Helloween, one of the most eminent melodic metal bands worldwide and - along with the Scorpions and Accept - Germany’s ultimate metal export, got together exactly 25 years ago. A total of eleven headlining world tours took the band all over the globe, and their sensational show at the Monsters Of Rock in Castle Donington in front of more than 100,000 metalheads and spectacular tours alongside Iron Maiden, Dio and Ozzy Osbourne as well as their MTV Headbangers Ball US tour with Anthrax and Exodus remain unforgotten. Helloween have sold more than five million records and garnered 14 gold and 6 platinum awards globally, receiving two gold records in Germany only. Thus: no exaggeration to say that without them, many contemporary acts such as Edguy, Sonata Arctica and Blind Guardian etc. would not be around in their current form. For 25 years, Helloween have shot their riffs and hooks from the hip and doubtlessly count among the most ingenious international metal acts. At the same time, it’s mainly their fantastic and extremely haunting melodies which their fans love. Now Andi Deris (vocals), Michael Weikath (guitar), Sascha Gerstner (guitar), Markus Großkopf (bass) and Daniel Löble (drums) have set out to prove that their great anthems ooze that special Helloween flair even with totally new arrangements: February 1st, 2010 will see the band unleash a stunning best-of album, entitled “UNARMED – Best-Of 25th Anniversary”, which is set to raise the musical benchmark!
“UNARMED – Best-Of 25th Anniversary” is Helloween’s ‘thank-you’ to millions of fans old and new and will prove their exceptional position on the international metal scene. Instead of putting together a regular greatest hits compilation featuring their most successful tracks to celebrate this anniversary, the five band members completely rearranged the greatest melodies they had written in the course of their career to date. The result is an offering which was lavishly produced under the auspices of their tried and tested producer, Charlie Bauerfeind, and recorded with the support of a number of first-rate guest musicians: together with percussion virtuoso Nippy Noya, Fury in the Slaughterhouse accordion player Gero Drnek, as well as German rock icon Peter Maffay’s guitarist Andreas Becker, “UNARMED – Best-Of 25th Anniversary” features Supercharge’s exceptional saxophonist Albie Donnelly, Hellsongs’s vocalist Harriet Ohlsson, pianist Matthias Ulmer, plus the 70-piece Prague Symphonic Orchestra and the choirs of the Gregorian singers!
“People have come to know us for our phat ENGL, Mesa Boogie and Marshall amps; our distorted guitars are our most deadly weapon,” vocalist Andi Deris explains. “This time, however, some listeners will probably find themselves slapping their foreheads when they suddenly, after an unfamiliar beginning, realise which song it is that they have been listening to.” At the same time, Helloween have fully explored the limits of what is possible: the catchy ‘Eagle Fly Free’ for example is a tender ballad, presented as a duet between Deris and Harriet Ohlsson, supported by a wonderful e-bow guitar solo, ‘A Tale That Wasn’t Right’ has turned into a melancholic, touching orchestral version, ‘If I Could Fly’ and ‘Fallin To Pieces’ are presented in a mellow pop guise with lounge music tendencies, and ‘Dr. Stein’ had been transformed into a ska version with an entire horn section.
As a special surprise, Helloween have come up with ‘The Keeper´s Trilogy’ an awesome 17-minute medley of the songs ‘Halloween’, ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ and ‘The King For A 1000 Years’, recorded in cooperation with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra and likely to send shivers of delight down the spine of every Helloween fan.
“UNARMED – Best-Of 25th Anniversary” sees Helloween commemorate their 25th anniversary in their very own way. “We aren’t one of those bands who like to celebrate themselves,” says Weikath. “We wanted to say thank you in a special way to all our fans who have followed us through the past 25 years - to us, this album stands for an official celebration. We had a lot of fun recording our most important tracks in an entirely new ‘outfit’ and with new arrangements. Now we can’t wait to find out how our fans will react.”