Personnel: Andi Deris (vocals); Michael Weikath (guitar); Sascha Gerstner (strings); Matthias Ulmer (keyboards); Dani Löble (drums); Olaf Senkbeil, Billy King (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Charlie Bauerfeind.
Recording information: Mi Sueno Studio, Tenerife, Es.
Editor: Thomas Geiger.
Illustrator: Marcos Moura.
Photographer: Martin Haeusler.
The stalwart German outfit's 16th studio long player, My God-Given Right is a power metal cornucopia spilling over with commercial-grade sweets and cheeses. Bolstered by the dizzying guitar work of Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, the 15-track set has some satisfying moments, especially early on with the one-two punch of "Heroes" and "Battles Won," both of which fit nicely into the Helloween canon where speed metal precision meets rich, melodic choruses tailor-made for unison fist pumping. Vocalist Andi Deris more than holds his own throughout, delivering often inane lyrics like "We wanna stay crazy, fresh as a daisy" with gusto, in a voice that falls somewhere between former Helloween frontman Michael Kiske and head Scorpion Klaus Meine. At 15 slabs of metal, My God-Given Right overstays its welcome a bit, with large portions of its latter half drifting dangerously into filler territory. But stand-out cuts like the soaring "Creatures in Heaven," the menacing "Swing of the Fallen World," and the aforementioned "Heroes" prove that, 30 years into their career, Helloween are still largely unequaled purveyors and unabashed champions of "cheese-tastic" power metal hymns. ~ James Christopher Monger