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Helloween: Walls Of Jericho (remaster)

When one thinks of Power Metal, one of the names that comes up as among the first to venture into this new genre of Metal is the one and only Helloween. The band was ahead of its time and mixed the newer speed metal riffing along with incredible melodic displays to an extraordinary result. This release of Walls Of Jericho in an expanded version is a treat for all Metal fans because not only does it include the original album, but it also has the impossible to find Helloween EP for its first 5 tracks. The lineup of these early years consisted of Kai Hansen (vocals and guitar), Ingo Schwichtenberg (drums), Markus Grosskopf (bass), & Michael Weikath (guitar) and when you listen to these formative songs you will find the band performing at blistering speeds on most of the tracks. By 1985's standards this was a refreshing change from the "Hair Metal" stuff that was killing the real headbangers. Music of the 80's in that style needed a kick in its own tail to remind the world that Metal was as much an attitude as a musical form. The band also had some chops in the live sense and they showcase this on the included tracks from the Treasure Chest EP. Helloween became most known for their Keeper Of The Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2 albums which featured Michael Kiske on vocals and allowed Hansen to instead focus on his blistering guitar parts. Yet there is something special about these early tracks as you are getting the picture from the beginning and experiencing the band at their start. Songs like "Murderer" and "Starlight" are still performed some twenty years later by the lineup that has changed a number of times since the began. If you are a later years fan of Helloween based on their work with singer Andy Deris then this is a great chance to discover how unique it was and how it has progressed over the years from then until now. Hansen is a great singer who can now be heard in the Power Metal sensation Gamma Ray.

Packed in a slip-cased jewel box these expanded editions offer comprehensive liner notes based on the time of the release. They are nicely put together and the production makes them a must-have for the collection.

Track Listing CD1 & CD2

  1. Starlight
  2. Murderer
  3. Warrior
  4. Victim Of Fate
  5. Cry For Freedom
  6. Walls Of Jericho
  7. Ride The Sky
  8. Reptile
  9. Guardians
  10. Phantoms Of Death
  11. Metal Invaders
  12. Gorgar
  13. Heavy Metal (Is The Law)
  14. How Many Tears
  15. Judas
  16. Murderer remix
  17. Ride The Sky - remix
  18. Intro/Ride The Sky live
  19. Guardians live
  20. Oernst Of Life
  21. Metal Invaders
  22. Surprise Track

Added: April 28th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Helloween Website
Hits: 3953
Language: english

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Helloween: Walls Of Jericho (remaster)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-04-29 07:25:48
My Score:

Ah, I remember fondly back in 1985 when I first picked up the self-titled EP and Walls of Jericho LP from Helloween. With garish cover art featuring pumpkin creatures and music that was like a more complex Iron Maiden on speed, the stuff these German metal lions was like nothing that I had heard before. Remember, this was the early stages of the band, before Michael Kiske would join and lead them into more progressive/power metal waters. Here, on Walls of Jericho, you get early power metal, which at the time was basically speed metal, or thrash for use of a better term, littered with raging, sometimes technical guitar riffs, blinding neo-classical guitar solos (and the beginnings of the dual harmony solos that Helloween would be known for), pounding and manic drums, and aggressive vocals. Since this was pre-Kiske, vocals were handled by Kai Hansen, who many know now resides as the leader of Gamma Ray. Hansen, along with Michael Weikath, formed a powerful guitar duo, whose rhythm and lead work received rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Many fan favorites are contained on the EP and Walls of Jericho, all of which are included here on this remaster as well as material from the Judas EP and the Treasure Chest and Death Metal compilations, featuring rare, live, and alternate takes. 80's thrash lovers will surely remember songs such as "Victim of Fate", "Ride the Sky", "Guardians", and the epic "How Many Tears", all great examples of the early Helloween formula.

The remaster package is very cool, with a full booklet containing an interview with Weikath as he talks about the beginnings of the band and the albums contained here, photographs, albums reviews, full lyrics, and info on the songs. It's a 2 CD set that every Helloween fan needs to own.

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