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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2004
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I listened to this album last night and the title track this morning. What a CD! You'd expect them to be writing music different than what the newer bands are up to (Edguy, Sonata Arctica, Dragonforce), but Helloween pleases me. I have Keeper... Part I and love it even more than this one. DO NOT get turned off because of the bands about 20 year career. These guys put out power metal no different than what the modern masters do.
The first thing I must make note of is my favorite song, "The Departed". What a unique song! I love all the evens on the CD - that's it. The opening group of notes should catch your attention. I've never heard another song like it. I just love it!!!
Also on my list of favorites lies the opening song, "Mr. Torture", which has awesome guitarring. A bit short, though (3:30). If I could Fly is okay, but I don't think the music is good enough for the lyrics. The title track is pretty good, but for a closer AND a title track, more should have been done. That song is the longest on the album clocking in at 8:50. The biggest surprises are the ultra-gloomy track 4 and track 10. 4 is great. You don't hear gloomy CDs like this one too much, and to have a song that stands out as gloomy on an already gloomy album says something. This song is so slow and the vocals are so dark... wow! Its another one of those different ones. However, I did earlier say that Helloween is no different from the modern bands, right? Well, track 10 doesn't disappoint you. At the 1:54 mark, one of the coolest "between choruses" starts, and boy is it awesome! Its nothing compared to the likes of "The World Will be Better" by Heavenly, but its my favorite "between choruses" on the album, with "Mr. Torture" (track 2)'s "between chorus" as a close 2nd.
Now for keyboards... They're not that apparent, but this kind of music doesn't need them. Helloween isn't like Brainstorm or Manowar, but more like Gamma Ray. The Departed uses keyboards, but other than that, the vocals and bass are the focus, so keyboards aren't really needed to enhance the sound like they are say with Sonata Arctica. Oh yeah, the cover art is perfect for the gloomyness of this album, which is described well in other reviews. Just believe me when I say that these songs that I mentioned are all different from each other and that there is something here for every true metal lover.
So much has been said about Helloween over time that I just don't know what else to write here. I expressed my opinion like all other times - what else can I do? ...I know... "BUY IT!"
When you do get the chance, say if this review helped you or not and then go read some of my others. Thanks for reading!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Helloween has always been one of my favourite bands. It's however curious how they became really a top level band after they lost their leader (Kai Hansen, who left to create Gamma Ray) and their great singer (Michael Kiske, who left for a solo career). Beginning from The Time of the Oath they've been on a continuous rise, topping in power with Better Than Raw and in quality and melody as well with The Dark Ride. This album is fantastic: songs as Mr. Torture, If I Could Fly, Live for your Pain and The Dark Ride are absolute masterworks, but the others are not so below. GET IT!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
When someone mentioned power metal, three bands come out of my mind: Helloween, Accept and Scanner. These bands are the purveyors of aggro-melodic music. But Helloween sticks out like a sore thumb. Many bands have attempted or imitate thier style, but in a long run, they became boring. I've been a Helloween fan since Kai was still singing for them. OK, no more comparison who's the better singer. I could never imagine Mike Kiske singing on this album. Andi Deris is a perfect replacement, he may not have the same range as Kiske, but he gave the vocal part a new direction. The Dark Ride itself is a marvelous concotction of aggro-melodic and darker tones mixed into one album. I do think this surpasses "Time of the Oath" in a million ways. Mature songwriting, excellent showcase of talent. A must-buy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to write a full review of this album, other than to say it more than lives up to Helloween's characteristic excellence in musicianship and songwriting. I was just wondering if anyone else noticed that in the song Immortal, around 1:35, the guitar riff briefly takes on a variation that is strikingly close to the riff in 'One Step into Paradise' by Andi Deris' former band, Pink Cream 69. Also, the lyrics over this particular verse end with the word 'Paradise'. I think this is an intentional nod to the old song.. pretty cool if it is in fact intentional. Anyway, this is a great album. My top picks for tracks would be: I Live For Your Pain, Mr. Torture, All Over the Nations, Salvation, and the title track.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I loved the old Helloween lineup on Keeper Part I and II and Walls of Jericho, but once both Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske left I pretty much tuned out. However, I'm very glad I decided to give this cd a try because it's amazing! It sounds like what they would have released right after Keeper if they hadn't started putting out that other stuff. The album is dark, but is very melodic, and uses alot of those anthemic choruses unique to Helloween and power metal in general. Every song is good and this is a great cd to listen to all the way through, but my favorite tracks would have to be "Mr. Torture" (wow i never thought I'd hear a catchy song about S&M), "If I Could Fly" (a beautiful anthem about not being able to accomplish our goals), and the ultra-catchy "We Damn The Night" and "The Departed Sun Is Going Down". Buy this album now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Like most bands, Helloween's music has taken different faces and forms over the years as various members have come and gone. While some feel the magic was over when Kai Hansen and/or Michael Kiske left, I honestly feel that band has managed to do well for themselves since Deris has taken over as vocalist. While the band never did regain their superstar status of the late 80's, the band has managed to crank out some good tunes since the mid 1990s.

While The Dark Ride proves no different, it marks the point I personally draw the line as far as Helloween music is concerned (outside a few of their newer songs). You may ask why I draw the line here? Well, the answer really lies in the songs themselves and which members wrote them.

