Helloween - Walls Of Jericho / Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Parts 1 & 2 / Pink Bubbles Go Ape (Re-issues)
It's probably only a bizarre (and sometimes impenetrable) sense of humour that's stopped Helloween from attracting the critical acclaim the band's music deserves.
Well no, that's not strictly true, the humour thing's been a problem, but the quality of the band's output has been variable, and that's resulted in a hard to bridge credibility gap.

However, there can be no doubt that when they're at their best, there are few metal bands to touch them.

Recognising that, Sanctuary Records have gone a long way to redressing the balance by reissuing nine albums from Helloween's back catalogue. From 1986's 'Walls Of Jericho' through to 1998's 'Better Than Raw'. In each case, several bonus tracks have been added to the original tracklist. In general these are Japanese bonus tracks, non album B-sides and the occasional live track. The packaging is lavish, the remastering impressive, and in a few cases the albums have been expanded to two discs to accommodate the extra material.

Now that's what I call respect.

Fans of the band will know the albums, but maybe won't be quite so familiar with the additional tracks. The reissue of the bands' debut, 'Walls Of Jericho' is one of the two disc affairs. Disc one includes the band's self titled "mini LP" as well as the tracks from their full length debut. The second disc contains the album's seven bonus tracks.

Disc two opens with remixes of the original album's speed metal head turners, 'Murderer' and 'Ride The Sky', two tracks that emphasise the teutonic Iron Maiden similarities of which they were deservedly accused at the time. The remixes are drier, cleaner versions. The distended riffs and charging rhythms don't sound quite so manic, and Hansen's vocals seem clearer and more distinct (but still wanders out of tune).

The real highlights on disc two are the two songs that started it all - 'Oernst Of Life' and 'Metal Invaders', both of which are lifted from the 'Death Metal' sampler, released in 1984.

The seminal 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys' - claimed by many to be the precursor of Power metal - yields a few more interesting bonuses. The Michael Kiske version of 'Victim Of Fate' from the 'Helloween' mini LP on its own proves what an astute move it was by the band to bring Kiske on board. There's a soaring, skyscraping remix (by Kiske) of 'Starlight' from 'Walls Of Jericho' and a "video edit" of the epic 'Helloween', effectively condensing almost quarter of an hour's hugely ambitious, lung bursting metal into five incendiary minutes.

1988's 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II' saw Kiske and Weikath separately take more of songwriting role with the band. Kiske's splendidly metallised single B-side songs 'Savage' and 'Don't Run For Cover' are featured on disc two (yes, another reissue expanded to two excellent discs). Single B-side 'Living Ain't No Crime' and a remix of 'Dr.Stein' again show the totally different dimension that Weikath brought to Helloween, greatly assisting the band's progressive penetration of the mainstream metal market.

The cringingly titled 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' was released three years later. After Tommy Newton's hollow production on the previous album, Chris Tsangarides was brought in following his well received work on Bruce Dickinson's 'Tattooed Millionaire'.
And you can hear the difference. With 'PBGA' the band had moved off in a distinctly hard rock direction, encroaching on Deep Purple and Rainbow territory.
Four bonus tracks this time, most notably the humorously titled instrumental parody 'Les Hambourgeois Walkways' and the throwback 'You Run With The Pack', both originally appearing on the 'Number One' CD single.

Reviews of the next four reissues to follow next week.

NB Ratings below are for the bonus material


Ratings:

Walls Of Jericho 6/10

Keeper Of The Seven Keys 7.5/10

Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part Two 6/10

Pink Bubbles Go Ape 5/10

Written by Brian
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Show all reviews by Brian

Ratings

Brian: 666/10

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Rating: 10/10
Helloween Mark I&II (from the first EP to Keeper II - Kay Hansen years) released excellent... · Read more ·

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Comment by Rick Power (Anonymous) - Saturday, June 17, 2006
That was a necessary remix. I have waited these for ages but now they are finally here.


Review by notrap (Member) - Wednesday, January 20, 2010
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66
Helloween Mark I&II (from the first EP to Keeper II - Kay Hansen years) released excellent records.
Kay Hansen departure after Keeper II was a big disappoint and a huge step back.

