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