Drummer Uli Kusch cranks out "Mr. Torture," which starts the album with one hell of a bang. He also contributes the dark and brooding "The Departed (Sun Is Going Down)" which is just a perfect fit for an album such as this. Roland Graplow also makes his influence well known with the excellent title track that never derails (sorry, bad pun) despite it multiple twist and turns. Unfortunately, Kusch and Graplow would eventually be canned (think Weikath here, who thinks he needs to be in charge of EVERYTHING). I simply have a hard time contemplating why you'd fire these two when their contributions to this album are excellent and significant. In hindsight, they did help form Masterplan soon after, so not all is lost (and if I were them I wouldn't want my name attached to works such as Rabbit Don't Come Easy and Keepers III).

Deris also makes his impact here as well, offering the straight-up rocker "Mirror Mirror," the heart-felt piano-driven "If I Could Fly" (uh, why is there three different versions of this song when they only vary in length? - two would suffice) and the dark and sinister "Immortal". "I Live For Your Pain" is basically is re-worked version of "A Handful of Pain" from Better Than Raw, and such songs would appear again (see "Lair" from Rabbit Don't Come Easy) that they have become too stereotypical for their own good. Deris also throws in a few clunkers to boot, which include "We Damn The Night" and "Deliver Us From Temptation" which appears on the included "If I Could Fly" single - which is were such songs belong. If your willing to shell out the money, the Japanese bonus track "The Madness of The Crowds," which is Deris is also credited with writing, is a excellent non-stop in-your-face barrage of guitar and drum. Of course, you could be "smart" about it and just buy the European Just A Little Sign single for that song and pick up the "If I Could Fly" video at the same time.

Ironically enough, Weikath's two tracks "All Over the Nations" and "Salvation" are among the album's weakest moments - they're so stereotypical it isn't even funny. Containing what many dub as that patented "Helloween Hymn" sound that I honestly can't stand it. In all honesty think they canned the wrong men.

Also, I must say it really angers me when I see the members of the band themselves bashing this album. I'm really sick of hearing comments such as "it's to nu-metal" and "we were heading in the wrong direction". Nobody held a gun to your head when you wrote these songs (which for the most part are excellent) so quit pointing your fingers at the producers! If you want to talk about "wrong direction" take a look at Rabbits Don't Come Easy and Keepers Pt.III! The "back to our roots" thing the band is trying to cultivate nowadays nothing but a big joke.

So, if you like were Deris and crew were heading after Better Than Raw, you'll probably enjoy The Dark Ride. However, for this particular fan the story ends here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for the best of Helloween, this is for you. After "Keeper Of The Seven Keys 2", I didn't listen to this band a lot, so when I finally decided to get this album I didn't accept much from this band. But, after I listened to it to the 1st song it immediately became my favorite. The lyrics on this album are very dark but deep in meaning. The songs written by Andi Deris are the definitely the best. There are some old type of songs that remind about Kiske- era: Salvation, All Over The Nations. Some classic Deris- Weikath type of stuff: Mirror, Mirror; The Dark Ride. Stand- outs are: If I could Fly (their best song yet), Mr. Torture, Immortal, Sun Is Going Down, I Live For Your Pain and Escalation 666.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
As a true fan of helloween this was my first album I got and I mean this is exactly how I got into really good taste metal and left my other taste in which I call imitation metal like korn and linkin park which are recommended for highschool junkies. This album has truly blown me away, it's pure dark fast superb and pure melodic metal with great guitar hooks and solos with a little keyboards on 1 song and lets not forget the last song on this album which was the true song that will blow you away. This was the greatist last album with the greatist members roland grapow and uli kusch who departed helloween and who now made another great band masterplan And they are truly missed. Every song on here was awesome and andreas deris's voice suites perfectly with these great songs and this great album. All because of this one album I continued to buy most of helloweens albums and other bands and before you know it my taste in music changed to power metal and classic rock such as BLIND GUARDIAN/ GAMMA RAY/SONATA ARCTICA/AVANTASIA/MASTERPLAN/PINK CREAM 69/CHILDREN OF BODOM/RAINBOW/STRATOVARIOUS/Y. MALMSTEEN and the list goes on and I never stopped collecting this stuff thanks to this one album.

If your quite new to helloween then this is the perfect place to start and if your new to power metal then pick up some of the bands I listed above and give em a good spin.

STAY METAL!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
this is good. It is much heavier than old helloween, as most reviewers pointed out, and i think it is a change for the better. Some songs do chug away at the power chords too much (song 4 (i think) being the prime example of this) The best part IS the guitar riffs at 2:25 of track 10, it is great! We want more of this! though it doesn't compare to yngwie, as another reviewer said, it is very clean and interesting, one of the more catchy riffs i've heard helloween, or any other band for that matter do. Once i heard it i immediately picked up my guitar and didn't listen to another song until i figured it out. good stuff. It is not 5 star material though because there is some filler. Some songs just seem to be there, not really grabbing your attention as you wait for the next brilliant moment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
'The Dark Ride' takes a turn from the 'happy' music they played on earlier albums, But it is a definate good turn. With songs like "If I Could Fly","Escalation 666",and "Mirror Mirror" makes this album an instant classic.Andi Deris singing in this album is simply amazing. Just because it has lower record sales than others, Dosent mean its not good, And it dosent mean you shouldnt buy it.
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