A Review of the album Master of the Rings by German Power Metal Band Helloween
Master of the Rings front album cover
Master of the Rings shows the talents of Andi Deris and Michael Weikath
German power metal band Helloween has been one of the best bands in Germany and with their 1994 album "Master of the Rings," they show just how great they are. This is the first album to have Andi Deris do the vocals and this is also the first album to have Uli Kusch doing the drums. The album starts with a short classically influenced piece called Irritation. Michael Weikath has a habit of starting albums out in the fashion and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sole Survivor and Why are two of the best songs on this album
Then there is the lighting fast song Sole Survivor! Throughout the evolution of human history, fear and hatred has been a part of life on Earth and it is up to us as individuals to try and promote understanding, kindness, and peace. The song Why which is amazing and melodic is about asking GOD for guidance and direction at a time when there are so many unfortunate things happening.
The weak songs of Master of the Rings
Master of the Rings is a very good album by this great German band however, I wouldn’t say that it is their best one because there are a few songs that are kind of substandard such as Mr. Ego (Take Me Down) and I kind of don’t really like the song Still We Go. Even so, the album has many strong songs in it and this album would help the band finish off the 1990’s in very strong fashion.
Perfect Gentleman and The Game is On are two more very good songs on this album
Perfect Gentleman is a song about someone that’s trying to prove to a lady that he is in fact the right man to be with her. That’s part of the challenge as he tries to sweep her off her feet so that she comes to him. The Game is On is a humorous attempt to describe what happens to a person when they start to play video games because they want to distract themselves from what is going on in their daily life because the stress and pressure is too much for them. At the end of the song is a famous sound that happens in the game of Tetris when the player loses. I’m sure that most of you remember what this sound is like.
The fast song "Sole Survivor"
The album ends with a beautiful Yngwie Malmsteen style influenced song
Take Me Home is a blues style hard rock kind of song. The band introduces a ballad song called In the Middle of a Heartbeat. He is trying to win over the heart of a woman but all the things that she has done and said are still not enough to convince him. The Japanese version of this album has two bonus tracks. They are called Can’t Fight Your Desire and the instrumental song called Grapowski’s Malmsuite1001 (D-Doll). This one has the obvious Yngwie Malmsteen influence with the neoclassical style and sweeping guitar play that we heard on the first Rising Force album back in 1984. Then the song slows down and sounds like the song Evil Eye though not exactly. Then there is a huge section of piano playing that would make any classical composer proud.
The song called "Why"
Andi Deris proves he is the right vocalist for this band
Andi Deris made a very good transition from Pink Cream 69 and came to Helloween replacing Michael Kiske whom many people think very highly of. I like Kiske but I feel that Deris has been the better fit for this band because of his uniqueness and good soft vocals. Congratulations to Helloween for creating such a solid album as Master of the Rings!
Master of the Rings Is Still a Great Album More Than 25 Years Later
How has the album Master of the Rings fared after more than 25 years since it was released? Sole Survivor has that fast, electric guitar playing but the riffing on the song is GOOD! Andi Deris lets out a few shouts and the album is off to a rocking start! Master of the Rings allowed Helloween to continue their career with a brand-new vocalist at the time and it really paid off. Andi Deris has one of those unique voices in the metal genre that I have not really heard from other vocalists and he can also do a pretty good low octave kind of voice as well. Michael Kiske was a good vocalist too but I just feel that Helloween needed a fresh start following the release of Chameleon in 1993. The first four tracks on Master of the Rings are solid and there is no disputing this especially if you hear the masterpiece 4th song called Why. The vocals of Andi Deris on the song “Where the Rain Grows” are pretty superb as he sings: “so I take my life back from where the rain grows.” Deris does not have the highest pitched vocals but what makes him so great is that he is able to do these harmony kinds of vocals and really make them stand out.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian