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Helloween
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Helloween

Helloween is a German power metal/heavy metal band founded in the early '80s by members of the both bands Ironfist and Powerfool.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Discography
3 External links

Biography

The original line-up featured Kai Hansen (Vocals/Guitars), Michael Weikath (Guitars), Markus Grosskopf (Bass) and Ingo Schwichtenberg (Drums). In 1984 the band had signed a deal with Noise Records (see 1984 in music) and recorded two songs for a Noise compliation record called Death Metal. The two tracks were "Oernst Of Life" by Weikath, and Hansen's "Metal Invaders", which later on ended up in a faster version on the bands first full-length album.

1985 came around and Helloween then recorded their first record, a self-titled mini-LP containing 5 tracks. The mini-LP was successful, and during that same year they recorded and released their first full-length album titled Walls Of Jericho which became a critical smash, with its original mixture of speed and melodies redefining heavy metal. However, during the following tour, it became obvious that Kai had difficulties to sing and play guitar at the same time. Kai's last performance as the band's lead-singer came in 1986 in form of a single EP titled Judas, which contained the song 'Judas' along with some live tracks. After that Helloween began the search for a new vocalist..

The first choice was to recruit former Tyran Pace vocalist Ralf Scheepers, however the band ended up finding an 18-year-old vocalist from a local band called Ill Prophecy, named Michael Kiske. With their new lead singer they recorded Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1, released in 1987, which established Helloween as the most successful heavy metal band in Europe. In 1988 Helloween recorded Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II, their most well known album. The band achieved even more success around the world than with Keeper 1; this album is their biggest seller.

Guitarist Kai Hansen surprisingly left the band soon after the European tour for the Keeper 2 album, due to conflicts within the band as well as troubles with the record company. He was shortly after replaced by ex-Rampage guitarist Roland Grapow, who finished the rest of the Keeper 2 tour with the band. 

In 1989 the band released a live album called Live In The UK, featuring live material from their 1988 European tour. The remaining members continued on, but label problems kept them from touring and releasing new material until 1991 when, after several rumours about the band breaking up, they released Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991 in music). The album was an utter failure commercially and critically, and soon tensions started to build up between the band members. The pop-influenced follow-up Chameleon, released in 1993, made the band lose most of their hardcore fans. During the Chameleon-tour, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg fell ill due to personal- and drug-related problems, and was later forced to leave the band. Also the conflicts within the band had grown even worse, and the band decided to fire singer Michael Kiske.

Helloween returned in 1994 with former Pink Cream 69-singer Andi Deris as their new lead-singer, and Uli Kusch, formerly of Kai Hansen's new band Gamma Ray, on the drums, releasing their successful comebackMaster of the Rings. However the band and it's former members were shaken by the suicide of former drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg. Dedicated to his memory, 1996's The Time of the Oath reestablished the band as one of the most popular European metal bands (see 1996 in music). Following the tour, a double live album called High Live was released.

In 1998 Helloween released Better Than Raw, one of the bands rawest albums since the full length-debut. A cover-album called Metal Jukebox was released in 1999. 2000 saw the release of The Dark Ride (2000 in music), a more exprimental and darker album than their previous ones. After the tour, Helloween parted ways with guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch who together formed Masterplan. Replacements were found in ex-Freedom Call guitarist Sascha Gerstner and ex. Metalium drummer Mark Cross, who were later to be replaced by Stefan Schwarzmann, former drummer of Running Wild, Accept among others. In early 2003 Helloween released their latest album titled Rabbit Don't Come Easy.

Band Members:

Former Band Members

Discography

External links