Tag Archives: andy deris

Helloween Announce 2018 North American Pumpkins United Tour Dates

The Heavy Metal Legions recently got some new music from the legendary Helloween and this new track was more special than anyone could have imagined since it featured legacy members as well. Now, the band has announced a tour with dates in the USA. Dig it.

tour posters, helloween tour posters, nuclear blast records artists, helloween

The Press Release:
German metal legends Helloween, who have reunited with vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen, have announced North American dates for their Pumpkins United World Tour.

Says the band: “Indeed, the North American Helloween fans had to be very patient. Reading about Pumpkins United’s touring schedule and sold out shows in Latin America, Europe & Asia, but yet any shows in the upper half of the American continent… but your constant demands were heard! We proudly announce the Pumpkins United shows in the USA & Canada!”
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“Pumpkins United” (Single) by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Pumpkins United” (Single)
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/13/2017
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Fans of the Power Metal titans in Helloween have been chomping at the bit for new music ever since the historic reunion of some of the bands legacy members was announced and tour dates began to appear across the Social Networking channels. Historically speaking, the bands name is that of Power Metal legend and it wouldn’t be too far off the mark to say that the genre actually exists because of their efforts. So before we get any deeper into this, let’s get a roll call on just who these “Pumpkins United” actually are and it begins with Michael Kiske (lead vocals), Andi Deris (lead vocals), Kai Hansen (lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals), Michael Weikath (lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Markus Grosskopf (bass, backing vocals), Sascha Gerstner (lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Daniel Löble (drums) and Eddy Wrapiprou (keyboards) – Whew. Think that you can remember all of that? Now let’s get into a quick overview of the first single track that will hopefully be one of many from this superb combination of players.
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“Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary” by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 3/30/2010
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 2.5/5

Wow, where do I even begin with this one? OK – to make a long story short, Helloween is celebrating their 25th Anniversary and this new album “Unarmed” is their “gift to fans” for all the years of support. It features twelve of their greatest numbers and delivers them in what can best be described as an “un-Metal” fashion. Yes you are reading that correctly for the band too these classics and reworked and stripped down the songs and as result appeared to remove every ounce of the Power Metal “oomph” that made them classics to us in the first place. I was shocked because while I consider myself to be one of the more open minded fans of this genre, as each track passed me by I was left with a sense of surprise and awe and not in a good way. I know the band wanted to give us something that we would never forget and I think that there will be no problem in this since they included a saxophone, pianos, a large orchestra and Gregorian singers. How different is this album? Well, I am glad you asked and here are some of its high and low points.
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Helloween & Gamma Ray @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/21/2008)

The pairing of Helloween and Gamma Ray was nothing less than a dream come true for many of the Power Metal fans of the world and when the “Hellish Rock” tour hit NYC we were there to document it.  So far, September had been one of the craziest months we ever experienced in the role of Metal Media guy but we were still happy to be able to present our views and images of the fun with the worldwide PiercingMetal.com readership.  We shot photos of both groups at some length and those who wish to learn more about it need only click the logo below to be brought to the item on the main website.

Logo - Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Gamma Ray
Date: 9/21/2008
Label: SPV Records

The concerts to attend on my planning schedule had already been rather fruitful with interesting appearances from the legendary Carcass who brought a bevy of supporting acts with them, all the way through show featuring Trouble, Opeth and the mighty Motorhead which was actually only last night for me. Yet despite the roster of things already done and being worked out for the Metal legions to enjoy – the very premise of both Gamma Ray and Helloween touring together on the same package was enough to make you tremble in your leather jacket even if we were still dealing with the warmer weather that would find such things in our closets for the next few weeks. They called this event “The Hellish Rock Tour” and it would thankfully feature no other openers and only be the two main bands. I say it like this based on the wide assortment of opening talent that I had absorbed over the past couple of weeks and since the longer the show the more exhausting it can be, I was happy to just see the pair of killer Power Metal acts taking the stage. Plus, with no openers to speak of this would mean a much longer set for each of the bands and one cannot go wrong with that. The show once again would be something that took place at B.B. King Blues Club and the venue was jam packed from the moment that I walked inside the place. I won’t lie when I say that I loved seeing that many Metal heads gathered together for the cause. Here is how the very exciting event took place if you were one of the few Metal heads that seemed to miss out.
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“Nuclear Blast 20th Anniversary: Into the Light” by Nuclear Blast All-Stars

