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The fuck is 'Oernst?' - 72%

Wra1th1s, April 13th, 2009

So yeah, first Helloween demo/recording/split and they already rock copious amounts of ass. The songs are pretty much along the lines of their debut EP and Walls of Jericho, speed metal with an emphasis on riffs and melodies like a souped-up Judas Fuckin' Priest/Iron Fuckin' Maiden.

There's only two songs, "Oernst of Life" and "Metal Invaders." I have no fucking idea what 'Oernst' is and what kind of fucked-up babelfish could have created such a word, but hey all is forgiven because it is SPEED metal. Yes emphasis on SPEED. It's kinda like "Starlight" riff-wise, and the structure's fairly similar...so Uncle Weiki sez "when a formula works don't change it!" The harmonized middle-section's very good though nowhere near as colon cleansing as "Halloween," "Ride the Sky," "The Saints." Too bad this has never been re-recorded, I'll never understand why shit like "Gorgar" (which Weiki admits is pretty moronic,) got on the album and THIS cut is forgotten.

Song two is "Metal Invaders" which will be sped up in Walls of Jericho. This one's not bad I guess, but the general mindset in SPEED metal is...well SPEED so I definitely like the album version much better. Other than speed not much has changed, if you've got Walls of Jericho ('if' is merely hypothetical, everyone has Walls of Jericho...if not I will rape you, your mama, your grandmama, and that boy next door...sideways) there's not really a reason to find this version, and since it's a bonus track on the remaster you'll have it already.

Performance here is not as tight as their latter efforts. Ingo tries his best to keep the tempo, and most of the time he succeeds. Maggi plays pretty much as expected, his bass is pretty audible too. Weiki and Kai not quite getting their harmony sections down pat and one of 'em plays slightly faster at times. Kai's voice...well since this is per-Land of the Free you all know what he's like. I don't really like him (The Metal Inquisition must be preparing my pyre as I type,) his voice is raspy, and not the good DEASSS METALL raspy either, and his high notes are fairly weak compared to Michi and Andi.

Production's great for a demo, though the expected muddiness and slight buzz is there.

Should you get it? Well, if only for "Oernst of Life" but since the Walls of Jericho remaster has the two tracks you no longer need to sell your firstborn for a copy of the Death Metal vinyl, pick up the Walls of Jericho remaster and you too can listen to a rare piece of Helloween history.