Helstar, the band with James Rivera and Larry Barragan releases their eighth
album. The band started in 1982 and their debut album 'Burning Star' is still
one I can listen to without getting bored. At the end of the nineties the band
had a silent period of about 11 years to return in the metalscene with 'The King
of Hell'. Since their return this is their third album in a row. On their 2010
album 'Glory of Chaos' the band showed their heaviest stuff leaning towards
thrash. I was very curious about the music on this new album.
have to conclude that it is a little less thrashier than on the predecessor, but
still a very very heavy album. You can say that it is a kind of mix of their
2008 album 'The King of Hell' and their 2010 record 'Glory of Chaos', the melody
of their earlier albums with the thrash approach, or should I just call it speed
metal. James' typical voice: screams, shouts and sings everything together,
still sounding like the ADHD version of Halford. I like his vocals, but
sometimes he exaggerates a bit and then he misses a bend.
tempo of the songs is high most of the time, the only big exception is "Cursed",
a slower track with big doom influences. With "Isla de las Munecas' there is an
instrumental track in which they show that the band consists of excellent
musicians. Like on the other songs, the guitar duo Larry and Rob Trevino shows
that they are real riff masters. In "Defy the Swarm" James uses an aggressive
singing style, which isn't really my cup of tea. The strongest track with the
strange title "Magormissabib" refers to the bible and means something like 'fear
on every side' (long live wikipedia). Together with the instrumental and "Souls
Cry" it is one of my favorite tracks because both songs remind me the most of
their eigthies period.
in all Helstar shows that their combination of melodic U.S. power metal with some
thrashy stuff still works, at least for me. Oh and before I forget to mention
something about the hard pounding excellent drums, here it is.