's next four albums, released 1993 through 1998, are in the second batch of expanded reissues to be given special treatment by Sanctuary
Again, bonus tracks are plentiful, including rare B sides, remixes, Japanese only tracks and live stuff.
, the band's last album with Michael Kiske
, comes with an eight track bonus disc. These are mainly tracks that appeared only on the band's single releases from that album.
ikath's 'I Don't Care You Don't Care'
suggests an awareness, lyrically at least, that the then new grunge phenomenon came with its own unique philosophical baggage.
Grapow's instrumental 'Oriental Journey'
is a cracking little track, melodic and pulse quickening.
Yet another instrumental, this time a collaborative effort involving all band members, 'Red Socks and The Smell Of Trees'
is yet another highlight from this bonus disc. It's a bluesy track with a deep, dark groove. An eleven minutes running time might seem self indulgent, but it's got a real, late night, low key gig, jam session feel to it.
The demo version of 'Windmill',
written by We
ikath, couldn't have been further from the band's trademark sound. It further indicated the band's musical restlessness, and their discomfort with the speed metal straitjacket that they'd been strapped into by their label and their fans.
Obviously, the studio version made it onto an album that again got criticised for its "experimental" nature. Maybe the critics should've clocked the album's title. Bit of a giveaway there, I would have thought.
With the reissues of 'Master Of The Rings'
and 'Time Of The Oath', Sanctuary
again do us proud. Both are expanded to a two disc set, and respectively we get seven and eight bonus tracks on the second discs. 'Master Of The Rings'
saw the arrival of Andi Deris, formerly of PC69 on vocals. It also saw two cracking cover versions, previously available only as Japanese bonus tracks. The first of Grand Funk's 'Closer To Home'
, the second of the Kiss
song 'I Stole Your Love'
'Time Of The Oath'
also produces some outstanding extra material. The distinctly Maidenish 'Still I Don't Know'
and the heavier melodic/prog metal of 'Take It To The Limit'
were Japanese only bonus tracks. Both are exceptionally good Helloween
material. In fairness though, all the tracks here sounds fresh and new. It was Andy Deris's second album with the band and they really hit their stride with 'Time Of The Oath'
, gaining new fans and winning back old ones who'd drifted away toward the end of the Kiske
This second disc is also notable for a rousing version of Jean Michael Jarre's 'Magnetic Fields'
and an absolutely magnificent metal version of Status Quo's 'Rain',
both originally B sides on single releases.
'Better Than Raw'
consolidated the new line-up of Deris/Kusch/Grapow/We
ikath and Grosskopf. Bonus material here is thin on the ground but shows Deris's considerable contribution to the band's songwriting. The galloping 'Back On The Ground'
written by Deris & Kusch and the dark, symphonic metal of 'A Game We Shouldn't Play'
, written solely by Deris are probably the picks.
All in all, these are worth a plunge even if you have the original albums. Sanctuary
has ensured that each and every one does the band proud, delivering a plethora of bonus material, certainly enough to keep fans of the band deliriously happy.
Bonus Material ratings:
Written by Brian
Thursday, July 27, 2006Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 666/10
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