Helloween The Legacy: Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 3

It’s a strange world we live in, when a band would return to a theme that’s already run its course in hopes of keeping its long-standing, dwindling fan base happy and then try to pass it off as a masterpiece. That is exactly what German power metallers Helloween have done by again revisiting their Keeper of the Seven Keys motif. The first part, originally released in 1987, ruled and remains the band’s finest hour, while part two (released a year later) pretty much ended the cycle. Or at least it should have. Considering the fact that the band have had trouble with consistency since about 1990, never managing more than two or three great songs on an album in all that time, to decide to now revisit a played out theme and try and stretch it to a double CD is dumb. There are a few things I do like about the record, but almost all of them are superficial. The production is great for a power metal record. The drums sound huge and are pounding throughout, something most popular power metal bands these days (especially Italy’s Rhapsody) do not seem to care about. But ace production does not help when you cannot write good songs anymore and on The Legacy, the problem is just that. There are some decent moments — the opening epic is incredible, if you like this style — and in fact, the first disc is really good overall. Unfortunately, the second is almost all filler, which leads me to this question: should they have made this a single album instead of a double? You would think the answer would be only too obvious. (SPV)