Great Metal Albums of 1988: Helloween- Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II

When I posted about Helloween’s previous album, “Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I,” Keepsmealive, I’m not sure if it was Aaron or James, asked me if it was worth checking out Part II. I told him I would let him know when I got to the album on the tour of 1988. Well, now I can answer that question and confidently say that he should check out this album. With “Part II,” Helloween pretty much stick to the formula from their previous albums. The only difference might be that this particular album may border more on melodic metal while “Part I” was my introduction to power metal.

In keeping with Helloween tradition, the album opens with a short, just over a minute long instrumental before going into a melodic/power metal foray. “Eagle Fly Free” is a brilliant opening of what’s to come. As with all the album, Michael Kiske’s vocals are superb, he is definitely an underrated singer but you get some great power chords and a cool guitar solo. There’s even a short bass solo from Markus Grosskopf.

Power metal isn’t lost on “You Always Walk Alone” as there are power chords galore to keep you entertained. There is a very interesting musical interlude in the middle of the song, between the two guitar solos where light guitar notes accompany a bass line with cymbal drumming. It’s all quite good and that brings us right to the hidden gem of the album, “Rise and Fall.” This is one of those uplifting anthem type songs where Ingo Schwichtenburg brings in on his drums. The chorus is quite amusing and I like the faster tempo changes and of course, a blistering guitar solo trade off between Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath.

After the hidden gem comes the first single released from the album, “Dr. Stein.” This is a straight forward metal tune and I can hear why it was released as a single. It had me bobbing my head along with the beat and the anthem style chorus followed by some great power chords. The addition of keyboards gives it an extra hook. However, it’s the song three tracks down the line which is the best known song from the album, “I Want Out.” It’s one where it can be said that if you haven’t heard of this song, then you don’t know Helloween. Most people in and out of metal identify the band with that iconic song.

In between those two singles are the tracks, “We Got the Right” and “March of Times.” Both are great power metal anthems and “We Got the Right” shows the versatility of Michael Kiske’s vocals while “March of Times” is another hidden gem, with that guitar solo tradeoff. Now, remember what I said about not straying too far from the formula. Well, like “Part I,” “Part II” ends with an ten minute plus blinder of a song in the form of the title track. Youtube must have read my post on “Part I” because I got the entire thirteen minutes and fifty two seconds of full Helloween inspired metal glory. It’s a great way to end the album.

The CD version of “Part II” has a tenth track called “Save Us.” There is nothing wrong with the song, but it shouldn’t have been stuck on at the end because of what a great closer the title track is. Now, it’s said that Americans are always getting it wrong but in the case of the CD version here, they got it right as “Save Us” is the seventh track on the US version. I think it was better placed there.

Track Listing:

  1. Invitation
  2. Fly Eagle Free
  3. You Always Walk Alone
  4. Rise and Fall
  5. Dr. Stein
  6. We Got the Right
  7. March of Times
  8. I Want Out
  9. Keeper of the Seven Keys
  10. CD bonus track: Save Us

Michael Kiske- lead vocals

Kai Hansen- guitar, backing vocals

Michael Weikath- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Markus Grosskopf- bass

Ingo Schwichtenburg- drums

Listening to “Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II” I am wondering which of the two parts is the better album. Therefore, I am going to have to listen to them in conjunction in order to decide. Oh, the things I have to do.

Next post: After being in Europe for 36 plus years, I am finally going to Paris to visit Jim Morrison’s grave. I will tell you all about it when I get back.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?redirect=false

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6 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1988: Helloween- Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II”

  1. Good stuff thanks for the education.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like this one, but prefer Part 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Part 1 is better overall but this album has I Want Out…

    Liked by 1 person

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