Helloween - The Dark Ride
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 has Helloween written all over it, a fast creation with a happy sounding chorus line, and watch out for that mean monster bass delivery.

Escalation 666 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.

Salvation 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, 2005
Show all reviews by Tommy


Tommy: 8/10

Members: 8.25/10 - Average of 2 ratings.

Member ratings

Profile picturenotrap

Rating: 8.5/10
I stopped listen this band after Chameleon. I only gave a very quick listen to Master Of T... · Read more ·
Profile pictureLittle Drummer Boy

Rating: 8/10
Thus far the Dark Ride is my favorite release for the Deris era. Helloween brought us sign... · Read more ·

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by kris s (Anonymous) - Friday, September 26, 2003
another great one 9/10

Comment by Mads Aanum (Anonymous) - Friday, May 21, 2004
right on with your rating Tommy...

Comment by Rabbit (Anonymous) - Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Helloween's best album in my opinion. 10/10

Comment by nihilist (Anonymous) - Monday, January 17, 2005
agree, this is the best Helloween album i have heard.
Songs like "If I could fly", "All over the nations", "Salvation", "We damn the night" are trully masterpieces.

There is also few weak songs (Mirror, mirror, escalation 666) but overall it's great

Comment by kevtallica (Anonymous) - Monday, January 24, 2005
How Helloween, themselves, not like this album is beyond me. They trash the whole process anytime they can.

Comment by Nietzsche (Anonymous) - Monday, October 24, 2005
10/10 Mr. Torture, All over the nations, If I could Fly and one of my favourite songs, The Dark Ride are fast, heavy and POWERFUL. This was my first Helloween album and then when I got the others I was quite disappointed because none of them was as good as The Dark Ride

Comment by Master Of Puppets (Anonymous) - Thursday, May 4, 2006
Beyond The Portal-N/A
All Over The Nations-7/10
Escalation 666-9/10
If I Could Fly-9/10
The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)-10/10
I Live For Your Pain-10/10
We Damn The Night-10/10
Immortal (Stars)-6/10
The Dark Ride-7/10

Review by notrap (Member) - Sunday, July 18, 2010
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66
I stopped listen this band after Chameleon. I only gave a very quick listen to Master Of The Rings and The Time Of The Oath back in the 90's and I remember being disappointed.
I've always found impossible to replace Kay and Kiske.

So I only listen The Dark Ride a couple months ago and to be honest I didn't expect much.
Well I was wrong because this record is very interesting with special credits to Escalation 666 and If I Could Fly.

Now I will give a deep overview into Better Than Raw just to see if I missed something in 98 ;)

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted by notrap
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review by Little Drummer Boy (Member) - Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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Comments: 166
Ratings: 46
Thus far the Dark Ride is my favorite release for the Deris era. Helloween brought us signature songs and some that are not so typical for this legendary power metal band, that of which are atmospherically dark and heavy.

My personal favorites are Escalation 666, The Departed Sun, Mirror Mirror, Mr. Torture and the epic the Dark Ride.

Surprisingly enough I very indifferent with the song "If I Could Fly".

However I am anxiously waiting for their latest "7 Sinners" to see if is as good as some reviewers claim.

Rating: 8/10

Posted by Little Drummer Boy
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review by Tommy

Released by
Nuclear Blast - 2000

1. Beyond The Portal
2. Mr. Torture
3. All Over The Nations
4. Escalation 666
5. Mirror Mirror
6. If I Could Fly
7. Salvation
8. The Departed Sun (Is Going Down)
9. Live For Your Pain
10. We Damn The Night
11. Immortal
12. The Dark Ride

Power Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Helloween - Official Website

Other articles
Rabbit Don´t Come Easy - (Tommy)

Live With Rage, Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 9th December, 2003 - (Tommy)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys - Part II - (Tommy)

Mrs. God (Single) - (Steen)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy - (Tommy)

Walls Of Jericho / Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Parts 1 & 2 / Pink Bubbles Go Ape (Re-issues) - (Brian)

Expanded Reissues, Part Two: Chameleon; Master Of The Rings; Time Of The Oath; Better Than Raw. - (Brian)

Live In Sao Paulo - (Brian)

Gambling With The Devil - (Steen)

7 Sinners - (Brian)

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