Our top 10 Helloween songs list looks at the best songs of one of Germany’s most loved and legendary power metal bands. Formed in 1984, Helloween is among the first bands to share the spoils of the then-burgeoning power metal subgenre. Before taking on power metal, the band was associated largely with speed metal, especially with its debut eponymous EP. However, its debut album, Walls of Jericho, issued in December 1985, saw the band take on a more volatile combination of melody and power in its sound.
Walls of Jericho serve as the band’s perfect bridge from its early speed metal sound to pioneers of the power metal sound. The album would later be described as an amalgam of the two genres. Walls of Jericho featured top musical gems by Helloween, including “Heavy Metal (Is the Law)” and “How Many Tears.” The album was a success in Japan, peaking at number forty on the Japanese Albums chart.
Helloween’s Career Breakthrough
1987 and 1988 are considered Helloween’s career-defining having the band release its groundbreaking albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I and Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II. The two albums have been cited as masterpieces of the European power metal style. Helloween was soon classified together with Blind Guardian, Rage, DragonForce, Grave Digger, and Running Wild as pioneers of the power metal genre (an amalgam of heavy metal and speed metal sound).
Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I, issued in 1987, was Helloween’s first pure and probably most essential power metal record. The eight-track studio album was met with critical acclaim thanks to its uniqueness in sound compared to most metal records issued during the same year. Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I was a global success, peaking at number one hundred and four on the Billboard 200. “Future World,” “Halloween,” and “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” are some of the best Helloween songs from the album.
Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II, issued in 1988, made the most of the accomplishment of the band’s sophomore LP, becoming the most successful Helloween album. The album was Gold-certified in Germany, where it reached number five on the album charts. Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II rose to number twenty-four on the UK Albums chart, peaking at number one hundred and eight on the Billboard 200. “I Want Out,” “Dr. Stein,” “Eagle Fly Free,” “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” and “March of Time” are the most popular Helloween songs from the LP.
Helloween’s Album Releases over the Years
Despite the successful releases with Noise Records, once home to Overkill, Voivod, Kamelot, and Kreator, Helloween cut ties with the label. This saw the band strike a recording deal with EMI Records, who issued Helloween’s fourth studio album Pink Bubbles Go Ape, in 1991. Unfortunately, the album was met with mixed reactions following the band’s departure from power metal to heavy metal sound. Nevertheless, the album managed to impress in the UK, where it peaked at number forty-one on the UK Albums chart. “Kids of the Century” and “Number One” are some of the musical gems from the album.
Helloween returned in 1993 with yet another studio album, Chameleon. The album saw the band take yet another turn in its musical sound. Chameleon saw the band take on the rock sound (folk-rock and hard rock), something that most of the band’s fans didn’t appreciate. The result was a poor commercial impact on the album, a breakup of the band’s lineup, and cutting ties with EMI Records. “When the Sinner,” “Windmill,” and “First Time” are some of the songs from the LP that made an impact despite its poor reception.
The departure of vocalist Michael Kiske and the loss of drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg saw the band recruit vocalist Andi Deris and drummer Uli Kusch. Andi Deris was a former member of the heavy metal/hard rock band Pink Cream 69. With a new lineup, Helloween returned to its power metal sound, issuing its sixth studio album, Master of the Rings. The album was issued through the independent record label Castle Music.
Master of the Rings saw the band return to successful days with the album selling over one hundred copies in Japan, achieving Gold-certification. The album peaked at number six on the Japanese Albums chart. It also made it to the Austrian, German, Swedish, and Swiss Albums charts. “Mr. Ego,” “Perfect Gentleman,” “Sole Survivor,” and “Where the Rain Grows” are some of the best Helloween songs from Master of the Rings.
Helloween members issued yet another album in 1995, entitled The Time of the Oath. The album was issued in commemoration of the band’s original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg who had committed suicide. “Power,” “Forever and One (Neverland),” and “The Time of the Oath” are the most sought-after hits from the album. The Time of the Oath replicated the performance of Master of the Rings in Japan.
Better Than Raw, issued in 1998, marked the band’s eighth studio album. This was the band’s last album issued through the British independent record label, Castle Music. Better Than Raw saw the band maintain its power metal sound. The album managed to chart on the Austrian, Finnish, German, Japanese, Swedish, and Swiss Albums charts. A Gold-certification in Japan was the band’s biggest takeaway from the album. “I Can” and “Hey Lord!” are some of the best Helloween songs from the album.
