Helloween - Hellish Videos
DVD Review by John Ciallella



Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 7/18/05
Run Time: 66 minutes
Audio Dolby Digital
5.1 Surround Sound
and 2.0 Stereo
Rated: NR



When asked if I could review the Helloween video collection, I jumped at the opportunity. I have been listening to this German Power Metal group for almost 15 years. What makes Helloween so unique is that they INVENTED the power metal genre in 1985. The closest band before them to create a similar sound was German metal band Accept. The sound was popular in Eastern Europe and began spreading west in the early 90's. The late 90's gave Canada a power metal scene, and it wasn't until two years ago that I heard my first American power metal band, and it wasn't until September 26th, 2005 that I heard an American power metal band on prime time radio on NYC's 92.3 krock. So it only took 20 years for Americans to sort of accept this style that Accept and Helloween invented so long ago . . . we'll see if it lasts.

But I digress, back to the video. So I love Helloween, I've seen them twice, have all their records, yada yada yada, but in the 15 years I've listened to them, I've only seen one of their music videos, so reviewing this DVD seemed like an incredible opportunity. Tuesday September 27th, 2005, I call my buddy Carlos and tell him of the task at hand, he rushes over to my house to watch (Carlos has seen Helloween live with me both times, and first heard them about 15 years ago in Spain). We're pretty excited, I take out a notebook and a pen, and I'm ready to roll. I'll go through each video, and then give an overall comment; here we go!

1) Halloween
This WAS a cool song, but after removing verses, bridges, choruses, and solos, it was left butchered. The band is in the woods around a campfire rocking, while a man with a pumpkin head watches from behind the trees. If you never heard the song, maybe it would be okay, but since I know that it's supposed to be 10 minutes long, and the resulting video is only 5 minutes, there's much to be desired. The video itself gets strange as people in weird costumes appear and start dancing around the woods. Some of it is quite amusing, and some of it is just strange, but this was proof positive that the Helloween of the late 80's was more "Hello"-een then "Hell"-oween. I give it a C-.

2) I Want Out
Once upon a time in the late 80's, MTV played this song on Headbangers Ball. This was the one song I had seen the video while growing up, and it is indeed one of my personal favorite songs. The few Americans that know Helloween know this song, because the song is awesome. The video is typical late 80's metal video material, with a few silly components (the entire music video takes place somewhere in the lead singers mouth&) It's worth a B+.

3) Kids of the Century
They all have fucking sunny side up eggs over there eyes. They seem to wanna convey a political message, but fail miserably. This song sucks, the album it was on pretty much sucks, and the video sucks. Gets a D-.

4) When the Sinner
My buddy Carlos put this best&"When did Robert Palmer join Helloween?" Helloween was beginning to go through several lineup and style changes at this time, and it shows. Remember what I said about the last video? Well, this one's even worse. If I could kill this video, I would . . . Hey Helloween, What the FUCK man? If it's possible, I give this video a G-

5) Mr. Ego
There are now 2 of 5 original members of Helloween in this incarnation of the band. BUT, the lineup is stable. Music is starting to get better, towards their roots sound. This video could have been a candidate for Headbangers Ball (not primetime MTV); only problem was that Headbangers Ball was taken off the air the same year. The song was mildly edited, but certainly not butchered. Gets a B.

6) Where the Rain Grows
Helloween sounds like Helloween again. Even some of the corniness of their older videos is present (the singer pops out of cuckoo clock). So this is about a guy who works in corporate America. On the weekends, he camps along the East River and turns into a Native American, but just for the weekend. I suppose this is a song that is all about getting back to your roots (the Corporate Native American, does a rain dance to "make the rain grow") B+.

7) Perfect Gentleman
Cool/fun song. Video follows suit nicely. It's about a guy who thinks he's the mack daddy pimp of the year, but he's just a fool. I like it. B+.

8) We've Got the Power
Great song, a lot of memories from my teen years came back when I heard it (but that won't apply to you now will it?) This is a good-time confidence building song, the video was perfect for the time period, very artistic (In a Batman the movie sort of fashion) hot chicks in leather bikinis, strobe lights . . . cool. A-.

9) Time of the Oath
It must be a requirement; to be a metal band, you must do a song relating to the bible (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, I can go on). This one is about the rapture of the church, the book of revelations. The video is par for the course (fire, demons, plagues). Good effort, but Iron Maiden did this with Hallowed Be Thy Name back in '83, nice try guys. C.

10) Neverland
One of the best ballads that no one has ever heard (if you have the opportunity, this song is absolutely incredible played live). Take a blender. Put Cinderella, Damn Yankees, and The Scorpions in it, and you get this ballad. Great song, video reflects the emotion of the song, I like it. A-.

11) I Can
This is a cool song, both the song and the video are a clear throw back to the late 80's song "I Want Out" (#2 of this DVD). The message is the same, the scenery is very similar, the music is similar . . . they did cut out the bridge, and it's not quite as good as the 80's song, so it gets a B.

12) If I Could Fly
Good song, video is par for course . . . kind of just there. Gets a B-.

13) Just a Little Sign
Very very cool song. Video tries to get modern (uses CGI) but it looks more like Parappa the Rapper for Playstation. Nevertheless, the video was good, and the song is great, so it gets a B+.

They throw in a bonus video for the song "Hey Lord." This song is OK at best, and kind of in the middle of the road for heaviness. The video was somewhat inappropriate. It's footage from a live performance, in slow motion, people with lighters, it looked like a memorial for John Lennon. It didn't match the tone and vibe of the song. C.

Photo Gallery Stupid. No photos of original members who actually created the band.

Tour Outtakes This is goofy. It's fun to watch one time. It's even better because half of it is in German.

Kinda left me high and dry. I thought the packaging was lacking. The transition between videos was awkward. The audio was over-compressed (For those of you who don't know about compression, listen to "Wish You Were Here" on CD and then on a radio station&the radio station is over-compressed). As a huge fan of Helloween, I gotta say I was disappointed. I don't recommend the DVD. There are a dozen better songs they could have used. I would have been happier listening to the real CD's and staring at a blank screen, honestly. If they're looking to get their foot in the door of the US market, this was a poor business move. There's 5-6 good videos on this . . . I'm willing to pay a buck for each good video.

So all in all, this DVD gets a C+.


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