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Music power/speed metal Helloween pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums cover pictures.
The original line-up featured Kai Hansen (Vocals/Guitars), Michael Weikath (Guitars), Markus Grosskopf (Bass) and Ingo Schwichtenberg (Drums). In 1984 the band had signed a deal with Noise Records and recorded two songs for a Noise compilation record called Death Metal with bands Hellhammer, Running Wild and Dark Avenger. The two tracks were "Oernst Of Life" by Weikath, and Hansen's "Metal Invaders" which later on ended up in a faster version on the band's first full-length album.
1985 came around and Helloween recorded their first record Helloween, a self-titled EP containing 5 tracks. The EP was successful, and during that same year they recorded and released their first full-length album titled Walls of Jericho which became a critical smash, with its innovative mixture of speed and melodies redefining heavy metal. (In Fact, WWE Wrestler Chris Jericho took his stage name from the album, as well as the name of his signature submission move Walls Of Jericho). However, during the following tour, it became obvious that Kai had difficulties singing and playing the guitar at the same time. Kai's last performance as the band's lead singer came in 1986 in form of a single EP titled Judas, which contained the song "Judas" along with some live tracks. After that, Helloween began the search for a new vocalist.
The first choice was to recruit former Tyran' Pace vocalist Ralf Scheepers, who had done vocals for the band on the short "Judas" mini-tour; Scheepers declined. The band ended up finding an 18-year-old talent from a local Hamburg band Ill Prophecy, named Michael Kiske. With their new lead singer they recorded Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1, released in 1987, which established Helloween as one of the most successful Heavy Metal bands in Europe. In 1988 Helloween recorded Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II, their best known album featuring the classic line-up. The band achieved even more success around the world, than with "Keeper 1" and things were going extremely well.
Guitarist Kai Hansen unexpectedly left the band soon after the European tour for the "Keeper 2" album due to conflicts within the band as well as troubles with the record company, and a growing dissatisfaction with life on tour. He was shortly after replaced by former Rampage guitarist Roland Grapow, who finished the rest of the "Keeper 2" tour with the band.
In 1989 the band released a live album called Live In The UK, featuring live material from their 1988 European tour, entitled Keepers Live in Japan and I Want Out Live in the U.S. The remaining members continued on, but label problems kept them from touring and releasing new material until 1991 when, after several rumours about the band breaking up, they released Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991). The album was an utter failure commercially and critically, and soon tensions started to build up between the band members. The pop-influenced follow-up Chameleon, released in 1993, cost the band most of their hardcore fans. During the Chameleon tour, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg fell ill due to personal and drug-related problems, and was eventually forced to take a break from the band. Meanwhile the conflicts within the rest of the band had grown even worse, with Michael Weikath refusing to work any longer with Michael Kiske, so the band decided to fire him.
Helloween returned in 1994 with former Pink Cream 69-singer Andi Deris as their new lead singer, and Uli Kusch, formerly of Kai Hansen's new band Gamma Ray on the drums, releasing their successful comeback Master of the Rings. However, in 1995 the band and it's former members were badly shaken by the tragic suicide of original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, who never managed to recover from his illness. Dedicated to his memory, 1996's The Time Of The Oath re-established the band as one of the most popular European metal bands. Following another world tour, a double live album called High Live was released.
In 1998 Helloween released Better Than Raw, one of the band's heaviest albums since the full-length debut. A cover-album called Metal Jukebox was released in 1999. 2000 saw the release of The Dark Ride, a more experimental and darker album than their previous releases. According to Helloween, their manager wanted them to come out with something heavier and more "Black Metal" sounding, which almost caused the band to implode. As vocalist Andi Deris said, Helloween plays "happier music." Immediately after the following world tour, Helloween parted ways with guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch, who together formed Masterplan. Replacements were soon found in guitarist Sascha Gerstner (ex-Freedom Call, Neumond), and drummer Mark Cross (ex-Metalium, Kingdom Come, currently in Firewind) with whom began the recording of another studio album titled Rabbit Don't Come Easy in 2003. He did not manage to complete the album due to mononucleosis, completing only two tracks, and the drum tracks were completed by Motorhead' Mikkey Dee. Stefan Schwarzmann, former drummer of Running Wild and Accept sat in the place of a drummer for a successful world tour following, including the band's first tour in the U.S. since 1989.
2005 saw yet another line-up change during the last tour as it became apparent that Helloween and Stefan Schwarzmann didn't share the same musical vision. As further noted by the band, he had some trouble performing fast drum parts, so he was replaced by Dani Loeble, the previous drummer of German metallers Rawhead Rexx. Helloween's new studio album entitled Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy and was released in October 28th, 2005 in Germany, and November 8th in the U.S.A. The album had a pre-single release Mrs. God and they also released the track Light the Universe as a single on November 22nd, which features Candice Night of Blackmore's Night on guest vocals.
In late 2006, Helloween filmed and recorded shows in Bulgaria, Tokyo and Sao Paulo for their live album Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006. This is the second live album to feature Andi Deris as frontman.
Helloween have started recording for the upcoming studio album to be released on October 31st.