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Kai Hansen and Friends - Thank You Wacken

Label: earMUSIC
Format: mp3 download
Released: 2017
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9.5/10

Kai Hansen of Helloween live on stage at Wacken 2016! Playing new songs along with Helloween classics! Seriously! With awesome guest stars, including Alex Dietz on bass (Heaven Shall Burn), Eike Freese on guitar (Dark Age) Michael Ehré (Gamma Ray) on drums, Corvin Bahn on keyboards (Crystal Breed), Clémentine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis) and Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) on backing vocals. and Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic).!Michael Kiske sings on "I Want Out" and "Futureworld" - - are you kidding me?!


From Kai Hansen's between-song banter, it sounds like this was a very loose, slapdash performance, but you'd never know it from the songs; the band sounds incredibly tight. The leads are as clean as they are fast, and the vocals often sound better here than they did on the original album recordings. Where crowd noise is sometimes the bane of live records, the audio levels here are mixed perfectly; a thousand kudos to the productions team.
The fun onstage is evident and infectious, with the contagion sure to spread through your speakers or ear buds. Whether you're a fan of live recordings or not, this is a must-have for any old-school Metal fan. "Ride the Sky" sounds fucking fantastic. "Save Us," a lesser-known gem from 'Keeper of the Seven Keys - Part II' - - performed incredibly! "Victim of Fate." "FutureWorld" - - Fucking "Futureworld!" I do wish they’d also done “Twilight of the Gods,” but you can’t have everything.
If you're still not convinced: proceeds from sales of the CD and DVD will go to the Wacken Foundation, a non-profit charity dedicated to the advancement of young Rock and Metal artists. We seem to be enjoying a minor Power Metal renaissance in 2017, so the timing is perfect for this release from one of the true founders of the sub-genre. Let Kai Hansen and his friends show their offspring how it’s done! This is really is something special.

NOTE: This review is only for the CD. . . But yes, there's also a DVD with the video of the performance. Thank you, Kai Hansen!


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