Helloween welcomed the new millennium with its ninth studio album, The Dark Ride. The Dark Ride was the band’s first album issued through Nuclear Blast Records. Other notable artists who have released music through Nuclear Blast Records include Fear Factory, Decapitated, Sabaton, Anthrax, Nightwish, In Flames, Cradle of Filth, and Machine Head. “Mr. Torture” and “If I Could Fly” are some of the biggest songs by Helloween from The Dark Side.
Rabbit Don’t Come Easy, issued in 2003, marked the band’s tenth LP. The album still saw the band maintain its power metal sound. Rabbit Don’t Come Easy featured musical gems including “Just A Little Sign” and “Don’t Stop Being Crazy.” The band would soon after sign a recording deal with Steamhammer Records, where it released its first progressive metal album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy. The album is home to “Mrs. God,” “Light the Universe,” and the band’s longest track, “The King of a 1000 Years.”
In 2007, the band issued its twelfth studio album, Gambling with the Devil. The album saw the band return to its usual power metal sound. “As Long as I Fall” and “Paint a New World” are some of the best Helloween songs from the album. Three years later, the band returned with its thirteenth studio album, 7 Sinners. The album is home to some of the best Helloween songs, including “Where the Sinners Go” and “Are You Metal?” 7 Sinners was a success on the charts, peaking at number seven on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. The album also made it to number three on the UK Rock & Metal Albums chart.
Straight Out of Hell, issued in 2013, marked the band’s fourteenth studio album. The album was issued through The End Records, once home to Anvil, The Zombies, and The Prodigy. “Burning Sun” and “Nabataea” are some of the biggest songs by Helloween from the album. Straight Out of Hell saw the band return to the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at number ninety-seven.
Helloween released its fifteenth studio album, My God-Given Right, in 2015. The album saw the band reunite with Nuclear Blast Records. “Battle’s Won” and “My God-Given Right” are some of the most popular songs by Helloween from the album. After a six-year break from releasing new music, the band issued its most recent eponymous album. Helloween saw the band reunite with its original members, vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen. “Skyfall,” “Pumpkins United,” and “Fear of the Fallen” are some of the best Helloween songs from the album. The album topped the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart, peaking at number thirty-five on the Billboard 200.
The legacy of Helloween is best described by the band’s impact as a pioneering ensemble of the power metal genre. Over the years, Helloween has sold over ten million records globally, making it one of the best-selling metal acts in Germany. The band also won the Maximum Metal Award in the 2014 Metal Hammer Awards. Other bands that received recognition at the 2014 Metal Hammer Awards include Amon Amarth, Within Temptation, Insomnium, and Arch Enemy. Here we present the ten best Helloween songs sampled from the band’s sixteen studio albums.
#10 – Skyfall
Ushering us to the top 10 Helloween songs list is the breathtaking hit “Skyfall.” The song is one of the popular hits from the band’s most recent album, Helloween. By the time the song was being released, Helloween was already a septet. Helloween featured three lead vocalists, Michael Kiske, Andi Deris, and Kai Hansen.
“Skyfall” has its magnificence ooze from bringing together the vocals of all the band’s lead singers from different incarnations in a single song. The gamble to have the three vocalists duel one other paid off, especially on this song. Andi Deris revealed that the song alludes to an alien whose starship crashes into earth, facing some confrontation with the human race. The video for the song is outstanding.
#9 – A Tale That Wasn’t Right
Away from the delightful tripartite vocal assault of “Skyfall,” to our ninth pick of the ten best Helloween songs, “A Tale That Wasn’t Right.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I. Like the song’s title suggests, the song is about bitter endings.
“A Tale That Wasn’t Right” tells of the pain that the singer underwent at the hands of a friend he trusted. Michael Weikath delivers an emotive guitar solo that aligns with the song’s sad theme. Kiske, on the other showcases a magnificent vocal range in this song despite its slow tempo.
#8- Eagle Fly Free
Our number eight pick on the ten best Helloween songs list is the splendid hit “Eagle Fly Free.” The song was penned by Michael Weikath and featured on the band’s third and most successful studio album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II. Once more, it is Michael Kiske’s magnificent vocal range that upheaves the song’s status to one of the fan-favorite tracks and concert staples.