Helloween EP
Speed Metal pioneer, this EP shows clearly the band influences: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept (Fast as a Shark).
We find some immature links on the songs and lyrics , however this record is an interesting debut.
Special credits:
Victim of Fate
Starlight

Rate: 8.5/10

Walls of Jericho
Absolute Speed Metal Classic! This record was very important to the metal scene.
All world was astonish with Ride the Sky, Guardians, Heavy Metal(Is The Law) or How Many Tears.
This guys gave Maiden's Hallowed be Thy Name a killer speed rotation!

Rate: 9.5/10

Keeper Of The Seven Keys part I
A turning point. Michael Kiske was definitely an upgrade to reach a more mainstream market (Maiden's market)
The songs kept the speed identity of the previous record however Kiske's extraordinary vocal range and a more classic song composition was definitely a step forward.
At this point I believe this guys had Queensryche on their playlist ;)
Another absolute pumpkin classic!
Special credits:
I'm Alive
A Little Time
Twilight Of The Gods
Future World

Rate: 10/10

Keeper Of The Seven Keys part II
In my opinion the best german record of all time.
This guys were in their top form and release an absolute Heavy Metal classic!
Songs like Eagle Fly Free or March of Time kept the speed metal flame alive and Dr. Stein or I Want Out were another step forward.
Helloween's golden era.

Rate 10/10 or 11/10

Pink Bubbles Go Ape
Well...This band was never the same after Kay's departure. The court problems with Noise didn't help too.
This record was the first of many steps back on Helloween's career.
Kids of The Century, Someone's Crying or The Chance are good songs..but not enough to fulfil the expectations

Rate: 7/10

My final rate don't include PBGA.


Rating: 10/10

Posted by notrap
Wednesday, January 20, 2010










Review by Brian
Not available

Released by
Castle / Sanctuary - 2006

Tracklisting

Walls of Jericho

CD 1:
01. Starlight
02. Murderer
03. Warrior
04. Victim Of Fate
05. Cry For Freedom
06. Walls Of Jericho
07. Ride The Sky
08. Reptile
09. Guardians
10. Phantoms Of Death
11. Metal Invaders
12. Gorgar
13. Heavy Metal (Is The Law)
14. How Many Tears
15. Judas

CD 2 (Bonus Tracks)
01. Murderer (Remix)
02. Ride The Sky (Remix)
03. Intro/Ride The Sky (Live)
04. Guardians (Live)
05. Oernst Of Life
06. Metal Invaders (1984)
07. Surprise Track


Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I

01. Initation
02. I'm Alive
03. A Little Time
04. Twilight Of The Gods
05. A Tale That Wasn't Right
06. Future World
07. Halloween
08. Follow The Sign

Bonus Tracks:
09. Victim Of Fate (Single B-Side)
10. Starlight (Remix)
11. A Little Time (Altern. Version)
12. Halloween (Video Edit)


Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II

CD 1:
01. Invitation
02. Eagle Fly Free
03. You Always Walk Alone
04. Rise And Fall
05. Dr. Stein
06. We Got The Right
07. March Of Time
08. I Want Out
09. Keeper Of The Seven Keys
10. Save Us

CD 2 (Bonus Tracks):
01. Savage (Singe B-Side)
02. Livin' Ain't No Crime (Single B-Side)
03. Don't Run For Cover (Single B-Side)
04. Dr. Stein (Remix)
05. Keeper Of The Seven Keys (Remix)


Pink Bubbles Go Ape

CD 1:
01. Pink Bubbles Go Ape
02. Kids Of The Century
03. Back On The Streets
04. Number One
05. Heavy Metal Hamsters
06. Goin' Home
07. Someone's Crying
08. Mankind
09. I'm Doin' Fine Crazy Man
10. The Chance
11. Your Turn

Bonus Tracks
12. Blue Suede Shoes (Single B-Side)
13. Shit And Lobster (Single B-Side)
14. Les Hambourgeois Walkways (Single B-Side)
15. You Run With The Pack (Single B-Side)


Style
Heavy Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Helloween - Official Website

Other articles
The Dark Ride - (Tommy)

Rabbit Don´t Come Easy - (Tommy)

Live With Rage, Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 9th December, 2003 - (Tommy)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys - Part II - (Tommy)

Mrs. God (Single) - (Steen)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy - (Tommy)

Expanded Reissues, Part Two: Chameleon; Master Of The Rings; Time Of The Oath; Better Than Raw. - (Brian)

Live In Sao Paulo - (Brian)

Gambling With The Devil - (Steen)

7 Sinners - (Brian)



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