”The Dark Ride” by Helloween has been available on import for two years and finally sees a domestic release in the USA. I have avoided picking up a copy of this release in the past due to other reviewers suggesting “The Dark Ride” had a more modern vibe that strayed away from the typical Helloween sound. Fortunately, there was only one song out of the 12 that even slightly sounded like nu-rock, that being “Escalation 666” which should have been left off the CD.
“Mr. Torture” is the lead full track and makes for an impressive metal single. It took awhile but I now expect to hear Andi Deris when I put in a new Helloween CD rather than wonder what happened to Michael Kiske. Deris has been able to become the voice of Helloween and has done an excellent job. “All Over The Nations” has an anthematic introduction that turns into a Helloween gallop reminiscent of the Seven Keys era as does “Salvation”. Deris sounds in especially fine form here whereas I always felt he sounded a bit constrained within the still excellent Pink Cream 69. Another potential metal radio single would be “Mirror Mirror” with its rather moody cloud hanging over it. “The Departed” has an intermittent background riff that occurs throughout that instantly calls to mind “House Of 1000 Pleasures” by EZO. “We Damn The Night” is a straight ahead metal song with a strong chorus while “Immortal” is a much more subdued composition. Closing title track “The Dark Ride” is another storming metal song which helps to further establish the impressiveness of this release.