Tag Archives: michael kiske

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.

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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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“Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2” (remaster) by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 8/8/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

One might have found it strange that Helloween chose to follow up “Keeper 1” with a successor album immediately afterward but if you heard it originally back then- it made nothing but sense. The band was firming up their dominance in this new Power Metal genre that their music was largely responsible for and as the albums opener “Eagle Fly Free” blasts through your speakers you feel all the majesty and grandeur that Helloween would come to be associated with for a number of albums. With their third album being a sequel there were probably not many who felt it would be the success that is eventually became. Song wise there was no shortage of memorable tunes from the comical “Dr. Stein”, which finds the infamous Doctor now creating monsters who become Rock Musicians and Politicians, to Metal anthem “I Want Out”. The latter track had a very strange video to accompany it on the still fledgling MTV network which at the time showed a lot of Metal bands. This same track still sounds as fresh today almost twenty years later and not many bands can say that about their early material. Kiske has vocal lines on the album that soar high above the stratosphere at times and at others are subtle and passionate and on his own sophomore work with the group you can easily see why he will become one of the most respected Power Metal vocalists of all time and be someone who future singers measure their talents against. The album does not include a sequel to the mega-number “Halloween” from the preceding chapter but in its place we have “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” which serves well as the albums epic number. There is also the appealing heaviness of “Save Us” and this will remind you easily of the appeal of this building genre.
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“Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” (remaster) by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” (remaster)
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 8/8/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5/5

As the follow up to their debut “Walls Of Jericho”, Helloween would find lead singer/guitarist Kai Hansen choosing to focus on the axe work while they brought in a then 18 year old Michael Kiske to handle the vocal duties. The song writing would grow by leaps as well, and as a result the 1987 release of “Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1” would become one of the most revered albums in Power Metal music history. Interestingly enough, Power Metal was not yet a widely used term and based on their efforts, Helloween is regarded as one of the prime founders of the genre. It’s easy to see why this is the case based on the direction that the group took with the second album for instead of maintaining course to the more thrashy debut they increased the use of melody and double guitar leads. Yes bands like Maiden and Priest also had twin axe men but theirs was a sound based on the influences of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and while also melodic it did not reach speed levels like the Helloween players delivered. The release in remaster and expanded format is a real treat for any Metal fan or study of the genre as the classics come to renewed life with the cleaner production of this CD.
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