Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year.
This album is their best of all time, easily, for me. The riffs and themes on this album are SO dark for power metal standards. Andi Deris has both his signature unique vocals, but also some of his most aggressive ever. Songs like the title track and “Escalation 666” have amazingly catchy choruses, and then you have songs like “Mirror, Mirror” and “Mr. Torture,” which may be as dark as Helloween gets. However, it’s not all dark. There are still plenty of more uplifting, in character Helloween tracks like “All Over the Nation,” and a ballad with “If I Could Fly.” This album hits all across the board. There are few albums that I can play so entirely like this one, and just completely love nearly every track.
“The Departed (Sun is Going Down)” is really the track on this album that I feel doesn’t measure up to the rest of them. Other than that, the band has stated that this album was an absolute nightmare to record, and they’ve always hated how the theme is so dark, in a way that isn’t traditionally Helloween.
Favorite Tracks: “Mr. Torture,” “The Dark Ride,” “Escalation 666,” “Mirror, Mirror,” “I Live for Your Pain,” “Immortal,” “We Damn the Night,” “If I Could Fly,” “All Over the Nation.”
This is another album that I can just go on about all day. If you’re a power metal fan, I consider this one to be absolutely essential. The Dark Ride is an album that proves power metal doesn’t always have to be about rainbows and unicorns. I think that there are plenty of tracks on this album that even non-power metal fans can enjoy. If you haven’t given this album a listen, there are only a small number of albums I can recommend as more enjoyable for me than this one. Go pick it up!