Great Metal Albums of 1985: Helloween- Walls of Jericho


In spite of the order of the two posts, I have to confess that I first listened to the debut full length album from Helloween, “Walls of Jericho,” before I listened to the self titled EP. However, when an artist released more than one album in a given year, I do try to post them in the chronological order they were released. With all that said, it was the kick ass material on “Walls of Jericho” that led me to go back and check out the EP.

Normally, the very first song I listened to on an album or even from a band does not immediately convert me to them. But when I heard “Walls of Jericho/Ride the Sky,” blast through my speakers, I was immediately captivated by the sound of Helloween. All the great things I said about that EP in the last post were all there on this song. While, “Walls of Jericho” and “Ride the Sky” are two separate songs, the first is a natural introduction to the second, it works that well. Of course, the speeding rhythm of guitar, bass and drums along with the vocals of Hansen and those almost progressive rock sounding long guitar solos blew me away. Combined as one, it remains my all time favourite Helloween song.

Fortunately and quite obviously, the speed metal party doesn’t end with the one song. “Reptile” is a belter while the “Guardians” goes at about 600 mph yet somehow keeps it’s melody. It’s astounding really. This one-two punch keeps the album boiling over very nicely. “Phantoms of Death” is the bastard child of speed and progressive metal as there is evidence galore of both on this track. Definitely love the long guitar solo on it.

Side two of the album explodes with the speed of “Metal Invaders.” Another almost thrash song with Hansen melodically barking the lyrics until he slows down at the chorus. However, the song continues to be fast and furious throughout, even during the guitar solo. If there was any one song that applies to the power metal label attributed to Helloween, then that song is “Gorgar.” Thanks to modern technology, (Google) I have discovered that Gorgar was actually a pinball machine. Wow, I thought it was the name of some demon in German lore. Now I get what they mean with “Gorgar will eat your money.” Still, it’s power metal at its best! With “Heavy Metal (Is the Law),” the band go for a live sound. It works because if I ever do get to see Helloween live, I would hope they would play it. The album closes with the best possible song for the role, “How Many Tears.” All of the things in this closing track sums up all the great things from the rest of the album. The power, the speed, the vocals and long guitar solos are all included in the package making it a great way to end a great album.

Track Listing:

  1. Walls of Jericho
  2. Ride the Sky
  3. Reptile
  4. Guardians
  5. Phantoms of Death
  6. Metal Invaders
  7. Gorgar
  8. Heavy Metal (Is the Law)
  9. How Many Tears



Kai Hansen- vocals, guitar

Michael Weikath- guitar

Marcus Grosskopf- bass

Ingo Schwitzenberg- drums, percussion

Note: I was supposed to see Helloween live in 1988 but circumstances beyond my control prevented it. More detail will be divulged in given year.

It has been said that Helloween were the founders of power metal and I can easily see from listening to “Walls of Jericho” why the idea has ground. However, for me back in 1985, I did not know of categories like that and simply enjoyed metal in all it’s glorious forms, Helloween for sure.

Next post: Loudness- Thunder in the East

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2 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Helloween- Walls of Jericho”

  1. Adelaide Dupont Says:

    Was that London Bridge in the background?

    Liked by 1 person

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