Helloween is a German power/speed metal band. Alongside Switzerland's Celtic Frost
and Sweden's Bathory
, Germany's Helloween were possibly the most influential heavy metal band to come out of Europe during the 1980s. By taking the hard riffing and minor key melodies handed down from metal masters like Judas Priest
and Iron Maiden
, then infusing them with the speed and energy introduced by the burgeoning thrash metal movement, Helloween crystallized the sonic ingredients of what is now known as Power Metal
The band has it's roots in 1978, under the name Gentry, by Kai Hansen and Piet Sielck. Sometime later, they were joined by bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Ingo Schiwchtenberg, and changed the name again, this time to Second Hell. There was another change in the name (Iron Fist) before the definitive took of the name Helloween. From this point, Sielck left the band. Michael Weikath, who was playing in the band Powerfool, joined them after the disbandment of his band. And so, the first line-up (and official birth) of Helloween was formed, in 1984.
This lineup (Hansen-Weikath-Grosskopf-Schwichtenberg) collaborated in a compilation, (Death Metal
, alongside Hellhammer, Running Wild
and Dark Avenger) and released two E Ps
) and a studio album (Walls of Jericho
) before another lineup change.
Kai Hansen, foresawing the difficulties to take the lead guitar and singing roles, decided to focus just on the guitar part, and so the search for a new vocalist begun, which ended in the former Ill Prophecy singer Michael Kiske being hired. This lineup change was key in the band's success, with the albums Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1
and Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2
Sadly, just as they were on the verge of breaking to a wider audience — even flirting with American success — the band's meteoric rise was rudely interrupted by internal strife and a string of bad business decisions. Hiring Kiske ultimately proved a double-edged sword — his iconic work with the aforementioned Keeper
albums was what set up said meteoric rise in the first place, but he then decided he wanted to move away from Power Metal
towards a lighter Hard Rock
, a decision which cost them the departure of Kai Hansen, who would later start Gamma Ray
, with Roland Grapow, from Rampage, replacing him. And to top it all, the band was also in a legal dispute with Noise Records about a bunch of nasty legal stuff, which resulted in them not being able to release anything for some time. Everything resulted in two disastrously mellow albums (Pink Bubbles Go Ape
) which are best not discussed, even by the band themselves
, and very nearly finished off the band. As a result of this, both Kiske and Ingo were sacked for the band, although for different reasons. Kiske was fired because Michael Weikath refused to work with him any further, while Ingo was released due to mental and drug-related issues.
However, this was not the end of the band. Michael Weikath took the control of the band and hired the singer Andreas "Andi" Deris, from the band Pink Cream 69
, as well as ex-Gamma Ray
drummer Uli Kusch. This change made the band to return to their roots, and continued to prosper in the international metal arena on their own terms, with the release of the album Master of the Rings
. More importantly, they remained the benchmark by which most every power metal band is still measured.
In 1995, however, there was sad news: Ingo Schwichtenberg was profoundly depressed and committed suicide
by throwing himself to the subway rails. This hit hard in the band, who dedicated the album The Time Of The Oath
(a Concept Album
about a Nostradamus prophecy) to his memory.
1998 saw the release of the succesor of Time...
, Better Than Raw
. It's considered the highest point of the band in The Nineties
1999 saw the band celebrating fifteen years of music, thus it was a perfect occasion to release something. This something was a Cover Album
called Metal Jukebox
, containing metalized covers from numbers such as ABBA
, Jethro Tull
, David Bowie
2000 saw the latest release with this lineup: the Darker and Edgier The Dark Ride
. It was the last album with both Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, since they both were sacked from the band. They went later to form the acclaimed Masterplan
Sascha Gerstner from Freedom Call
replaced Grapow, but the band struggled with the position of drummer. The first drummer hired was Mark Cross from Metalium, who abandoned the band after some medical issues. Finally, Stefan Schwarzmann (formerly from Accept
, and Running Wild
, among plenty of other bands
) took the role, although he wasn't hired in time for the recording sessions of Rabbit Don't Come Easy
, the follow-up to Dark
, where the drums were played by Mikkey Dee
The final lineup change came in the form of Dani Löble, from Rawhead REXX, replacing Stefan, who left the band for Creative Differences
. This lineup survives to our days, and recorded four albums (Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 3: The Legacy
, Gambling With The Devil
, 7 Sinners
and Straight Out of Hell
) and a Lighter and Softer
compilation album called Unarmed
Today, they're known for never having grown up or received the memo that it's no longer the 80s
. Their over-the-top bombastic performances, Large Ham
antics, and absolutely hilarious music videos are essentially what would happen if Limozeen
were a real band. Band Members:
- Andreas "Andi" Deris — Vocals
- Michael Weikath — Guitar
- Sascha Gerstner — Guitar, Keyboards
- Markus Grosskopf — Bass
- Daniel Löble — Drums
- Kai Hansen — Vocals until 1986, Guitar until 1988
- Michael Kiske — Vocals from 1986 to 1993
- Ingo Schwictenberg — Drums until 1993
- Roland Grapow — Guitars 1993 to 2001
- Uli Kusch — Drums from 1993 to 2001
- 1985 - Helloween [EP]
- 1985 - Walls of Jericho
- 1987 - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I
- 1988 - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II
- 1991 - Pink Bubbles Go Ape
- 1993 - Chameleon
- 1994 - Master of the Rings
- 1996 - Time of the Oath
- 1998 - Better than Raw
- 2000 - The Dark Ride
- 2003 - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
- 2005 - Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy
- 2007 - Gambling with the Devil
- 2010 - 7 Sinners
- 2013 - Straight Out of Hell
Other albums include: Helloween songs include:The official site
Before adding a trope, check that it isn't subjective. Subjective tropes about the band go here
The band shows examples of:
open/close all folders
- '80s Hair
- Lead Bassist: Markus Grosskopf is a firm Type A.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Michael Kiske, singer from Keeper 1 all the way to Chameleon, and Michael Weikath, guitarist on all of them. Also, Kai Hansen's second name is Michael.
- Another example is the aforementioned Weiki (whose full name is Michael Ingo Joachim Weikath) and the late drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, who played in the first 5 albums.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: When speaking in Spanish, Andi can't avoid these.
- Start My Own: After Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2, Kai Hansen left Helloween. Several years later, he formed Gamma Ray. Also, as noted above, Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, who were fired from the band and created Masterplan.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Kai Hansen quit the band over Creative Differences and went on to form Gamma Ray. Apparently, giving him room to have his own band and removing Michael Kiske from the equation was enough to calm both sides down, as the personnel from Helloween and Gamma Ray now get along quite amicably and even tour together, concluding their concerts by taking the stage simultaneously to form one big supergroup, and as Gammaween, they perform "I Want Out". In that video, they certainly look friendly. And this is older than the 2008 joint tour, as his appearance in the Wacken Open Air 2004 can testify. And to make things better, he said in an audio interview, that he liked the Gammaween tour, and that he won't dismiss the chance of doing another tour like that.
- Also, Michael Kiske did guest a guest appearance on Gamma Ray's Land Of The Free album in the mid-90s, did guest vocals for Roland Grapow's and Uli Kusch's spinoff band Masterplan (and would have agreed to be their studio vocalist altogether, just not to performing live) and is working on a side project with Kai Hansen and Roland Grapow as well, trying to write, according to Hansen, some softer songs for him because of his "Metalphobia".
- In 2011, Kai Hansen joined Michael Kiske in the band Unisonic, whom Kiske had been a part of since 2009.
- Accidental Murder: "Murderer", from the Helloween EP, talks about a guy who's persecuted for a murder he committed.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Chameleon and Unarmed. To some extent, Pink Bubbles Go Ape.
- Anti-Love Song: "In The Middle Of A Heartbeat", from Master of the Rings.
- Audience Participation Song: "Future World" and "Power", among other examples.
- Banned in China: In-universe, the lyrics of "Mr. Torture" claims that the eponymous character is banned in 20 countries.
