Posted on November 13th, 10:11am
Helloween – United Alive (2019)
Well first let me start by saying that this is my opening statement. Opening statements should probably reflect the rest of the review as a whole or something like that but nah, I’m not that kind of doctor. So anyways, I got my Helloween “earbook” (haha it’s like yearbook but for ears or something idk) and I guess I’ll just start by saying, it’s fucking gorgeous. High quality photos of the band on their 2 year world tour, it’s exactly a yearbook, and it’s awesome, and it comes with 3 audio cds, 3 dvds, and 2 blu rays, I haven’t had the chance to try out the blueray on my ps4 yet as I’ve been watching it on my laptop and using my ps4 to Iceborne, which has been fucking awesome by the way, the clutch claw is the greatest addition to the game since you could actually move while taking items. They took the engine of monster hunter world which was already amazing, and they just made it that much better. I’m ready to just drop out of life and play monster hunter forever but I guess I have to write this review and do my job or something like that. Add me on psn tho my ps4 id is Hellfunk, lets smash some monsters.
So anyways, if you haven’t been paying attention to Helloween’s reunion, let me tell you, the boys are back in town. You butter believe it. Core members that had left the band, Kiske and Hansen, have now rejoined with the current lineup under the banner of Helloween – Pumpkins United, and since then they’ve delivered a sexy single, a 2 year world tour, and the most incredible live album I’ve ever seen. There’s so much content I don’t even know where to start. I’ll tell ya hwut though that single has really grown on me and I’m really looking forward to the album, which they’re not gonna get to for a minute, and that’s not why we’re here, so anyways here’s my review of the live dvd/cd/bluerays, United Alive.
It was a warm autumn day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. I remember I was staring at the mountains wondering how life could possibly come to be so perfect, when suddenly a voice came calling from the distance. It was Cool Skatin Clyde, doing what he wants and being super cool with his skateboard as he hollered down the streets. “Guess who just got back today, those wild eyed boys that have been away….” it was then that I knew that the promised time had arrived, the boys were back in town. I raced home to look on the internet machine, and sure enough, video evidence confirming the Cool Skatin Clyde had claimed. The boys weren’t just back in town, they were back in EVERY town. All over the world. The Great Pumpkin has returned to claim it’s throne.
Their reunion began with a song that has grown very close to my heart, a song that would echo their arrival throughout the entire world, Pumpkins United. Sing it high, sing it low, shout it out, let them know. And with it came the announcement of their biggest world tour, which would last for 2 whole years. There were no other bands, it was just Helloween, playing for almost 3 hours almost every night, with a video behind every song, cartoons making fun of the band members in between songs, and pumpkin balloons galore. I had the pleasure of being at the show in hollywood, but part of me, most of me, wishes I would have seen them in south america, where the fans who barely speak english know every word to every song, and the halls are filled with their voices, that wasn’t so much the case in america, but the band fucking killed it.
“But Eric, where’s the actual god damn review?” you might be asking yourself at this point. Hush child, the night is long and full of boredom, I’m just getting started. My hands are greasy from cleaning the grill and my heart is full of much love for the great pumpkin. So anyways, in November of 2017, someone uploaded the full video of Helloween live in Chile, it’s what I’ve been watching for the last two years, so this will greatly affect my opinion and final score of this live dvd. It’s cam footage, and as you can guess, the audio of the band isn’t a 10/10, no, but what makes this bootleg the one worth watching is the crowd. My one complaint about the dvd is that you can’t hear the crowd. The audio and video is crystal clear and amazing, but the sing-a-longs just weren’t nearly as audible as the bootleg.
You’ve no doubt heard Iron Maiden’s Fear of the Dark. Now tell me, do you prefer the live version? Or the album version? That’s right. Stratovarius’s Twilight Symphony, same deal, not only is the song better live, what gives it so much magic is the fact that the crowd is heard crystal clear. Now lets take a look at Candlemass Live. Oh yes, by all means it is the perfect way to experience Candlemass, but you know what would make it better? Actually hearing the crowd when Marcolin asks them to sing-a-long. United Alive has this same problem. Those moments where the crowd is meant to sing along is met with barely audible chanting that leaves you disappointed and wanting to hear more. Also the fact that the dvd is split between 3 discs to get the full pumpkins united experience, my next goal is to fuse all of this content with the bootleg to create the ultimate Helloween experience. The cartoons are also on the bonus section of the dvd, and not featured when watching it start to finish normally. As much as I love the dvd, this is what has me still watching the bootleg from chile, despite its own shortcomings. The two must merge as one to create something ultimate, and as I mentioned I am serious about doing this in the future.
Anyways, now the actual review of the dvd. It’s good. I liked it. It’s comprised of footage from 3 different shows, Madrid, Wacken, and Sao Paulo, with the audio cds being their entire set from madrid. Bonus content is off the fucking hook, all of the seth and doc cartoons, all of the promos for the tour, highlights from the movies that were playing behind the band thoughout their set, and plenty of interviews to satisfy the hardcore fan. It’s definitely amazing, but as I said earlier, it feels like something that I need to piece together into one amazing feature length movie. I know it probably sounds like I’m bagging on this because I prefer the bootleg, not true. Songs like halloween and dr. stein were better on the dvd, while songs like a tale that wasn’t right and keeper of the seven keys were better on the bootleg. The version of I want out was so good on the bootleg you almost don’t wanna watch the dvd version set in wacken, except just to see the fireworks. So do I prefer the dvd? Or the bootleg? Cmon Eric shit or get off the pot. Fuck you, I still have 4 hours left on my shift I’mma rant all I want. But anyways, I love both, they’re both definitely worth watching, the EARBOOK is definitely worth the money, I’ve been showing it off like a 90s kid who just got a holographic charizard.
So while the chilean bootleg doesn’t offer the fancy camera angles, or crystal clear audio, you do get a really good shot of the 3 hour movie playing behind the band and the voices of the crowd, and if you’re as crazy about the great pumpkin like I am, you’ll definitely check out both and decide for yourself. I’m sure most people haven’t been watching the bootleg for 2 years, and would prefer the dvd, so if you’re relatively new to all of this, the dvd is definitely the way to start. Let the magic be absorbed into your soul, feel the power in your heart, and then go to the bootleg and relive the pure happiness that is seeing any metal band in a south american country. Those fuckers are way more metal than any of us, sorry scandinavia, step it up. They do get a lot of practice at soccer games, maybe that’s just the secret. The entire town of santiago chile is definitely my favorite member of Helloween, honestly, I have to say that at the end of the day, that’s the most important part for my experience anyways.
Well shit, I can only say the same thing over and over again so many times, so I guess I’ll wrap up this review. In conclusion, I give Cynic – Focus a 10/10. It’s an amazing album start to finish, a rollercoaster of emotions that melts your face the whole time. It’s a masterpiece that has stood the test of time, and stands out in its own unique way, even among countless the titans of Florida death metal. I think it’s finally time for me to open up my heart and check out the other Cynic albums.
Thank you for reading! See you on the next review!
Posted on November 13th, 10:11am