Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this was the direction
Helloween would take with this their twelfth studio album.
Helloween never ever sound so hard, aggressive and heavy as they
do on 'Gambling with the Devil'.
This is aggression pure, with riffs flying left and right that is
borderline thrash metal - they really sound pissed off and let their
feelings flow into the songs, and the result is outstanding. After a
short classic intro we are thrown off the cliff by the haunting and
powerful: "Kill it", "The Saints" is pounding ahead like a steam
hammer and has been provided with some classic trademarks like a
very catchy chorus and some brilliant twin-leads... Next in line is
the classic first single track "As Long as I Fall", which is a bit
softer, but still harder than most of their earlier singles.
I could go on with the rest, but will only point out the centrepiece
of the album: the three songs: "The Bells of the 7 Hells", "Fallen
to Pieces" and "I.M.E", which together builds the 'holy trinity'...
The rest of the pieces of the puzzle have the same high standard,
and not a single song falls short, and Helloween has created
what in my humble opinion is the best and hardest Helloween
album with Andi Deris handling the vocals, and I must admit that I
have felt that he has been the weak link in their sound. But his
singing style really fits this harder approach to things like a hand
in a glove, and I have nothing to object to on his performance on
'Gambling with the Devil' shows the band in scintillating form and
they have produced an album that will surely knock quite a few fans
off their socks. This is Helloween is excellent shape and it
shows that you can teach old dog’s new tricks...