Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I
Noise Records
Speed / Power Metal
8 songs (37:08)
Release year: 1987
Helloween, Noise Records
Reviewed by Storm

If there is one era in metal that defines what metal should be, and one era that paved the way to the modern power metal we hear today, that era would be Helloween's Keeper era. Starting with Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I, we are introduced to the legendary vocals of one Michael Kiske, who came out of nowhere and floored everyone with his amazing range and ability. Replacing original singer Kai Hansen, who decided to concentrate on the guitar playing of the band. Kiske became a legend in his own right, and with both Keeper albums, a measuring stick was introduced. And still to this day, you can hear some of this era's influences in bands of today like Gamma Ray (in which Kai Hansen formed) to bands like Blind Guardian and Freedom Call.

Starting out with the instrumental Initiation, we get into the classic and bombastic I'm Alive. With this song we hear Kiske for the first time and his incredible range and power shine. A Little Time is next. It's a simple song but catchy nonetheless. Next up is Twilight Of The Gods, which shows just why Helloween are the founding fathers of speed and power metal. The song is majestic and has an energetic chorus with Kiske doing what he does best, which is showing off his incredible range especially his upper register. Add that with a fine performance from Kai and the double bass of the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, this is one of the best songs on the album along with I'm Alive.

We get into the ballad A Tale That Wasn't Right, which has a great acoustic intro from Hansen. Future World comes up and we get that classic corny song Helloween is known for complete with their trademark sound effects and some might call silly lyrics, but nonetheless, it's still a good song. Now we get into the 13 minute epic song Helloween and yet again, we get another classic song that shows what true speed and power metal sounds like. Kiske shines again hitting those high notes he was known for back then. Kai gives us a good guitar performance on this song with an ultra fast fret board demonstration and 3 excellent solos. I always say Kai is an underrated guitarist. This era really helped though to prove he can hang with the big 6 string boys back then.

We finish off the album with the short Follow The Sign. It just has whispering but Kai throughout the song gives a pretty good guitar solo.

My only gripe with this album, is that it's too short although albums back in the mid 80's were notorious for being short. Still it would have been sweet if there were more songs on here, but we got a little more with the follow up Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II.

Some might say this is a much weaker version of the Keeper albums, due to the short amount of songs I believe the opposite, even though it doesn't have as many memorable songs as Keeper 2 did, it still is a classic that introduced us to not only Kiske, but showed us what true power/speed metal really should sound like and compliments the next 2 Keeper albums just nicely.

Helloween helped start a niche in metal that carries into today. If you hear a lot of modern power metal bands, you more likely will hear some sort of influence of the Keeper era in there somewhere. Long live the pumpkin masters.

Killing Songs :
Although I like the whole album the ones that stand out are I'm Alive, Helloween and Twilight Of The Gods
Storm quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Helloween that we have reviewed:
Helloween - Helloween reviewed by Ben and quoted 84 / 100
Helloween - Master Of The Rings reviewed by Ben and quoted 73 / 100
Helloween - Better Than Raw reviewed by Ben and quoted 94 / 100
Helloween - United Alive In Madrid reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Helloween - Straight out of Hell reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 23 reviews click here
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