This is the last Helloween
album with the line up that after many years seemed almost unbreakable. A short time after the release of The Dark Ride drummer Uli Kusch and guitarist Roland Grapow left the band.
The Dark Ride is nevertheless a competent and extremely professional album, offering high standard performances from all members, the rhythm guitars have a cool deep sound and overall the production is clean, dynamic and very strong.
This is definitely a hard and atmospheric album that still has the classical catchy Helloween
leads and choruses aplenty. I'll do a mini ride through the album, trying to show a glint of what to expect.
After the sombre intro Mr. Torture
hits with full force tearing everything down with its monster tight riffing and intense drumming. The swift guitar solo spot is one of the albums best and the catchy chorus works as a nice contrast to an otherwise very aggressive and heavy vibe.
All Over The Nation
written all over it, a fast creation with a happy sounding chorus line, and watch out for that mean monster bass delivery.
takes onto a very different path; being an immensely sombre track with some of the heaviest guitar riffs I have exposed my ears to. Andi Deris has a fantastic ability for adjusting his voice to the changing atmospheres, his raw approach in this one only makes it even more dark shrouded and enjoyable.
One of my favourites is the hard stomping Mirror Mirror
, an illuminating vocal break gives this otherwise dark song a new dimension.
The power ballad If I Could Fly
with its huge chorus is simply down right phenomenal, the melodic piano binds the song nicely together and again Deris impresses with a spectacular diverse approach, his singing on this album is astounding.
offers harmonious guitar licks in the classical Weikath fashion, a powerful song with a cool fast guitar solo followed by some great catchy dual leads, a positive aura flows through this one.
A more experimental style is gone for with The Departed Sun (Is Going Down)
, a groovy rhythm base is expanded with progressive keys given it a unique mystic atmosphere, the not overly exciting chorus is being used a bit too much for my taste though.
We Damn The Night
is no less than splendid, the drumming from Uli being technical and totally thrilling. The huge chorus hits right on and the symphonic mid-section sounds electrifying, dynamic guitar soloing also adds to the positive impression.
Gentle acoustic guitar tones open the mid-tempo hymn Immortal
, having a quite simple structure but a really powerful refrain.
And so we find ourselves at the closing title track ticking in at nearly 9 minutes. Lots of cool passages, forceful rhythm arrangements and skilful guitar solos. I think that some of the sections towards the end becomes rather long and looses a bit touch with the flow but it is nevertheless a very cool and innovative composition.
A look at my comments to the albums songs reveals that I don't have many critical remarks concerning these songs, they are in fact all from good to fantastic.
On the lyrical level the writings are overall interesting, diverse and pretty cool, realising your dreams, reaching spiritual dimensions, dark betrayal and standing shoulder to shoulder fighting for a better world.
A diverse, heavy and by all means exciting ride.
Written by Tommy
Sunday, January 16, 2005Show all reviews by TommyRatingsTommy: 8/10
Members: 8.25/10 - Average of 2 ratings.Member ratings
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