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Helloween - Better Than Raw (Expanded Edition) - 2006 - Sanctuary Records

Track Listing
1. Deliberately Limited Preliminary Prelude In Z
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. Lavdate Dominvm
11. Midnight Sun
12. Back On The Ground (Bonus)
13. A Game We Shouldn't Play (Bonus)
14. Perfect Gentleman (Bonus)
15. Moshi Moshi Shiki No Uta (Bonus)
At last we wind down our coverage of the Helloween "Expanded Edition" offered through Castle Music. As a whole I think this re-issue series has been absolutely terrific from top to bottom. As a fan of the band, the amount of new information that I have learned about these albums is just simply extraordinary. The liner notes are enough for any casual Helloween fan to find themselves completely absorbed with the group's past. Beyond that, I have probably heard at least four albums worth of new songs that have never graced my presence previously. As we end our coverage we look at what is possibly my favorite Helloween record behind "Master Of The Rings", the powerful, rock solid "Better Than Raw".

To this day I can still describe to you the first day of buying this album. I will save you from hearing all of those vivid details and get straight to the point. I remember stopping by the post office on my way to work and picking it up. The first few songs were enough to keep me from going in early that day. I spent my hour long lunch break jamming in my car with a Big-Mac and greasy fingers wrapped around the jewel case. With cuts like "Hey Lord!" and "A Handful Of Pain", it seems like this was the moment when Helloween showcased that Deris mentality to hard rock all over the sidewalks. There is some heavy material on here, highlight being "Revelation", but for the most part this was a German hard rock gem that competed with the likes of early Scorpions and Accept while still dishing it out for newer groups like Moon Doc and Radakka (both of which were the future of hard rock at the time). I still find myself grabbing this and "Master Of The Rings" when the Helloween urge hits.

This "Expanded Edition" entry features four bonus cuts, additional photos, and some insightful liner notes. Of the new songs we get the Jap bonus track "Back On The Ground" along with the B-side of "I Can", "A Game We Shouldn't Play". Also we can hear a live version of "Perfect Gentleman", and a live drum solo taken from the "Hey Lord" single.



--EC 06.12.06

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Better Than Raw (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Chameleon (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Gambling with the DevilHelloween
2007
Frank Hill10/19/2007
Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The LegacyHelloween
2005
Stygian Steel10/14/2005
Keeper of the Seven Keys--Part 1Helloween
1987
Frank Hill10/30/2003
Master Of The Rings (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Mrs. GodHelloween
2005
Eric Compton8/18/2005
Pink Bubbles Go Ape (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Rabbit Don't Come EasyHelloween
2003
Eric Compton4/10/2003
The Time Of The Oath (Expanded)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton6/9/2006
Walls Of Jericho (Expanded)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton6/9/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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