Master of the Rings


Master of the Rings
Master of the Rings
Studio album by Helloween
Released 1994
Recorded 1994 at Chateau du Pape, Hamburg, Germany
Genre Power metal
Length 50:12 (w/o bonus tracks)
1:24:49 (w/ bonus tracks)
Label Castle Communications
Producer Tommy Hansen and Helloween
Helloween chronology
Chameleon
(1993)
Master of the Rings
(1994)
The Time of the Oath
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]

Master of the Rings is the sixth studio album by German power metal band Helloween, released in 1994. It is the first to feature new members Andi Deris and Uli Kusch.

The album is known as a turning point in Helloween's career, as it marks the band's return to their power metal roots after a commercial failure in their previous album, the progressive rock and pop-influenced Chameleon.

The album contains four singles, which are "Where The Rain Grows", "Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)", "Perfect Gentleman", and "Sole Survivor", with corresponding videos for the first three. "Mr. Ego" was dedicated to the band's former singer, Michael Kiske, and was released as an EP in Europe.

Helloween and vocalist Michael Kiske had reached the end of the road during the touring of 1993's "Chameleon". Ingo Schwichtenberg, the drummer who had first suggested the name and co-founder the band, was also long-gone by the time that they re-emerged with "Master Of The Rings" during the following autumn.

Helloween, their management, record label and an overwhelming proportion of their fan-band base had all quickly recognised the career cul-de-sac that "Chameleon" might well have become. Something had to be done... and fast. Kiske was given the marching orders just before the quintet were due to return to the studio, by which time various members were barely speaking to one another. The dismissal shocked the heavy metal community. Michael Kiske's replacement was Andi Deris, formerly with Pink Cream 69.

After an alcohol and drug-related incident in Japan, Schwichtenberg was deputised for first by the session-drummer Richie Abdel-Nabi, then on a more permanent basis by former Gamma Ray Uli Kusch. Although a mostly cheerful and social individual, Schwichtenberg suffered from schizophrenia that would sometimes leave him sobbing for no apparent reason. Forgetting to take his medication resulted in outbursts, and the drummer was frustrated by the band's musical direction ("He used to refer to song "Windmill" from "Chameleon" as "Shitmill"" laughs Weikath). After his expulsion from Helloween, Schwichtenberg regrettably ended his own life by jumping under a subway train in March 1995.

After two highly controversial studios projects and a live album, Helloween parted company with EMI records, aligning themselves with the more modestly sized Raw Power (an imprint of Castle Communications). Nevertheless, the effect of Deris and Kusch was to re-energize their collective fortunes. In Japan, "Master Of The Rings" debuted at the top international album chart selling 120.000 copies in two weeks.


Contents

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Irritation (Weik Editude 112 In C)"   Michael Weikath 1:14
2. "Sole Survivor"   Weikath, Andi Deris 4:33
3. "Where The Rain Grows"   Weikath, Deris 4:46
4. "Why?"   Deris 4:11
5. "Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)"   Roland Grapow 7:02
6. "Perfect Gentleman"   Deris, Weikath 3:53
7. "The Game Is On"   Weikath 4:40
8. "Secret Alibi"   Weikath 5:49
9. "Take Me Home"   Grapow 4:25
10. "In The Middle Of A Heartbeat"   Deris, Weikath 4:30
11. "Still We Go"   Grapow 5:09
Japanese Version Bonus Track
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Can't Fight Your Desire"   Deris 3:45
13. "Grapowski's Malmsuite 1001"   Grapow 6:33

Expanded Edition (disc 2) Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Can't Fight Your Desire"   Deris  
2. "Star Invasion"   Deris, Weikath 4:47
3. "Cold Sweat"   Phil Lynott, John Sykes 3:46
4. "Silicon Dreams"   Markus Grosskopf 4:10
5. "Grapowski's Malmsuite 1001"   Grapow 6:33
6. "I Stole Your Love"   Paul Stanley 3:23
7. "Closer to Home"   Mark Farner 8:13

Personnel

  • George Chin - Photography
  • Ian Cooper - Mastering
  • Jorn Ellerbrock - Programming
  • Tommy Hansen - Producer, Mixing, Programmer
  • Michael Tibes - Sound Engineer

References

  1. ^ Master of the Rings at Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ "Helloween - Master of the Rings". Sputnikmusic. http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=8538. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 



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