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Helstar – Glory Of Chaos

Label: AFM
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/ 10

"Glory of Chaos" is a U.S. speed/traditional metal triumph. While Helstar paints in one color only, their dripping brushes dab away with vigor, vitality, and the tempered skill of Metal veterans. I hear a lot of Testament, Belladonna-era Anthrax, Overkill (maybe?), Judas Priest, and especially Nevermore, but this album never feels derivative or excessively tedious. Helstar don't sound like metal geezers, they sound like high energy kids time-warped straight from the seminal 80s Bay Area scene.


"Glory of Chaos" bursts out of the gates with ‘Angels Fall to Hell’ (about retribution for abusive priests), possibly the perfect thrash song. The verses rumble onto the pavement with octane, but then shift gears into a high speed rush, colliding at last into the heavy brick wall of the chorus. This is the strongest of a solid stable of tracks, but ‘Summer of Hate’ (about Charles Manson) and ‘Dethtrap’ (about the "Cube" films) are also not to be missed.

Lyrically and vocally, James Rivera frequently evokes Warrell Dane of Nevermore, just without the complex guitars in the background. The songs are always pretty straightforward, not too challenging, never meandering into doom, pulling back on their prog tendencies from the 80s, but dammit, as a thrash-metal-and-nothing-else album they work. Goal one when recording music is to create something that transports and captures the listener.

On "Glory of Chaos", Helstar have succeeded. If you ever had a taste for Bay Area Thrash, then I can't recommend this album enough.

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