The reunited expanded classic lineup of German power metallers HELLOWEEN released its self-titled album Nuclear Blast Records earlier this year. The official music video for the disc’s opening track, “Out Of The Glory”, can be seen below.
“I had an idea for a video where all band members are depicted as dinky, odd noble courtiers and ministers,” Michael Weikath explains. “All of us should be floating in the clouds, Deris as a nutty emperor… and after a while more and more details came up and at one point in time we wrote everything down and sent the video concept to the Australian animation team.”
Aaron McLoughlin, Senior Lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne, who has already been involved in several projects with Atomic Fire Records CEO Florian Milz mentioned: “When I heard that Helloween is interested in a collaboration I was totally gobsmacked. The boys are my absolute heroes since I was a teenager and I was sure that my students would love to work on a song by this band.”
And as is typical for HELLOWEEN, the creativity was so outrageous that it was impossible to feature everything in one music video. “Seven and a half minutes might not sound like a lot but in animation terms it is a marathon. We had so much great stuff, that the production of ‘Out For The Glory’ was a real challenge,” McLoughlin recollects. “Weiki wanted the video to look as cute as possible and we immediately knew: a legendary band from the other side of the planet wants us to create a medieval epic full of cuteness? You bet!”
With a bit over 10,000 frames, the animated short movie is not only extremely elaborate, but also wicked and spacy. As Michael Weikath wishes with a twinkle in his eye, “I now expect that everyone will enjoy this and think it is funny and also that they see the significance!”
The cover artwork for “Helloween”, was painted by artist Eliran Kantor, who has previously worked with HATEBREED, SOULFLY, TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH and SODOM, among others. Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Dennis Ward, the new HELLOWEEN LP was recorded in part at the H.O.M.E. Studios in Hamburg (where everything started in 1984). The same recording console used for such HELLOWEEN albums as “Master Of The Rings”, “Time Of The Oath” and “Better Than Raw” was utilized to record the band’s new material. The effort was mixed at the Valhalla Studios of Ronald Prent (IRON MAIDEN, DEF LEPPARD, RAMMSTEIN).
The “Pumpkins United” lineup features returning singer Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen alongside current singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble.
Said Löble: “This record is the coronation of the ‘Pumpkins United’ journey. I have always been fascinated by the different character traits and facets of HELLOWEEN‘s history. For example, the legendary voices of Michi, Andi and Kai. To enjoy them now together on one record, under one flag, is the ultimate HELLOWEEN experience.”
“Skyfall” begins with a bang. The epic track describes an alien landing on earth and a dramatic chase, while Kiske, Deris and Hansen duel with each other in a truly breathtaking manner. Produced by Martin Häusler, it is the most elaborate video clip in the history of the band. Portrayed via truly cinematic 3-D animation, this clip is a real high-end experience.
Bauerfeind said: “After 30 years with different lineups of the band, I really thought I was well prepared for another extreme challenge, but I was wrong. My expectations were highly exceeded in every way with this super-sized package of creativity.”
Musical dexterity aside, it is also the immense passion of the band that defines HELLOWEEN. Weikath describes it thusly: “It is the incomprehensible encounter of seven musicians who are working as friends and even family who have created something that no one would have thought could be possible. It is like awaking from a sleep but still being in an incredible dream.”
Hansen reflects: “Being in the studio with my old companions after 30 years away was very emotional for me. But at the same time, it was a completely different experience with the ‘new’ boys. The collaboration of different songwriters, each of them strong characters in their own right, has made the album very special. A unique mix which draws from all chapters of the band’s history. HELLOWEEN is a big part of my life and I am looking forward to celebrating the songs live for and with our fans!”
Grosskopf agrees: “For me, being one of the last ‘survivors’ who played every note from the beginning, it was a fantastic experience and a very emotional process. I think everyone can hear it on this album. I love it.”
HELLOWEEN‘s new album saw the legendary German power metallers going “back to the roots,” with the band recording fully analogue and Löble playing the drum kit previously used by HELLOWEEN‘s original drummer, the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, on the legendary “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” recordings.
Order “Helloween” – available in several configurations – HERE.