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on 5 April 2015
In late 1985, the legendary German Melodic Power Metal band Helloween came out of Berlin's Music Lab studios and released their debut full-length studio album, Walls Of Jericho. In so doing, the band arguably changed heavy music forever.

Lead by the very talented Kai Hansen, who would later go on to become the frontman of Gamma Ray and help form Iron Saviour, the band combined powerful US style Thrash Metal (despite being fellow countrymen with the likes of Sodom, Destruction and Holy Moses) with British NWOBHM and their own unique sense of melody and whimsy that would ultimately prove vastly influential over the whole European Power Metal movement.

Compared to later albums, Walls Of Jericho is faster, harder, heavier and more rooted in the Thrash tradition than anything else. If you only knew them from singles like "Mrs God," "If I Could Fly" and "Live Now" it might come as a shock to hear how raw and ferocious the material here can be.

That being said, everything that would come later in both Helloween and Gamma Ray's signature sound can be picked up on here. `Metal Invaders' for example tones down the Thrash and adds some of that Power Metal magic, as does the middle of `Ride The Sky.'

The record does a pretty good split between the styles of Kai Hansen and Mikael Weikath, in a real spot who wrote what kind of way. The real hero here however is drummer Ingo Schwitchenberg, who's one of a kind fills and absolute mastery of the double-kick gave such a personality filled performance. Highlights include the furious `Metal Invaders,' the damn catchy `Heavy Metal (Is The Law)' and the memorable duo of `Gorgar' and the aforementioned `Ride The Sky.'

Negative things? There aren't that many. Maybe the vocals could've been recorded better and placed higher in the mix, and some of the transitions are jarring so structure isn't as spot on as in the later albums, but arguably both points only add to the charm of the album, which vastly outweighs the technical complaints anyway.

Overall; Walls Of Jericho is a rawer, grittier, dirtier and more aggressive Helloween album than usual, but undeniably a Helloween album. It isn't just interesting as historical context either, its fully entertaining in its own right musically. There are some brilliant riffs, some amazing solos and some damn catchy choruses to be found.

If you can, try and get the version which also contains the equally strong Helloween EP and assorted other compilation tracks from this era. It features extensive liner notes, photos, press clippings and the like in the booklet, and the extra music is more or less just as good as the main album.
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on 19 January 2014
Kai Hansen (guitar and singing) formed the band with Weikath (guitar), Grosskopf (bass), Ingo Schwichtenberg (drums. After recording first EP Helloween in 1985, containing five songs (Starlight,Murderer,Warrior,Victim of Fate, and Cry for Freedom), later the same year this LP came out with another nine brilliant tracks. And the road of fame for the band just started.

Later on, Kai had some disagreements with the other band members and left the band after this album. The good news is that he formed new band called Gamma Ray, so there you can continue soaking in beautiful melodies penned by Kai. Otherwise, in Helloween, the microphone after belonged to Michael Kiske, who spent considerable time with the band are recorded a number of albums starting with Keeper of the seven keys part 1 and 2.

This album starts with the notorious Happy happy halloween tune played by trumpets followed by the noise of the castle crumbling down. Then the show starts. Beautiful riffs, beautiful solos, beautiful melodies, and so on. Now considered a classic speed metal album. Favorite songs? Very hard to say, definitelly all of them, but if I have to choose anyway, probably Heavy metal, How many tears, Ride the sky and Guardians.
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on 17 December 2012
Excellent album! I like all the 80's Helloween albums including this one, speed metal at its best. I wish all their later albums to be like those.
My favorite tracks are: 'Ride the Sky', 'Heavy Metal is the Law' and 'How Many Tears'.
This release including also the 'Helloween' EP which is a must have, and 'Judas' another great song from the 'Judas' EP.
Highly recommended for all speed, thrash and power metal. A classic album that should desereve to be at any metal collector's house. Enjoy!
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on 2 November 2011
An almost perfect album. I had this in vinyl near to it's first release and it was one of my most treasured albums. The first 5 tracks here are off of the Helloween ep that was released before this. It was obviously far more viable to release the tracks as a prefix to the longer Walls of Jericho but they are best heard as their own collection really. These first 5 tracks are all good, with 'Starlight' being the stand out.

The album proper then starts. Title track and 'Ride the Sky' are classics and usually played together. The latter is a great song with driving guitars and a superb chorus. 'Reptile' is the perfectly hokum follower. It's the film Alligator in song form. Just such a Helloween track. Funny, tongue in cheek but also deadly serious. 'Guardians' is a soaring epic that is infinitely hummable. 'Phantoms...' is another great horror track with another excellent chorus.

'Metal Invaders' is a good track but just sounds so heavy metal, almost anthemic. 'Gorgar' is my favourite. In the style of 'Reptile', this behemoth pounds and chugs away through the narrative of a pin-ball game. Awesome. The live 'Heavy Metal...' is good but no cigar. 'How Many Tears' is a perfect closer. It is epic, thoughtful and tuneful.

For a first album proper this is almost too good. The succeeding 2 Keeper albums were arguably better and introduced the Helloween sound that would stay but this is where it all began, in a time when metal was really metal and album covers exceeded every expectation. Relive and relish!
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on 6 November 2012
I once read a review which described Yngwie j Malmsteen's 'Trilogy' as "good, shiny Metal."

This perfectly sums up Helloween. It is Heavy Metal with which to motivate a trans German, autobahn thrash in a Porsche 928, en route to a garden party hosted by Rudy Schenker.

So acutely redolent of that brief period in the mid-late 80s when identikit moshing demanded its proponents sport freakishly large, white training shoes. Indeed, on arriving at Castle Donnington's (ultimately tragic) Monsters Of Rock event in 1988, Helloween were firing away from down the hill but there was no easily visible sign of Kai Hansen & Co up on stage from the vantage point at the back of the fields by the rat burger vending stalls - save for the lads' resplendent footwear - shining like a Siren's lantern, beckoning the faithful stagewards.

This EP smörgåsbord is an enthusiastic interlude but I don't feel it matches the triumph subsequently arising via el 'Keys' salvo; I don't wish to sound 'down' on the affair but this isn't my idea of a natural selection whereas 'Keeperware' isn't just vastly more polished, production wise but genuinely landmark grade, Metal ordnance.

However, I still love it: it's a bit like Accept's eponymously titled debut lp - no 'Restless & Wild,' sure but by the same token, sometimes a finely prepared, hearty fish and chips blow out (at 'The Magpie' in Whitby, ideally) is infinitely preferable to the finest filet mignon wheeled out at Maxim's, Paris, of a Vendredi eve.

It is a curio best reserved for those moments when you're hanging around with nothing to do...
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As for the songs there no complaints, are wonderful. But be careful about the material itself, is not a box-set as advertised, it's only a double cd.
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on 13 May 2013
Long time ago since I listened to them but it is just as good as I remembered from younger days.
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on 15 February 2015
fantastic, true matal music, very energetic and real.
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on 21 September 2014
All is ok. The product and shipping
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on 20 August 2015
The original Dragonslayer!
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