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HELLOWEEN My God-Given Right

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Thursday, June 18, 2015 @ 2:31 PM

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My God-Given Right

Nuclear Blast Records - 2015

The German metallers HELLOWEEN have come roaring back with the release of their new album My God-Given Right.

Their lengthy new offering (15 tracks including 2 bonus cuts) features a crackling electric musical soundtrack that sees each member of the band (save drummer Dani Loble) contributing to the songwriting.

Whether it is a collaboration between two bandmates or a song that was written by a solo member, when it comes the band's music, you find yourself in a constant blitz that keeps the blood pumping. They really only slow down a couple of times throughout the course of the disc.

The packaging of the album is phenomenal from the cover art itself to the interior design of both the disc and CD booklet. An aeronautical theme runs throughout said design.

When going through the available songs on an individual basis, the band's penchant for writing lyrics that address some socially conscious topic is in full view right from the start. The opening track, "Heroes", has a great intro and the whole vibe of the song is quite good while the lyrics delve into everyday people fighting to live their lives. "Battle's Won" takes aim at the powers that be in modern day.

The first time I heard the title track to the album was while I was watching the band's video for said song. The insanity laced video (that makes you wonder how the band isn't being sued by the people who own the rights to the Star Wars film franchise) manages to detract from the song. But listening to the song on its own helps set it up as a far better track than I initially thought.

While I loved the music on the album, I did tend to have some small issues with the lyrics. The biggest example of this would be on the track "Stay Crazy". Don't get me wrong, I did like the song overall. But the first two lines in the chorus are: "We wanna stay crazy / Fresh as a daisy". I had to ask myself, what the hell? That particular line just sounds like some really bad "I just got dumped" high school poetry. And I'm not the only one who thought that. Everyone I've played the song for or that saw a link asked pretty much the same question, though they usually substituted a different four letter word for "hell". It just flat out drives me crazy to hear that particular phrasing in the song.

Along with "Stay Crazy", the song "Lost In America" sounds like a duology of travelogue reports from the band's life on the road. "Lost In America" is actually a pretty solid track. I particularly enjoyed how the chorus flowed in the composition of the track.

When HELLOWEEN decides to take their foot off the gas for a bit, they unveil songs such as "Like Everybody Else" which I didn't care for much at all. But sometimes they turn out songs like "The Swing Of A Fallen World". The mid-tempo song is pretty sweet and that song title itself sounds like it would lend itself well to a science fiction novel.

The band's best moments on the CD come with the songs "Creatures In Heaven", "If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll" and "Living On The Edge". On "Creatures", the song opens with a 90 second instrumental and lays out a fantastic solo mid-song. Meanwhile, I think "If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll" lends itself best to a single release for the band. It runs just over three minutes long and I thought their was a bit of extra zest in the musical performance. The vocal performance from Andi Deris was pretty good as well. I love how they call being a metal fan "taking the black".

Things take a turn for the dark on "Living On The Edge" though. You can feel the darkness or perhaps even a touch of evil in the lyrics while a deliberately shaded vocal stylization from Deris gives the song an extra sense of menace.

Musically speaking, HELLOWEEN has rather outdone themselves. If this was an instrumental only album (a format I'm not fond of generally), I would still be banging my head along to the disc. Sometimes, the lyrics are a touch sophomoric for my own personal taste but overall, My God-Given Right comes out and kicks you right in the teeth and dares you to not pay attention.

4.0 Out Of 5.0

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