "Back Against The Wall" arenít that special, although theyíre a lot better than some of the songs on the 3 albums preceding "Rabbit Donít Come Easy". The beginning of the album sounds very promising, then comes a wave of "now-lemme-reconsider". The rest of the album is again the freshest and catchiest Helloween in a long time. There are some nice and surprising spices in this soup. Some oriental and even reggae influences can be heard (although they are very little) and not to forget Weikathís odd groovy-rock-power metal melodies. So, the happy melodies are the main focus again. Especially songs like "Open Your Life", "The Tune", "Donít Stop Being Crazy" and "Hell Was Made In Heaven" (just to mention some) are bound to stick in your head. Had this been some bandís debut album, the rating would have been 6/5, but since itís Helloween, youíll have to settle for a 4/5. Finally the pumpkin men are back on track.

submitted by Aleksi 21.05.2003

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