Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
LISTEN NOW!WATCH NOW! LOGIN JOIN
MAGAZINEON-AIRDOWNLOADSCHATBOARDSCONTESTSSTORE
Reviews

Helloween Rabbit Don't Come Easy

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Thursday, July 17, 2003 @ 4:06 PM


(Nuclear Blast)

- advertisement -
That Teutonic metal veterans Helloween were able to get it together enough to even make Rabbit Don’t Come Easy is something of a miracle. That the album is as good as it is is downright amazing. Indeed it stands right up there among the finer works of the band’s long, but inconsistent career.

Helloween are old hands when it comes to handling line-up turmoil – with key members Kai Hansen and frontman Micheal Kiske having left in years past. But the past year was especially challenging, with longtime guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch being asked to leave. The band’s first choice for a new guitarist said “thanks, but no thanks,” and Kusch’s replacement, Mark Cross, came down with mononucleosis as work commenced on Rabbit and couldn’t continue.

But the band, led by mainstays bassist Markus Grosskopf and guitarist Michael Weikath soldiered on, eventually signing on Sascha Gerstner to play guitar and scoring a fortuitous coup when Motorhead’s Mikkey Dee agreed to play drums on the album – ex-Accept drummer Stefan Schwarzmann was later hired as Kusch’s official replacement.

Yet despite all of the drama and disruption, Rabbit is the most focused and assertive Helloween releases in years. The ill-advised experimentation and off-putting eccentricities that spoiled some of the band’s previous albums are noticeable – thankfully – in their abscence. Save for the oddball Caribbean flavoring on the otherwise bruising “Nothing To Say” that closes the album, Rabbit is formidable, often ferocious German power metal. Period.

Though Dee merely sat in for the album, his direct, double-bass driven backbeats and muscular mid-tempo thumping give Helloween the no-nonsense energy they really seemed to have needed. He drives the band right out of the chute with the frantic “Just A Little Sign.” Topped by Weikath and Gerstner’s nimble, but meaty riffs, Andi Deris’ air-raid siren vocals and the huge harmonies the band is famous for, it sets the tone for what’s to come.

The anthemic “The Tune,” “Listen To The Flies” and “Hell Was Made in Heaven” match “Sign’s” intensity, while “Never Be A Star,” “Back Against The Wall” and “Sun 4 The World” boast a more menacing crunch as the tempos slow and the guitar/bass tones thicken and take aim right for the gut. It’s some of the heaviest material Helloween has done, especially on “Wall” where Deris’ teeth-clenched vocals lend an extra air of meanness.

Credit is also due to producer Charlie Bauerfiend, noted for his generally slick, crystalline work with Blind Guardian and Hammerfall, who does Helloween right by leaving a raw edge on the album’s sound. All clean and polished, Rabbit wouldn’t have had near the impact, despite the band’s determined approach. Instead, he just helps bring all the elements together and lets the results speak for themselves. And they do speak well.

Keep an eye out for Helloween in early October, when the band will be embarking on a short North American headlining tour, its first in many a moon.

* * * ½


Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
ALICE COOPER Paranormal
HENDRIX: The Illustrated Story
L.A. GUNS The Missing Peace
ENSLAVED E
UFO, SAXON, JARED JAMES NICHOLS In Akron, OH With Photos!
ACT OF DEFIANCE Old Scars, New Wounds
JACKYL 25
REVOLUTION SAINTS Light In The Dark
TESLA, WEAPONS OF ANEW, VOICES OF EXTREME In Orlando, FL With Photos!
THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Nightbringers
SONS OF APOLLO Psychotic Symphony
OBITUARY, EXODUS And POWER TRIP In Ottawa, Canada
EVERY MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE Grind
FOZZY Judas
LYNCH MOB In Saint Petersburg, FL With Photos!
DIAMOND HEAD In Ottawa, Canada
VENOM, INC. Ave
NOCTURNAL RITES Phoenix
EXIT EDEN Rhapsodies In Black
MARDUK, INCANTATION In Ottawa, Canada
NIGHT RANGER In New Braunfels, TX
AVATARIUM, THE SLAYER KING In Sieburg, Germany
STEELHEART Through Worlds Of Stardust
SATYRICON Deep Calleth Upon Deep





HOME | MAGAZINE | ON-AIR | DOWNLOADS | CHAT | BOARDS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP

©2017 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News