HELLOWEEN – Walls Of Jericho (Expanded Edition)


Sanctuary Records
Release Date: April 25, 2006

User Review
8.5/10 (2 votes)

Germany’s Helloween, which was formed in Hamburg in 1982, is today still considered to be one of the most influential Heavy Metal bands to launch out of Europe in the 1980s. Being in their 24th year, even today the band is considered by many to be the pioneers of the “Power Metal” subgenre.

Welcome to part one of a series of eight total reviews that Metal Express Radio will post covering each of the newly released Helloween “Expand Edition” releases. For the unknowing, the first eight full-length releases by Helloween have been re-released as remastered, expanded edition CDs by Sanctuary Records. Each edition includes several bonus tracks consisting of B-Sides, remixes and live renditions.

One commonality amongst all eight editions is the inclusion of a glossy, heavy-duty cardboard sleeve that engulfs each CD case. The front and back of each sleeve contains artwork from their respective original LP sleeves. The back of all sleeves also contains the track listing, including the bonus tracks.

First up in the eight part series is Walls Of Jericho, which constitutes the band’s first full-length release, and is considered by many to be the premiere “Speed Metal” release that so many other bands would follow in the footsteps of in subsequent years. It was originally released late in 1985 following the EP, Helloween, which premiered earlier that same year. Walls Of Jericho was a pure Speed/Power Metal release! Who can forget the introductory, haunting title track (sounding like “Mary Had A Little Lamb”), which bursts into thunderstorms? The thunder leads directly into the high throttled, powerhouse “Ride The Sky,” which includes some rampant double bass, a gangbuster chant chorus, and some impressive high-pitched vocals by guitarist Kai Hansen. This track was a great way to lead off a full-length release and served as a great representation of what Helloween was all about back then … pure power combined with speed … pure Metal. Can any less be said of the other excellent tracks like “Reptile,” “Phantoms Of Death,” “Gorgar,” etc.? All in all, the release was an exceptional treat, not trick, in Speed/Power Metal.

So, the question on every Helloween fan’s mind at this point is likely … what about the bonus material? This particular re-release is a double CD edition. CD one includes remastered versions of both the original five-track Helloween EP and the full-length Walls Of Jericho. The EP is presented first (nice to be in chronological order) and Walls Of Jericho follows, wrapping up with the track “Judas” from the 1986 twelve-inch vinyl Judas EP. Truth be told, disc one contains no more and no less than previous “remastered” versions of Walls Of Jericho on the market, which is probably already owned by most modest Helloween fans. Disc two, on the other hand, includes a remix of “Murderer” and “Ride The Sky” from the 2002 Treasure Chest release. Also included is a live version of “Guardians,” the very first officially recorded Helloween tracks in “Oernst Of Life” and “Metal Invaders” from the 1984 compilation/sampler Death Metal, and the “Surprise Track” from the picture disc version of the Helloween EP. Not bad, not bad at all. All remastered tracks sound clean and even and show no signs of aging!

The other big plus is the liner notes. This one is a 12 page booklet that includes: the original LP cover on the front page, a short Helloween biography up to and including this CD’s release, a 2005 interview with guitarist Weikath that offers insights into the band’s history during this era, several original album reviews reprinted (e.g., from Kerrang! magazine), reprinted lyrics for all tracks, credits for each set of tracks, and it ends with the original LP version’s back cover reprinted on this booklet’s back cover … WOW! The only downside to this glossy 12-page booklet is that some of the print (especially the reprinted reviews) is so tiny that the “aged eyes” among some fans will definitely need a magnifying glass to read some of it.

Bottom line, given the expanded, detailed liner notes and the exceptional bonus tracks (from the same era), this one comes across as an impressive and awe-inspiring package. This edition should be considered a “must buy” for any Helloween fan, especially newcomers that want to start building a complete collection of the band’s catalog from scratch. This one is so impressive, that enthusiasm and expectations for the next editions wind up being quite high!


Kai Hansen – Vocals, Guitar
Michael Weikath – Guitar
Markus Grobkopf – Bass
Ingo Schwichtenberg – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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