“Walls Of Jericho” (remaster) by Helloween

Artist: Helloween
Title: “Walls Of Jericho” (remaster)
Label: Castle Music/Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 4/25/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

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

Official Website: www.helloween.org

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