F U L L . R E V I E W S


Helloween - Walls Of Jericho (Expanded Edition) - 2006 - Sanctuary Records

Track Listing
DISC ONE
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

DISC TWO
1. Murderer
2. Ride The Sky
3. Intro/Ride The Sky
4. Guardians
5. Oernst Of Life
6. Metal Invaders
7. Suprise Track
We begin our coverage of the new Helloween remasters with what is arguably the first real speed metal album to come out of Germany. The verdict is still out on which German band you could pinpoint as being the founder of the speed metal sound. Most will say Helloween, some will say Kreator, Destruction, or even Accept. I will simply say that "Walls Of Jericho" was a sonic affair that held listeners in check with a swashbuckling guitar sound that seemed out of this world at the time. Lightning quick rompers like "Murderer" and "Ride The Sky" just skyrocket to hyperspace, leaving other bands at the time seemingly standing still. Led by the guitar blasts and vocals from one Kai Hansen, "Walls Of Jericho" is a classic album that is held in high regards by both metal fans and scholars.

Castle Music begins their "Expanded Edition" re-issue series of the Helloween back catalogue with the band's debut from 1985. This special re-mastered issue of the record also includes the "Judas" EP that is normally packaged with this release. I will say that I believe this release has been re-issued twice thus far, however, this is the first time that we have new liner notes, additional photos from that era of the band's history, as well as special "remixes" that are simply reworkings of some of the album's tracks. I find the photo history of the group very revealing, showing off the original Helloween EP cover as well as some zine articles and reviews from that era. Like the other re-issues of this series, this one features a print interview between Dave Ling of Metal Hammer/Classic Rock and Michael Weikath. Here are some of my favorite parts of that interview:

In regards to being tagged as speed metal Weikath says, "Yeah. Were the people who said that deaf? That's like saying Jesus was a woman. Real speed metal bands Agent Steel and Savage Grace were good and they were fast, but they lacked melody. We were very career-oriented and knew that mixing us up with those bands worked against us."

Ling: Is "Walls Of Jericho" a record you're still proud of?

Weikath: "Yes, I think so. When we made it, we tried to copy the production of the Malice album "In The Beginning". That was our fantasy. I admit that we failed. Harris Johns said what we got to listen to compare the sound we wanted to achieve was a tape recording of the production that Malice had achieved, and one can sure not rely on that."

It was after this record that the band broke big globally. From here the sails were set with the "Keepers" albums one and two, eventually leading the band to some strange ground with "Pink Bubbles Go Ape" and "Chameleon". I will still stick to my guns and continue to say that this album, "Master Of The Rings", and "Better Than Raw" are the best three Helloween records to date.



--EC 05.16.06

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Better Than Raw (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Chameleon (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Gambling with the DevilHelloween
2007
Frank Hill10/19/2007
Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The LegacyHelloween
2005
Stygian Steel10/14/2005
Keeper of the Seven Keys--Part 1Helloween
1987
Frank Hill10/30/2003
Master Of The Rings (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Mrs. GodHelloween
2005
Eric Compton8/18/2005
Pink Bubbles Go Ape (Expanded Edition)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton7/3/2006
Rabbit Don't Come EasyHelloween
2003
Eric Compton4/10/2003
The Time Of The Oath (Expanded)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton6/9/2006
Walls Of Jericho (Expanded)Helloween
2006
Eric Compton6/9/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: HELLOWEEN
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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