Posted by moviedah
Origin Hamburg , Germany
Genres Power metal , speed metal , heavy metal
Years active 1984–present
Labels Noise , RCA , EMI , Castle , Sony Music ,
Nuclear Blast , Steamhammer/SPV Associated acts
Gamma Ray , Iron Savior , Masterplan,Blind Guardian, Freedom Call ,Bassinvaders, Pink Cream 69,Unisonic , HammerFall
Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg , Northern
Germany . The band is a pioneering force in the power metal genre, and their second and third studio albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I and Part II , are considered masterpieces of the genre.  Twelve musicians have been a part of the band’s line-up in its history, which has consisted of singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner , bass guitarist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble since 2005.
Helloween was formed in 1984 by members of bands Iron Fist, Gentry, and Powerfool.
Its first line-up consisted of Weikath, Grosskopf, singer and guitarist Kai Hansen , and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg. After the release of a self-titled EP and a first album in 1985, it expanded into a quintet when singer Michael Kiske joined, with Hansen only acting as guitarist.
Under this line-up, they released the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums (1987 and 1988), which established Helloween as a notable heavy metal band and led to the creation of the power metal subgenre. However, Hansen left the band quickly after the release of Part II and was replaced by Roland Grapow. He then created the band Gamma Ray .
Helloween’s first two albums without Hansen, Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991) and Chameleon (1993), were commercial and critical failures, which created tensions between band members and led to the firing of Schwichtenberg and the departure of Kiske. They were replaced by Uli Kusch and Andi Deris respectively. The albums released under this line-up, consisting of Master of the Rings (1994), The Time of the Oath (1996), Better Than Raw (1998) and The Dark Ride (2000), received a warm reception from both fans and critics, gradually establishing Helloween as a successful
Early years and first album (1984–1986)
Helloween formed in 1984 in Hamburg , Germany. The original line-up included Kai Hansen on
vocals and guitar, Michael Weikath on guitar, Markus Grosskopf on bass, and Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums. That year, the band signed with Noise Records and recorded two songs for a Noise compilation record called Death Metal . The compilation featured the bands Hellhammer , Running Wild , and Dark Avenger . The two tracks were “Oernst of Life” by Weikath and Hansen’s “Metal Invaders,” a faster version of which would appear on the band’s first full-length album.
Helloween recorded and released its first record in 1985, a self-titled EP containing five tracks.
Also that year, the band released its first full-length album, Walls of Jericho. During the
following concert tour, Hansen had difficulties singing and playing the guitar at the same time. Kai’s last recording as the band’s lead singer was in 1986 on a vinyl EP titled Judas ,which contained the song “Judas” and live versions of “Ride the Sky” and “Guardians”
recorded at Gelsenkirchen. (The CD edition has the live introduction, but the songs have been replaced with studio versions and crowd noise spliced in.) Following these releases,Helloween began the search for a new vocalist.
Keeper of the Seven Keys (1986–1989)
The band found an 18-year-old vocalist, Michael Kiske , from a local Hamburg band named Ill Prophecy. With their new lead vocalist in tow, Helloween approached record labels Noise International and RCA and proposed the release of a double-LP to introduce the new line-up.
This proposition was turned down. Instead, they recorded a single LP, Keeper of the Seven
Keys Part I, which was released in 1987. In 1988, Helloween released Keeper of the Seven Keys
Part II, the companion album. MTV put the single “I Want Out” into heavy rotation and in support of its ” Headbanger’s Ball ” show. MTV also presented the inaugural Headbangers Ball Tour with Helloween joining San Francisco Bay area thrash-metal band Exodus in support of headlining act Anthrax. The band was slotted in the prestigious second spot, right before Anthrax’s set. On the heels of this exposure to US audiences, the band achieved worldwide success.
Hansen and Kiske’s departures (1989–1993)
Guitarist Kai Hansen unexpectedly left the band soon after the European leg of the Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II tour, due to ill-health, conflicts within the band, troubles with Noise International, and a growing dissatisfaction with life on tour. He was soon replaced by former Rampage guitarist Roland Grapow, who finished the rest of the tour with the band.
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