- Big Rock Ending: "Where The Rain Grows", from Master of the Rings, among other examples.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Lavdate Dominvm", from Better Than Raw, is sung entirely in latin.
- Breakup Song: "Forever And One (Neverland)", from The Time Of The Oath.
- Cannot Spit It Out: "Just A Little Sign", from Rabbit Don't Come Easy.
- Concept Album: The Time Of The Oath, which is about a Nostradamus's prophecy.
- To some extent, Gambling With The Devil.
- Continuity Nod:
- A riff during the solo on "Back Against The Wall", from Rabbit Don't Come Easy, is one towards "Giants", from Chameleon.
- 7 Sinners contains many of these. As some examples:
- The chorus of "Are You Metal?" has the chords of "Halloween", from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1, at full speed. Just check the version from the Legacy World Tour live album, if you have some doubts.
- "Who is Mr. Madman?" acts as a sequel song to "Perfect Gentleman", from Master of the Rings, even including the riff from the original song in several instances, and beginning with an intro describing how the character from Perfect Gentleman's narcissism drove him to insanity. The song itself depicts his time in an insane asylum and subsequent plot to escape it.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: "Mr. Torture", from The Dark Ride, is a parody over Cold-Blooded Torture made by a man who sells pain.
- Cool Cat: "Crazy Cat", from Chameleon.
- Cover Version: "Something", "The Hellion/Electric Eye", "I Stole Your Love", "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Magnetic Fields", "Rain", "Sheer Heart Attack" and "Fast As A Shark". Also, during the "Master of the Rings" tour, they did a version of Pink Cream 69's "Where The Eagle Learns To Fly".note
- The Cover Changes The Gender: "Lay All Your Love On Me", from Metal Jukebox.
- Darker and Edgier: The Dark Ride, sort of. It's certainly dark for Helloween, and was sufficiently different to cause Creative Differences with Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, but it is still goofy by objective standards. Considered proof that Helloween is physically incapable of taking themselves seriously, even when they try.
- Master of the Rings would also count, coming off the Lighter and Softer Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon. (Also slightly compared to the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, due to Andi Deris' rougher singing style)
- Gambling With the Devil is mostly more mature, and one could almost conclude that Helloween finally grew up if they were to compare "As Long as I Fall" to their older work... except for the fact that Gambling With the Devil also gave us "Can Do It".
- 7 Sinners somehow managed to be even more Darker and Edgier than Gambling With The Devil. Lesee: the two comic songs of the album ("Are You Metal?" and "Who's Mr. Madman?") are very heavy; there're lots of Punctuated! For! Emphasis! in the songs; even in the normal verses; Dani Loble destroys his drumset in any of the songs, even reaching Death Metal and Black Metal speeds, sometimes; "Not Yet Today", the intro to "Far In The Future" is chillingly dark... hell, even the ballad, "The Smile of the Sun" sounds pretty heavy. When the band said that this is the most heaviest and fastest album they made, they weren't joking.
- Straight Out Of Hell is a slight step back in this regard, falling somewhere between Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy and Gambling With The Devil in terms of hardness and seriousness.
- The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: "Reptile", from Walls Of Jericho is about the AIDS.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Starlight", from the Helloween EP.
- Epic Rocking: These songs are all over the 10 minutes mark, and this is just for starters:
- "Halloween", from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1.
- "Keeper of the Seven Keys", from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2.
- "The King for a 1000 Years" and "Occasion Avenue", from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 3: The Legacy.
- The mashup song "The Keeper Trilogy", from Unarmed, which is a 17-minute orchestral rocking mashup between the first three songs.
- Evil Laugh: "Who is Mr. Madman?", from 7 Sinners, ends with this.
- Fading into the Next Song:
- In Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 2: "Invitation" => "Eagle Fly Free"
- In Better Than Raw: "Deliberately Limited Preliminary Prelude in Z" => "Push"
- In Gambling With The Devil: "Crack The Riddle" (Intro) => "Kill It", and "Fallen To Pieces" => "I. M. E."
- Filk Song: "Gorgar", from Walls Of Jericho, is based on a pinball game with same name.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: "Cry For Freedom", from the Helloween EP, is about a slave rebellion.
- God-Is-Love Songs: Several, "Lavdate Dominvm", from Better Than Raw, for example.
- Going Native/Insult Backfire: "Savage", from the Updated Re-release of Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 1 and the Future World songle.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The protagonist of "Perfect Gentleman", from Master of the Rings, is bound to a mental institution in "Who's Mr. Madman?", from 7 Sinners.
"Sixteen years have passed since he, one perfect of his kind, the Casanova of his time, crowned himself to conquer the land in craving for lust. Lust, one of the seven deadly sins. Punishment he has suffered. Look at him what did he become, who is he now?"
- Gratuitous French: "Perfect Gentleman", from Master of the Rings, has the following bit:
I am "le d'Artagnan de coeur"
- Green Aesop: "Paint A New World", from Gambling With The Devil. "If A Mountain Could Talk" from 7 Sinners.
- Grief Song: An Alternate Song Interpretation towards "Forever And One (Neverland)", from The Time Of The Oath, considering that the band dedicated the whole TTOTO album to their former bandmante, the late drummer Ingo Schiwchtenberg.
- Heavy Meta:
- The unfortunately-titled "Get It Up", from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 3: The Legacy.
- "Heavy Metal (Is the Law)", from Walls Of Jericho.
- "Long Live The King", from 7 Sinners, an homage to Ronnie James Dio and Judas Priest.
- "Are You Metal", from 7 Sinners, parodies the trope.
- Heavy Mithril
- Homage: "Steel Tormentor", from The Time Of The Oath, is dedicated to Judas Priest.
- Hot-Blooded: "Power" from The Time of The Oath.
- Just One More Level: "The Game is On", from Master of the Rings, is about someone who got so absorbed into a video game that he didn't even notice his house was on fire and presumably perished. The game is heavily implied to be the Game Boy version of Tetris, due to some lyrical clues ("with a grey box in his hands") and the fact that the entire main riff of the song is very obviously based on the Game Boy Tetris' Game Over jingle, and it even directly samples most of its sound effects.
- Large Ham: Andi Deris.
- Letters 2 Numbers: "Sun 4 The World", from Rabbit Don't Come Easy.
- Lighter and Softer: Michael Kiske preferred this style in general and had been pushing for it for years, finally getting his wish granted with Chameleon, which got him kicked out as part of the album's backlash. He even recently released a solo album entitled Past in Different Ways, which was essentially a fluffy dreamy acoustic version of every old Helloween song he had written while still with them.
- Also, the compilation album Unarmed.
- Straight Out of Hell was this to 7 Sinners.
- Rabbit Don't Come Easy was this to The Dark Ride.
- Loudness War: Arguably, their latest releases, from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 3: The Legacy onwards. 7 Sinners was particularly egregious in this regard.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Star Invasion". It sounds between Space Oddity and the most solemn metal epic. Until the bitter end and beyond.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Despite the presumably grim fate of its subject, the song "The Game is On" is enough of a typically catchy, bouncy, upbeat Helloween song that it comes across as "video games are fun! :D" That YouTube video is an absolute celebration of Retro Gaming.
- Mad Scientist: "Dr. Stein", from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 2.
- Metal Scream: Michael Kiske was a master at these. Check him out in "I Want Out", just before (and going into) the final chorus, as he belts out "Leave me alone" for nearly twenty friggin' seconds.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - Most of their albums are in the 6 to 7 range. The Dark Ride, Gambling With The Devil and 7 Sinners can go up to an 8. Their ballads, meanwhile, are generally in the 4 to 6 range.
- Mundane Made Awesome: There's a flute solo in "Raise The Noise", from 7 Sinners.
- New Sound Album
- Non-Appearing Title: "Giants" and "Longing", (from Chameleon) "Mr. Ego", (from Master of the Rings) and "Dreambound". (from Gambling With The Devil)
- Notable Music Videos: The video for "I Want Out", from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2, got heavy air play on MTV.
