The first anniversary of the disastrous earthquake in Japan will be on March 11th, 2012. The aftermath of this catastrophe is still apparent and to the present day the Japanese people are facing the impact of the events. The population of the affected area has not been able to completely return to their everyday live and the people are still grateful for our help. Some of Europe’s leading rock artist have united to join a campaign initiated by singer Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning) and recorded a tremendous new version of the classic Beatles song “Help!”.

The EP “Help! For JAPAN” will be released worldwide on the German label Avenue Of Allies on March 9th, 2012. All income from the sales of this project will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross.

The musicians:

  • Don Airey (Deep Purple) – keyboard & piano
  • Leo Leoni (Gotthard) – guitars
  • Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake) – bass
  • Hena Habegger (Gotthard) – drums

The singers:

  • Tobis Sammett (Avantasia, Edguy)
  • Bob Catley (Magnum)
  • Andi Deris (Helloween)
  • Torstein Flakne (Stage Dolls)
  • Marc Storace (Krokus)
  • David Readman (Pink Cream 69)
  • Claus Lessman (Bonfire)
  • Oliver Hartmann (Hartmann)
  • Bernhard Weiss (Axxis)
  • Michael Kiske (Unisonic)
  • Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear)
  • Tony Mills (TNT)
  • Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz (Evidence One, Frozen Rain)
  • Tommy Heart (Soul Docor, Fair Warning)

The solo guitar players:

  • Cede Dupont (Downspirit)
  • Kyoji Yamamoto (BowWow)
  • Helge Engelke (Fair Warning)
  • Roland Grapow (Masterplan)
  • Leo Leoni (Gotthard)
  • Henny Wolter (Nitrogods)
  • Robert R. Rodrigo (Airless)



With all those different singers on board you instantly start to think on the “Starz” project from R.J. Dio. Every vocalist does a few lines of lyrics. All have their typical timbre, but what Michael Kiske does in the chorus (and after the break) is simply amazing. His typical high screams are truly breathtaking! As a bonus we get a bunch of different short guitar solo’s from the invited axe men as well.

Initiator Tommy Heart handles the vocal in the second version. But we all know what a wonderful voice the man has. So this is another killer version of this classic fab four song.

The piano gets the company of the guitar of Helge Engelke (Fair Warning) in the guitar version. A very sensitive version where Helge makes his guitar actually ‘sings’ the lyrics. Goose bumps all over here!
And finally the extended version has a longer instrumental break.

This excellent project shows once again that a good song stays a good song, no matter how old it is! The melodic metal transformation is a brilliant example of the song writing qualities off Tommy Heart.  The song sticks in your head and each of the different versions add another touch. So complete your catalogue with this release and help our Japanese friends as well!!


  1. Help!
  2. Help! (Tommy Heart version)
  3. Help! Guitar version)
  4. Help! (Extended version)

Score: 4 out of 5


 Written by Rik Bauters

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