Artist: Nuclear Blast All-Stars
Title: “Nuclear Blast 20th Anniversary: Into The Light”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 6/19/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Leave it to Nuclear Blast Records to start off their 20th Anniversary Celebration with a bang like no other and release a thundering CD of music featuring some of their best talent under the Nom de guerre of “Nuclear Blast All-Stars”. All of the music on the album was the result of Metal Mastermind Victor Smolski, that guitar virtuoso from the one and only Rage and with the exception of one track, all lyrics have been penned by Peter Wagner who sings and plays bass in that same band. If this fact didn’t pique your interest then perhaps knowing that all of the tunes feature different singers will do the trick. The CD features rotating vocalists who either are currently part of the labels roster or were at one time in their career. So as a result we find everyone from Tobias Sammet (Ed Guy) to Tarja Tarunen (Nightwish) contributing vocals and it continues to get interesting as you listen to each song. Rather than find this as another Rage album given its creators, the songs seem to have been tailored to the specific vocalist so the song that Tobias sings “On Dirty Wings” could have very well been an Ed Guy contribution. This continues along when it gets to what Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica sings as it really comes across as something new by that band and while Kakko himself says he does not feel this way in the liner notes, I will have to disagree with him. Such is the ability of Smolski to craft interesting Metal that he seems to have approached this with relative ease. It’s a great listen as each offering brings to the table different levels of solid riffing and interesting vocals. It’s heavy all around and should be since this is a Metal celebration but some artists come up the heavier than the others such as when Marcel from Destruction performs, and also Wagner from Rage who gets his own tune. It was great to find Andi Deris from Helloween present and also the members of Nightwish but I admit that while I love Tarja’s voice her song didn’t do anything for me. There is also some vocal talent who many of the Metal legions should be following more and I am speaking of Mats Leven formerly of Therion and Oddleif Stensland of Communic. These two continually impress me and I am looking forward to their future contributions. The drumming on most of the album comes care of Andre Hilgers who is also a member of Rage. Victor, Peavey, Andre and everyone else you did a great job on this one.

The release also serves as a reminder of just how powerful the labels artist roster is and not only does it come from these new Smolski compositions but also from the music featured on the included bonus CD. There is some great stuff here and many of the songs have never been released before. Pay particular attention to new label signings such as After Forever and Threshold for they are set to explode with their latest albums. From beginning to end this rocks and is a fine way to start the celebration of the label’s launch. I have enjoyed so much of their output over the last couple of years and many of their bands have become personal favorites. It is based on this that I raise the high hails to the next decade to come.

Bonus CD: Hammerfall – Hearts On Fire, Helloween – The Madness Of The Crowds, Gotthard – El Traidor, After Forever – Sweet Enclosure, Ride The Sky – New Protection, Thunderstone – Forevermore, Threshold – Slipstream, Amorphis – The Smoke, Candlemass – Devil Seed, Sirenia – The Other Side.

Track Listing:
1. Dirty Wings (Tobias Sammet)
2. Terrified (Peter Wagner)
3. Ruling The World (Tony Kakko)
4. Death Is Alive (Mats Leven)
5. Bloodsucker (Marcel Schirmer)
6. Slaves To The Desert (Hansi Kursch)
7. A Perfect Day (Andi Deris)
8. Eternally (Oddleif Stensland)
9. Inner Sanctuary (Marco Hietala)
10. In The Picture (Tarja Turunen)

Official Website: www.nuclearblastusa.com
Official Website: www.victorsmolski.de