- Not Christian Rock: "Save Us", (from the Updated Rereleases of Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 2 and the I Want Out single) "I Believe", (from Chameleon) "Salvation" and "We Damn the Night", (from The Dark Ride) and "My Sacrifice" (from 7 Sinners) among other examples.
- Averted, though, with their new album Straight Out Of Hell. Which contains no clearly Christian songs but does contain the song "Church Breaks Down", which is a potshot at religious extremism.
- Number of the Beast: "Escalation 666", from The Dark Ride.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: At the beginning of "Still We Go", from Master Of The Rings.
- Protest Song: "Cry For Freedom", from the Helloween EP.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: PUSH!!! EN-FORCE!!! YOUR!!! IN-DE-PEN-DENCE!!!note
- I-WANT-OUT!!! TO-LIIIIIIIIIVE-MYYYYYY-LIFE-A-LONE!!!note
- Pretty much many verses of "Far In The Future", from 7 Sinners, have this.
- Rebel Leader: Kiske sings as one in "Revolution Now", from Chameleon.
- Refrain from Assuming: "The Departed", from The Dark Ride, is also called "Sun Is Going Down". Subverted in that the full title of the song is "The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)".
- Retraux: Helloween will never grow up. For example, the video for "Just A Little Sign", from Rabbit Don't Come Easy, is both Beyond The Minds Eye and Limozeen: "but they're in space!" in equal parts, and was made in 2003.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: "Gorgar", from Walls Of Jericho, features a part of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" in the solo part.
- Rockstar Song: "Heavy Metal Hamsters", from Pink Bubbles Go Ape, and "Rise and Fall", from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 2, mocks the trope.
- The "Happy Happy Halloween" intro heard in "Starlight", from the Helloween EP, is taken from the movie "Halloween III - Seasons Of The Witch".
- The battle sounds at the beginning of "Before The War" were taken live in Yugoslavia.
- Seven Deadly Sins: Some songs from the aptly named 7 Sinners play with this concept, even if it's not a Concept Album.
- Shout-Out: "Halloween", from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 1, has one in a few lines to Charlie Brown:
Bad luck if you get a stone,
like the good old Charlie Brown,
you think Linus could be right
The kids will say it's just a stupid lie!!!
- In "The Dark Ride", from the eponymous album, this line:
- "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)", aside of being a Heavy Meta hymn, has this following paragraph:
- The B-Side "Les Hamburgueois Walkways" is inspired by Gary Moore's "Parisiennes Walkways".
- The rhythm section during Weikath's solo in "Cry For Freedom", from the Helloween EP, was taken from Mania's "Shadows Under Your Eyes".
- "Crazy Cat", from Chameleon, is inspired by Fritz the Cat.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Mostly on the idealistic side (which is unusual for a metal band), though they have gotten a bit more cynical since Gambling With The Devil.
- Survivors Guilt: "Sole Survivor", from Master of the Rings.
- Take That:
- "Judas", from the Walls of Jericho remaster and the Judas EP, is one towards "all politicians who talk human but act like monsters".
- When Kai Hansen couldn't handle being in the band anymore, he penned his resignation in the form of the song "I Want Out", from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. 2.
- After Michael Kiske was fired, the next album (Master Of The Rings) had a song dedicated to him, "Mr. Ego".
- This Is Reality: "Open Your Life", from Rabbit Don't Come Easy.
- War Is Hell: "Warrior", from the Helloween EP.
- Word Salad Title: "Deliberately Limited Preliminary Prelude in Z", from Better Than Raw. All their other album-introduction tracks are single words beginning with an I - it's possible that this was the result of running out of ideas. Also the B-Side "Grapowski's Malmsuite 1001 In D-Doll".
- You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: "Ride The Sky", from Walls of Jericho, deals in first person with an outlaw who has escaped.
- Up to Eleven: If you thought Andi Deris was a Large Ham in their music videos (which he is), try seeing them live!
- You Can't Fight Fate: "Victim Of Fate", from the Helloween EP.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: "Twilight Of The Gods", from Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1, combines this and The End of the World as We Know It.