Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Helloween
Albums : Keeper Of The Seven Keys Parts I & II
Released : Part I : May 23, 1987 & Part II : August 29, 1988
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (Two of the greatest Metal Records ever recorded !)
I personally don’t know what is a bigger injustice, the fact that the German Band Helloween never got the respect they deserved, or the fact that many people who claim to love Metal music have never heard these two masterpiece albums of the genre. In the 1980s most people (especially in America) thought they only truly great band to come out of Germany was The Scorpions. Helloween proved early on though to be a great band. Formed in the very same place the legendary Beatles truly found their sound in the tough streets of Hamburg, Germany founded by guitarist Kai Hansen, and drummer Ingo Schwichtenburg, first starting (like The Beatles) as a four piece when they recorded their debut album, they made what would be the right decision to expand to a quintet by bringing in lead singer Michael Kiske. The band then started working on a very ambitious project. With Kiske now on lead vocals, who had the sound of Bruce Dickinson, and Rob Halford the music would now get not only harder, but much faster. Little did the band know that they were almost singlehandedly inventing a whole new form of the genre that would become known as “Power Metal”. By the end of the project the band had created what would be a full-fleged Speed Metal Concept Double Album to be called ” Keeper Of The Seven Keys”. Leave it to their record company to rain on their parade though. They would veto the idea of the double album, and ask the band to release the project as two separate records. One to be released in 1987, Part II in 1988. In the end it would’ve been nice to have the album released as double, that being said though both records were very successful in Europe. The band sounds absolutely killer on both records, especially the bass playing of Markus Grosskopt, who may be the most underrated bass player in the Metal genre. Many fans (including myself) even feel that Part II is the superior record, one of the few times the sequel matches up to the original. That being said both records should be taken as a whole, because that was the original intention. A few years ago a deluxe Edition with bonus tracks released both albums in a single package. It doesn’t matter if you buy them together, or separately, because both records are essential listening to any metal fan. If you’ve never heard them rectify that immediately !