Sound — 9
Helloween in their later days have become experts at combining the symphonic sounds of power metal with the more modern sounds of thrash and heavier metal. The boys form Germany once again prove their prowess of music is legit with the Dark Ride. They continue their tradition of having an intro track with Beyond the Portal which breaks (although not loudly) into Mr. Torture, one of the band's best songs to date. You can't resist the urge to sing along with Andi Deris in the triumphant song about Spanish wife abuse. It's just too much fun! Helloween express their darker side with songs like Escalation 666 and We Damn the Night which, by the way, is by far the coolest song title from the band. Overall the band still seem to be at the top of their game. However the songs on Dark Ride are not as anthematic as songs on, say, Gambling With the Devil or Master of the Rings, but the album still holds it's own.
Lyrics — 9
Andi Deris may be one of the best and most successful replacement vocalists in music history. His crunchy voice is definately a good match for the band's very heavy sound. His vocal melodies are very easy to get into and it is difficult to help singing along to a part one already has memorized. Dark Ride contains some of this best performances like on If I Could Fly and All Over the Nations. Andi also did a lot of song writing on the record for both lyrics and music so he is multi-talented!
Overall Impression — 9
I liked Gambling With the Devil more personally but this may be my second favorite record from Helloween. It is very easy to listen to all the way through and it is easy to listen to with breaks between the songas so no problem there. This is not Helloween's best songwriting, despite their best song being on there, but the album still owns up to the traditional Helloween standards. The best songs are Mr. Torture, If I Could Fly, Escalation 666, and Immortal. A recommended purcahse that will not disappoint!