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Helstar - Glory Of Chaos

Label: AFM
Format: CD download
Released: 2010
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


Cat lover, ‘Mexican Dio’ and good buddy James Rivera has issued a new Helstar platter, consisting of nine originals (‘Zero One’ is just a 56-second outro of acoustic guitar and little more than the album’s titular phrase), plus a closing pair of cover/bonus tracks (Saxon’s ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ and ‘Animal Magnetism’ (Scorps). The little man possesses a big voice (always has) but over the last few years, Rivera has become enamored with his ‘Dani Filfth’ shriek/scream (his own words) style.

 

Helstar was never truly a thrash act and the desire to be heavy, fast and relevant today overshadows some of the band’s uniqueness. Until the later third, the music has a sameness, the Anthrax thrash mode (basic/boring riffs, with little in the way of showcased lead work). Many of the lyrical topics are ripped from the headlines, modern day, as well an historical, including terrorist (‘Monarch Of Bloodshed’), troubles in the church and the acoustic and whispered begun insanity of Charles Manson (‘Summer Of Hate’). ‘Alma Negra’ (Black Soul) hits on a similar serial killer obsession, albeit the entity which inhabits the minds of twisted individuals, name checking the Nightstalker and Son Of Sam. Granted, gruesome lyrical topics warrant a more brutal context, but the differentiated guitar patterns in the aforementioned ‘Alma Negra’, pounding double bass drumming of ‘Pandemonium’, background cymbal work on ‘Monarch Of Bloodshed’ and Rivera’s old school crooning on ‘Trinity Of Heresy’ are the Texans’ trademarks. There’s a skilled wordsmith on display in the scorching/scathing ‘Angels Fall To Hell’ opener: ‘The innocence you took was never yours to keep,’ as well as Monarch’s ‘Terror is a weapon of the weak, the only way the world can hear me speak!’

Nice James, I owe you a tequila.

 
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