Helloween

Helloween

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After years of name changes, rehearsals, and compilation appearances, Helloween finally dropped their first self-titled release in 1985. This five-song offering would come to be known as "The Mini LP" and eventually be included on Walls of Jericho reissues. Impressive for a first effort, Helloween's tracks are well-developed and the musical performances are compelling despite the low-budget production. Guitarist Kai Hansen's vocal work is a glaring flaw. There are worse singers in metal, but Helloween's material requires a dynamic frontman with more vocal skills than Hansen. It wasn't until after Walls of Jericho that this Achilles' heel would be eliminated via the addition of Michael Kiske. Sounding like Iron Maiden on crank (in a good way) Helloween blasts through their short but impressive debut with confidence and power despite the vocal shortcomings. "Warrior" is a standout; however, the technical and artistic accomplishment of Helloween can't be limited to one or two numbers. Each tune is quite good, and together they announced what would become one of the most important European metal bands of '80s and '90s.

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