The reunited expanded classic lineup of German power metallers HELLOWEEN will release its much-anticipated album in the summer of 2021. The disc's first single, "Skyfall", will arrive on April 2.
Behind-the-scenes video from the "Skyfall" photo shoot can be seen below.
The "Pumpkins United" lineup features returning singer Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen alongside current singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble.
Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Dennis Ward, the new HELLOWEEN LP was recorded in part at the H.O.M.E. Studios in Hamburg (where everything started in 1984). The same recording console used for such HELLOWEEN albums as "Master Of The Rings", "Time Of The Oath" and "Better Than Raw" was utilized to record the band's new material. The effort was mixed at the Valhalla Studios of Ronald Prent (IRON MAIDEN, DEF LEPPARD, RAMMSTEIN).
HELLOWEEN's new album saw the legendary German power metallers going "back to the roots," with the band recording fully analogue and Löble playing the drum kit previously used by HELLOWEEN's original drummer, the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, on the legendary "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" recordings.
"Skyfall" will be available on CD, digitally and in two different vinyl versions.
Single 1: Vinyl, CD, digital:
"Skyfall" (single edit) + "Skyfall" (exclusive alternative vocals mix). Both are exclusive single versions and will not be on the album. Around 20 minutes playing time.
Single 2: Vinyl only
"Skyfall" (single edit) + "Indestructible" (exclusive album track). This is a strictly limited version of the new single with one exclusive album track.
The epic 12-minute track "Skyfall", written by Hansen, has the long-yearned "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" vibe, but it isn't musically telling the whole story of the album. Lyrically, "Skyfall" tells about an alien landing on earth, and the accompanying music video, produced by Martin Häusler, will be the most elaborate clip in the history of the band, featuring 3D animation and a cinematic look.
A new two-minute video in which Kiske, Hansen and Deris sit down and discuss the idea behind the "exclusive alternative vocals mix" and why there will be three versions of "Skyfall" can be seen below.
The "Pumpkins United" tour marked the first time Kiske had played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, had been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set featured several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sang a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)".
HELLOWEEN's European "United Alive World Tour Part II", which was originally scheduled to take place in September and October will now take place next year.
The "Pumpkins United" lineup of HELLOWEEN already released one new song — aptly titled "Pumpkins United" — in October 2017.