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Album: Unarmed:Best Of 25th Anniversary
Label: Talking Elephant
Tracks: 11

Wow Helloween, let's turn the clock back a bit to when I had hair a waist and my first tattoos where still fresh. Those wailing guitars, heavy riffs, manic drumbeats and catchy lyrics from the masters of Germanic Metal, banging my head and throwing devil horn signs in the mosh pit,,,,,,,ah what days.

Well let me say if that is what you were expecting think again this best of album is a bit of curve ball. Yes metal bands have collaborated with orchestras in the past, Metallica's S&M album springs to mind but they have been a meeting of the two. This is slightly different, how I here you ask, well there is still the guitars and drums but in a lot of cases the tracks have been totally reworked to be played on different instruments and slightly different styles.

A case in point is the second track Future Worlds, the original is an upbeat fast paced guitar laden anthem of a track. Here it is still an upbeat song but with a much different feel to it with acoustic guitars en all. I like, I like a lot.

If you know Helloween they are all here Dr Stein, Eagle Fly Free, I want One and the epic The Keepers Trilogy.

The combinations of different styles and instruments works very well and take nothing from the original recordings. I still find myself nodding away, not head banging though, and still want to throw up those devil horns when the lute solo comes along.

Best/completion albums for me have always been a moot point, the same old tracks recycled over and over again but this one offers a different perspective to these classic tracks with their sweeping orchestral arrangements in the vain of Wagner and is well worth a listen. If you are new to these masters of Germanic Metal go and give their back catalogue a listen. So with that in mind I am now off the dust off Keepers of the Seven Keys Part Two and crank the volume up a bit, lets rock.

Andy Chamberlain