Helloween have always shown an interest in numerology, or at least the number seven, specifically, which they've incorporated in no less than three Keeper of the Seven Keys-related studio albums, and now, on their thirteenth career full-length, 7 Sinners (incidentally marking the band's 25th anniversary), they made sure to include precisely 13 songs, except, no doubt, in Japan, where the mandatory bonus track will trump any numerological strategy. So much for that! Anyhoo, the impact of these numerical concerns upon the band's musical output over the years has been pretty close to zero (Crap! There's another number!), since the German power metal icons have only rarely wavered from the subgenre trappings that they first helped define so long ago, and 7 Sinners, for good and ill, isn't about to change that. This is true even though singer Andi Deris shoulders the bulk of the songwriting load here, rather than founding guitarist Michael Weikath, and so there are numerous seriously infectious, speed-addled head bangers on tap ("Where the Sinners Go," "Long Live the King," "Far in the Future"), alongside several typically cheesy brotherhood anthems ("Are You Metal?," "Raise the Noise" ), the odd, heavy-ass ballad ("The Smile of the Sun"), but not really any major surprises, unless you consider the flute solo on the aforementioned "Raise the Noise" cause for shock. However, if there's anything that consistently distinguishes Helloween from most of their countless followers (and it's not "The Sage, the Fool, the Sinner," which sounds like Blind Guardian), it's the band's frequently quirky turn of lyric and sporadic sense of humor, both of which are still very much intact in the likes of "Who Is Mr. Madman," "You Stupid Mankind," and the sounds-funny-but-it's-not "If a Mountain Could Talk" (ask Frank Zappa, c/o "Billy the Mountain"). But the primary takeaway of this review, if you hadn't guessed as much already, is that 7 Sinners is ultimately yet another extremely solid, occasionally fantastic, but pretty much standard Helloween album. Luckily, Helloween's standard efforts still prove far more interesting than the average power metal release, and that should please their fans and keep the band's career chugging right along into their next studio album. And counting.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia