"Straight Out Of Hell", the new album from German power metallers HELLOWEEN, sold around 4,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 97 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD entered the Media Control chart in Germany at position No. 4 — the highest chart position in the band's history. It also landed at No. 4 in Finland and No. 2 on the international album chart in Japan.
"Straight Out Of Hell" was released in Europe on January 18 and in North America on January 22. The cover artwork for the CD was once again created by Martin Häusler, who previously worked with the band on the "7 Sinners" and "Gambling With The Devil" CDs.
"Straight Out Of Hell" was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind, who also worked on "7 Sinners", and sees the five musicians maintaining a rawer edge throughout, working quickly in the studio (MiSueno Studio in Tenerife) and delivering 13 brand new compositions that, in the words of founding member, guitarist Michael Weikath, will "kick even the laziest listener's ass!"
Bristling with positive energy, songs such as "Make Fire Catch The Fly", "Far From The Stars" and the title track itself, written by bassist Markus Grosskopf, show that when HELLOWEEN push their collective foot to the floor they are never too keen to ease off the gas; and they take chances, ever willing to use their well-documented virtuosity to break out of the mould.
Says singer Andi Deris: "We've always followed our own path when it comes to music… and if someone had ever tried to stop us, well, we'd have done what we wanted, anyway! Some of our moves have attracted negative reactions at first, but in time they've gone on to reap success and reward, and that's the kind of freedom you can feel on this new album — we don't allow ourselves to be put under pressure…"
With Deris, Weikath, Grosskopf (also a founding member) and guitarist Sascha Gerstner all providing material, "Straight…" is a passionate, multi-layered affair, complete with a limited-edition premium package featuring a special Hammond organ run-through of Weikath outing, "Burning Sun" — this version conceived as a tribute to DEEP PURPLE's Jon Lord.
"Straight Out Of Hell" track listing:
02. World Of War
03. Live Now!
04. Far From The Stars
05. Burning Sun
06. Waiting For The Thunder
07. Hold Me In Your Arms
08. Wanna Be God
09. Straight Out Of Hell
12. Make Fire Catch The Fly
13. Church Breaks Down
Limited-edition bonus tracks:
14. Another Shot Of Life
15. Burning Sun (Hammond version; dedicated to Jon Lord)