Sound — 9
This is an earlier Deris album when the band still kept Mike Wiekath and Markus Grosskopf for all the years after Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske left. There is much palm muting rhythm guitarring in the verses on this album which is what the band did a lot of in the Deris Years. There is an orchestral intro, like on every Helloween album, which immediately blasts into Sole Survivor, one of the album's best along with Mr. Ego, and Perfect Gentleman. The band's utilization of keyboards adds a much needed element for true power metal.
Lyrics — 10
I really think that ultimately Andi Derid has been the best vocalist for this band. Michael Kiske was good when he was in the band but I really think Deris is much more dynamic in both his delivery and the multitudes of varying vocal styles. His creativity as a melody-maker gives him a certain edge over Kiske. Another thing I like about Deris is he can play guitar so he writes as well as sings. His best performance is easily Perfect Gentleman.
Overall Impression — 9
With Keeper of the Seven Keys being a staple on everyone's CD rack, a lot of Helloween's other material doesn't get as much attention as it should. Master of the Rings for instance is an overlooked essential for the band and I think is right behind Dark Ride which is my favorite Helloween album. This is definately worth purchasing but if you don't have Dark Ride get that one first. Best songs: Perfect Gentlaman, Mr. Ego, Sole Survivor, The Game Is On.