HELLOWEEN

Helloween was founded in the early ’80s by members of the Hamburg bands, Iron Fist and Powerfool. The original line-up consisting of Kai Hansen (guitars/vocals), Michael Weikath (guitars), Markus Grosskopf (bass), and Ingo Schwichtenberg (drums). At the age of eighteen, Kiske was asked to join the band Helloween, which was fronted by singer/guitarist Kai Hansen. Hansen had some difficulties being both the lead guitarist and lead vocalist, and it was decided that a new vocalist would be needed. Kiske rejected Helloween’s first offer, because he disliked the sound of the band’s WALLS OF JERICHO album, but accepted the second and joined Helloween in late 1986.

Michael’s first album with the band was 1987’s KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS: Part I, widely considered to be one of Helloween’s best albums and a milestone in the creation of the power metal genre. The album’s worldwide success enabled the band to embark on an extensive world tour and perform at famous festivals such as Monsters of Rock. Helloween went on to release KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS: Part II in 1988, which went gold in Germany and brought even more success than its predecessor. The Keeper of the Seven Keys albums proved to be highly influential and aided in the formation of a new wave of European power metal bands.

After the completion of the band’s 1988 headlining tour, the group’s first live recording LIVE IN THE U.K. was released, while Kai Hansen left the band and was replaced by guitarist Roland Grapow. Legal difficulties with their record company Noise put Helloween on ice for many months and proved a major obstacle at the beginning of the ’90s.

With their fourth studio album PINK BUBBLES GO APE, recorded in Denmark, they changed their direction from straight on power metal to a more hard rock influenced band. There are moments where the band holds onto some of the elements that made them so successful but it was written with a softer, less epic, and sometimes humorous approach, which would be later fully implemented in the band’s following album.

The fifth studio album CHAMELEON, mirrored an exceptional musical quality, definately their most musically adventurous release, but also their least commercially successful. After the experimental, Michael Kiske left towards the end of 1993 to devote himself to a solo carrer.

In November 2016, Kiske joined Helloween and Kai Hansen for the Pumpkins United World Tour that continued through 2018. A live recording of the Helloween tour will be released in 2019 and a new Helloween album with Kiske and Hansen is planned for 2020.