Chameleon (Expanded Edition)
7/3/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Helloween - Chameleon (Expanded Edition) - 2006 - Sanctuary Records
"Chameleon" would be the swan song for vocalist Michael Kiske, who ended his run with the band after the completion and touring for the record. It would also be the last album to feature drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, who would be dismissed from the group after the tour. Tragically Schwichtenberg took his own life shortly thereafter. In terms of speed and precision, all is dismissed from this controversial effort. The band members at this point are simply trying to re-invent themselves and possibly go beyond the normal fare and offer up a new presentation for core fans. It was with "Chameleon" that the band blended the likes of the Beatles, The Sweet, and a smothering of '70s rock progressions. The really interesting thing about this re-issue is the additional liner notes with Michael Weikath in the form of a print interview with Classic Rock/Metal Hammer scribe Dave Ling. Here are some of my favorite quotes from that:
When asked about the album's sound, Weikath explains, "I still don't have a suitable definition for "Chameleon". We tried to make a Beatles album, which sounds pretty far-fetched now, but it was wishful thinking behind the project. The Helloween that is around today still sometimes say that it's three solo records in one." He later goes on to say, "We were sick of people demanding play faster and faster, sing higher and higher. In some ways it was like what The Sweet had gone through." He goes on to talk about the production, Roland Grapow, foreshadowing of Kiske's departure, and songs such as "Revolution Now" and "Giants".
Along with that fantastic offering is a whole disc worth of bonus songs. Among the offered songs are two cuts from the "When The Sinner" single, three cuts from the "Windmill" single, and two tracks lifted from the "I Don't Wanna Cry No More" single. Also, we get a demo version of "Windmill".
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