Bassist Markus Großkopf describes the Germans’ latest as, “one of the fastest releases in Helloween’s history,” Hyperbole? Well, these 13 offerings certainly pack a punch! The 7:01 ‘Nabataea’ (choice for a 3D animated video) kicks things off, with a traditional Middle Eastern rhythm that announces the ancient city’s location. ‘World Of War’ features some of the tastiest guitar licks. Constructed around a poppy keyboard melody, ‘Live Now!’ is an airy tale of enjoying the situation thrust your way, even if, as Andi Deris sings, you haven’t met that someone out there that’s destined for everyone. Multi-voice choruses invade the staccato delivery of a speedy ‘Far From The Stars’. ‘Burning Sun’, at #5, is Deris’ first attempt at the highest register, another blazing pace set forth by guitarist Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner. Soon thereafter the album enters its weakest stretch: a three song arc that includes a piano introduces ‘Waiting For The Thunder’, which possess a texture unlike the rest. Not really a ballad, nor a conventionally composed rock/metal tune, thanks to Deris’ voiceover delivery and the recurrent ivories. It’s backed with ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’, a sporadic piano note, symphonic strings and acoustic guitar ballad. Finally, there’s a two-minute, throwaway drum laden ‘Wanna Be God’. To counteract, there’s the fist throwing title cut, personal vendetta turned profanity-laced ‘Asshole’ and the ‘Church Breaks Down’ finale (which includes tolling bell, female aria, liturgical organ and some of the fastest stuff Helloween has ever churned out), virtually back-to-back. The later relates how science/evolution flies in the face of Biblical teaching and the struggles that ensue. ‘Years’ is a romp with intermittent orchestral strings beneath the guitars. ‘Make The Fire Catch The Fly’ is virtually wall-to-wall guitars. Expanded edition will contain a Hammond organ version of ‘Burning Sun’ (the pre-release Ep featured a live rendition of ‘Where The Sinners Go’), dedicated to the late DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord, and ‘Another Shot Of Life’, a rather good, Gambling With The Devil era sounding track (that also appears on that aforementioned Burning Sun disc). With a little editing/pruning, would have earned an extra point or so.