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Helloween: My God-Given Right

German survivors fight on.

After 15 albums, Helloween still sound like they’re searching for the ultimate soundtrack to which the massed metal hordes can march out to battle. Fighting for what?

Not always what you might expect, actually. Heroes offers to take up arms for the homeless and destitute, and even the struggling musician ‘at the store, selling his guitar’. A fair enough excuse for the usual pummelling Wagnerian choruses and Maiden sturm und drang.

Then again, they can also write a tidy ballad, as Like Everybody Else considers the merits of being a misfit. Their anthem addiction doesn’t always result in great poetry (‘We wanna stay crazy, as fresh as a daisy… and never get lazy) and Russian Roule is downright silly (is it a cheese log or a murderous game with guns?) but still rocks the house.

Lastly, If God Loves Rock’n’roll suggests the almighty would approve of their quest. A bold claim, but who are we to disillusion them?/o:p

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock