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A Review of the Album Better Than Raw by German Power Metal Band Hellloween

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Helloween's Better Than Raw: the back cover for the album

The back cover for the album has a huge round ball with a pumpkin like creature sticking its head out. The pumpkin creature has been the symbol that the band has used throughout their career.

The back cover for the album has a huge round ball with a pumpkin like creature sticking its head out. The pumpkin creature has been the symbol that the band has used throughout their career.

Track Listing for Better Than Raw

  1. Deliberately Limited Preliminary Prelude Period in Z (instrumental)
  2. Push
  3. Falling Higher
  4. Hey Lord!
  5. Don’t Spit on My Mind
  6. Revelation
  7. Time
  8. I Can
  9. A Handful of Pain
  10. Laudate Dominum
  11. Midnight Sun
  12. A Game We Shouldn’t Play (bonus track)

Better Than Raw starts off with two quality songs Push and Falling Higher

German power metal band Helloween has had a habit of releasing very good material. The band’s name is similar to the word Halloween. Their 1998 album Better than Raw is an example of such an album. After a short classically influenced instrumental song, we are introduced to the very heavy and aggressive song Push. The song features some very powerful drumming by Uli Kusch. Kusch is best known for being a member of German thrash metal band Holy Moses (1987-1991). This is followed by an even better song called Falling Higher. When there is turmoil, uncertainty and fear in this world, the forces of good will stand to unite against evil. With the power and grace of GOD, anything is possible. We should always believe and have faith that we will succeed and conquer whatever obstacles are presented to us.

The other band members that play on the album Better Than Raw

The album once again features the unique vocals of Andi Deris. Deris replaced former vocalist Michael Kiske who had sang on the album called Chameleon. I first started listening to these guys back in the late 1990’s when I first heard the 1994 album Master of the Rings. Joining Michael Weikath on guitars for this album is Roland Grapow. Andi Deris had released his solo album called Come in from the Rain the previous year so he was busy as well.

Better Than Raw the Review: Songs Time, I Can & Laudate Dominum

Time is a slow song that is very good. It is about a man whose end is coming soon. He is going through an illness and he is about to enter Heaven. Death is seen by some people as the beginning of freedom from bondage caused by the human body. We are encouraged to pray to GOD our Creator and reject any evil forces that may try to get into us and lead us down a path of destruction. Death is something that we all have to face at some point. The band brings up the subject to put perspective on the situation. We have to enjoy our lives on this Earth as much as we can for it is very precious. There is a distinct ticking sound in the song. The song I Can is about someone who refuses to get knocked down after facing challenges and adversity. Make sure to believe in yourself, believe in your talents and abilities. Don’t allow life to crush you! Laudate Dominum is a song that is sung entirely in Latin. The song is memorable for its complexity, melody, and drumming.

"I Can"

How good of an album is Better than Raw? It is a pretty good work by a well-known German band. I would say that their best work in the 1990’s is Master of Rings but this one is good as well. The strongest songs in the album are Falling Higher, Time, I Can, and Laudate Dominum. I haven’t really heard any of Helloween’s albums after this one. Better than Raw gets a score of 80 out of 100 points from this writer.

"Don't Spit On My Mind"

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

Comments

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on February 19, 2016:

This is a good one however, I probably still prefer Master of the Rings. That one has some really good songs on it. Thanks for commenting.

Keith Abt from The Garden State on February 19, 2016:

This is still my favorite Deris era Helloween album.