It's about damn time that this band got the respect that they deserved by re-mastering the first eight discs. Just like the original pressing of the disc, you get the same fifteen tracks in order. The first five are from the E.P. Now, if you don't remember or are new to the band Kai Hansen was not only the axe man, but he was also the singer in this Mark I line up and it featured only four folks. This was the beginning of Power Metal in its rawest form. There's nothing slick or polished unlike their later material.
As early as this disc was, there are some true gems on here even if Kai was screaming in a high pitched voice that got obnoxious after a while. "Starlight" and Murderer" are heavy and provide some killer riffs that are somewhat technical at times along with a quick pacing. "Warrior" contains galloping riffs that run the length of the disc along with some pretty impressive guitar work. What seemed like a ballad, "Cry For Freedom" starts out slow and even somewhat wimpy, but it builds up into a lightning fast jam that blazes through the remainder of the song. The anthem and classic "Ride The Sky sounds just as good today as in the past. This was a jam for sure. "Gorgar" is a simple traditional true Metal tracks that is infectious with its riffs and is simple in composition, but provides a lot of fun along with awesome bass lines. The simple mistake I saw at first is that only fourteen tracks are listed and not fifteen. I forgot that "WOJ" was an instrumental and it just merges with "Ride The Sky." Don't worry, everything is there. Now in order to make this worth your money and believe me it's worth every last dollar, you get a bonus disc filled with goodies. "Murderer" and "Ride The Sky" get a remix treatment that sounds outstanding and vicious. I never heard "Oernst Of Life" or "Metal Invaders." Listen to how raw these tracks were.
These were the first recordings under the HELLOWEEN name and were dumped onto a compilation that was created back in the day and haven't been seen or heard until now. Talk about rough sounding all around. But nonetheless, they are a part of history and are classic. You could tell that the band had visions of what they wanted to sound like. Absolutely essential if you ask me. So, either trash the original version of your disc, cassette, or LP and grab this immediately. (Online April 29, 2006)