Helloween

Pink Bubbles Go Ape

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Helloween experienced a brief period of decline in the early '90s, and it's hard to imagine that Pink Bubbles Go Ape impressed enough fans to not be a major contributing factor to this situation. With some truly bizarre titles and lyrical themes and mostly by-the-numbers operatic '80s metal, this 1991 release stands as one of the group's worst offerings. With a lineup that included vocalist Michael Kiske, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, guitarists Roland Grapow and Michael Weikath, and bassist Markus Grosskopf, Helloween seemed to be treading water on this unspirited disc. Low points include the goofy title track and "Heavy Metal Hamsters," which is as pointlessly plodding as its title is laughable. Kiske puts in strong performances throughout, and his bandmates do a professional job riffing and grinding away, but the tired, prosaic lyrics and songwriting box the band into seriously limited musical confines. Helloween did create some surprisingly energized and focused music during the band's '80s heyday and later in the '90s when the group became the standard-bearer for old-school power metal, but this record should be avoided by listeners with only a casual interest in the band.

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