The first part of a track-by-track breakdown of "My God-Given Right", the 15th studio album from German power metallers HELLOWEEN, can be seen below. Due on May 29 via Nuclear Blast, the CD was recorded between October 2014 and February 2015 at the band's MiSueno Studio on the isle of Tenerife with producer Charlie Bauerfeind (GOTTHARD, HAMMERFALL).
According to singer Andi Deris, the band insists on a simple motto: "Back to the roots — but with new songs." He continues: "More than ever, our fans want to sing and rock out along with us. This simply works best with the use of distinctive choruses and '80s hooklines."
Guitarist Michael Weikath clarifies: "It is not our mission to just relive the '80s at all cost — to our own surprise, the whole dynamic of this working concept took on a life of its own."
Both Weikath and Deris stress that the album title is self-explanatory. "Surely there'll be haters again that will presume that we have nothing better to do than to keep recycling the past instead of moving on into the 21st century," the guitarist says. "But such critics have followed us all along and never impressed us. We've always had a liberal attitude towards heavy metal: to do anything we want — and not follow the directions the know-it-alls would have pushed on us. We remained unfazed and acted out our vision of 'anything goes' in the songwriting process to 'My God-Given Right' because we believe that it is our god-given-right (no pun intended) to do as we please and fulfill our musical vision without any boundaries."
HELLOWEEN recently released the first single from "My God-Given Right", the speed metal hymn "Battle's Won". In addition to the digital download, a limited-edition two-track vinyl single was made available on April 24, also featuring the album cut "Lost In America".
"My God-Given Right" track listing:
02. Battle's Won
03. My God-Given Right
04. Stay Crazy
05. Lost In America
06. Russian Roulé
07. The Swing Of A Fallen World
08. Like Everybody Else
09. Creatures In Heaven
10. If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll
11. Living On The Edge
13. You, Still Of War
The limited digipak (with special 3D cover) and the vinyl version will feature two bonus tracks:
14. I Wish I Were There
15. Wicked Game
The digital version contains three bonus tracks:
14. I Wish I Were There
15. Wicked Game
16. Free World
The limited earbook will feature a bonus CD with four bonus tracks:
01. I Wish I Were There
02. Wicked Game
04. More Than A Lifetime
Pre-order the album at NuclearBlast.de.
The "My God-Given Right" video was directed by Oliver Sommer of AVA Studios.
Comments Sommer: "The story tells itself with the first look on the artwork: it seems to be a film still and you only have to press the 'play' button. So the female protagonist flees — reminiscences to different (post)apocalyptic films and stories are deliberated — from an army of robotic pumpkin soldiers through an empty world. On the other side, the band performs in frightfully beautiful, rocked out ambience. When the tough girl realizes that she won't escape, she turns around and kills her chasers with a grenade which looks like the torch from the Statue of Liberty… It is immersed in snow on the cover artwork and in sand in the clip."
He continues: "Our post-apocalyptic world is a white desert, which exists in reality in Germany. The industrial disaster area, our hero is fleeing in and the band is performing in, is an incredible and giant area of the ex-steelworks (heavy metal!) Maxhütte — both locations are real wastelands!"
The "My God-Given Right" artwork was once again created by graphic guru Martin Häusler (BON JOVI, QUEEN, GOTTHARD) and will also be available as a 3D lenticular print.
Says Häusler: "We tried to build a world of ideas, keeping the 'classic HELLOWEEN' elements, like the pumpkins on the one hand and a complete new look on the other, just like we did it the years before, working on a HELLOWEEN artwork.
"A first inspiration came from the album title, 'My God-Given Right', and some of the song titles, like 'Swing Of A Fallen World', 'Lost In America', 'Battle's Won', etc.
"During my research, I stumbled upon the blockbuster 'Day After Tomorrow' and the idea of just leaving the world to the 'pumpkins' was born.
"The most challenging part of this artwork was to have both the limited edition and the 11-inch earbook provided with a 3D lenticular cover (a full 3D cover, visible without 3D glasses). That's the reason the entire artwork was done 'in one piece,' using a 3D program…
We did not want one of those 'cheap' lenticular covers, done by converting a 2D version, but the best possible real 3D result. So don’t get any other versions — this will be a true collector's item!"
Adds Andi Deris: "I never know how, but somehow we did it once again… The album really rocks and kicks some major asses!!! We had the best folks with us to make this possible: producer Charlie Bauerfeind and Martin Häusler, who made a massive 3D artwork this time WITHOUT stressing the whole color range."
States Michael Weikath: "This proves what a bit of snow not only is able to but really causes! I personally hate snow and the cover shows that too much of everything is never good. Just like Andi Deris, I'm very happy about the new album."