Music I Used To Listen To: Helloween

Every once and awhile, just for fun, I’m going to listen to some music I enjoyed when I was a teenager and and post about what I think of it now.

The inaugural entry covers two releases from the pioneers of Power Metal: Helloween.

1985 EP
Helloween 85 EP

This album came to me by way of the Metalhead who lived across the street from me. I was fourteen, he was four or five years older than me and this dude seemed to have every single metal album that existed at the time. He’d either record some for me onto cassette or lend me the album so I could dub it.

I remember borrowing this one mostly because I liked the cover and wanted to take some time and draw it. I had a thing where I tried to create accurate covers for all my dubbed cassettes.

As for the music I remember this EP somewhat fondly. I really dug the first three tracks: “Starlight”, “Murderer”, and “Warrior”. They had an Iron Maiden feel to them.

As time went on, this EP fell by the wayside (mostly because of the album I talk about below), I kind of forgot about Helloween.

Today I gave this EP a listen for the first time in over thirty years. And, well…

There is a nostalgic feeling associated with it. I can see myself listening to this on my little tape player and drawing the cover. I did have it with me sometimes when I was out and about with my knockoff Walkman but that’s about it. I find the songs, especially they lyrics, very blah. They’re well done but very cookie cutter even for 1985. As this was the time Metallica was really coming up and showing people what could be done with heavy music, I’m really not surprised that I stopped listening to Helloween – especially because of…


Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part 1

Wow, what do I say about this one. I bought a copy on vinyl when I was 15 mostly because I liked the EP and the cover was pretty cool.

I bought the album, brought it home, put it on and was completely weirded out. This was the first album with Michael Kiske singing and I was not sure that I liked his style. I was used to, and preferred Kai Hansen’s rough around the edges howling.

I remember not liking this one very much. I never duped it onto cassette and ended up trading it in at the local second hand record store for some other album.

Giving it a listen all these years later hasn’t changed my opinion. The Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part 1 is ground zero for Power Metal with its operatic wailing, shredding guitars, bombastic synths and over the top production, all made worse by the absolutely horrid lyrics. The whole album is a masterclass on how to write solely using cliches.

Helloween is not a band that’s aged well to me. I shan’t be listening to them again.