Other notable elements of the song are its heart-rending lyrics and guitar solos. “Eagle Fly Free” alludes to distinctiveness from the masses and standing for what’s right. The song’s lyrical theme is similar to that of “The Eagle Flies Alone” by Arch Enemy.
#7 – If I Could Fly
“If I Could Fly” is yet another concert staple by Helloween. The song is featured on the band’s ninth studio album, The Dark Ride. Andi Deris takes on the vocals on this song, following the departure of Michael Kiske from the band’s lineup after the band’s 1993 LP, Chameleon.
“If I Could Fly” has its lyrics allude to a man’s expedition towards self-discovery. The subject man is driven towards this expedition by his yearning to live beyond his dreams. “If I Could Fly” peaked at number eighty-two on the Japanese Singles chart.
#6 – Future World
Number six on our top 10 Helloween songs is the pulsating hit “Future World.” The song is among the most sought-after hits by Helloween from the band’s debut power metal LP, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I. Kai Hansen is credited to have penned the lyrics to this fan-favorite track. A catchy chorus, super melodic guitar solos, and simple yet magnificent chord progressions add to the reasons this lyrical gem is loved by the power metal fans.
Mentioning Michael Kiske’s vocal delivery might feel like a cliché by now. However, we can’t but notice his superior, mature, and powerful vocal delivery. It is almost hard to believe that Kiske (born in 1968) was still a teenager when he sang this song! “Future World” is among the concert staples in Helloween, and Gamma Ray live shows.
The departure of the band’s original vocalist Michael Kiske was a big blow for Helloween. However, former Pink Cream 69 vocalist Andi Deris tried quite hard to fill in the gap left by Kiske. Songs like “Power” marked Andi’s biggest vocal performances for Helloween, giving the band’s fans a reason to stay hooked to the band’s power metal influences.
“Power” was penned by the band’s guitarist Michael Weikath. It was featured on the band’s seventh studio album, The Time of the Oath. The song was a success, peaking at number forty on the Japanese Singles chart.
#4 – Dr. Stein
“Dr. Stein” is one of the best Helloween songs from the band’s third studio album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II. The lyrics to “Dr. Stein” were penned by the band’s guitarist Michael Weikath. Its lyrics were inspired by the nineteenth-century novel by Mary Shelley entitled Frankenstein.
The novel tells of a young scientist who makes creatures from his scientific experiments. Unfortunately, one of the clones he made ends his life. “Dr. Stein” features Michael Kiske on the lead vocals while Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath deliver backing vocals. The song peaked at number fifty-seven on the UK Singles Chart.
#3 – Halloween
The third spot of our top ten Helloween songs is held by the anthemic hit “Halloween.” “Halloween” is featured on the band’s sophomore power metal album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I. The original version of “Halloween” runs for over thirteen minutes. Unfortunately, the song had to be shortened for commercial purposes.
Truncating the song only meant that fans would never get to enjoy the full thrill of the song’s harmony solos. The song also lost some of its long instrumental passages to this radio-friendly truncated version. Nevertheless, “Halloween” managed to get some airplay on MTV.
#2 – Forever and One (Neverland)
“Forever and One (Neverland)” is one of the band’s hottest releases. The song is featured on the band’s seventh studio album, The Time of the Oath. “Forever and One (Neverland)” is the best song penned and sang by vocalist Andi Deris for Helloween. The song brings back memories of the band’s hit “A Tale That Wasn’t Right.”
#1 – I Want Out
Number one on our top 10 Helloween songs is the stunning hit “I Want Out.” The song is featured on Helloween’s third studio album, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II. Its lyrics were penned by guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen. While the song is the band’s most sought-after hit, Kai Hansen was not afraid to reveal that this was his hint at wishing to quit the band. Kai went on to establish his power metal band Gamma Ray.
“I Want Out” features Michael Kiske’s inspirational high pitch vocal delivery. The song has become a concert staple in all of the band’s live concerts. “I Want Out” has been covered by other notable artists, including HammerFall, Gamma Ray, Skylark, Unisonic, Sonata Arctica, and the heavy metal band Lord. The song peaked at number sixty-nine on the UK Singles Chart. It also managed to rise to the twenty-seventh spot on the Swiss Singles Chart.
Feature Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0CC BY-SA 4.0 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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