Released: 2004, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finally... finally these Finnish masters of a progressive Heavy Metal return with their eagerly-awaited, self-financed debut album that has been baptized by a bit ´mysterious´ title, FOOL´S PARADISE. Helion impressed me by their 4-song promotional CD last year due to a huge and absolutely very ambitious musicianship on it and I honestly expected that some label would have picked them up soon, wanting to sign a multi-album deal with them. This never happened for some very strange reason, tho. Consider that labels´ own loss then, ha!
Well, it´s not a shame and there´s nothing wrong to release an album of your own, paying everything from your pockets either. To me it´s only a clear prove of believing in something 100% what you do and being virtually damn secure about your own thing. And FOOL´S PARADISE is simply all about that... and even more, I have guts to believe.
First off, listening to this album, you soon come to notice that a step the whole band has taken in song writing i.e. in sort of a musical progression of progressiveness and entertainment, technical aspect and maturity of the songs, etc., is not like ´a giant one´, but it still can be considered quite remarkable indeed. I mean, basically it´s safe to say that all the areas of their musical expression have been improved by more skillful playing and a huge amount of self-confidence must have been at present all that time when the guys have practiced the songs for this absolutely stunning debut album of theirs. Picking up so-called ´favorite songs´ can also be such a hard, nearly impossible task to anyone to accomplish simply because all the material on FOOL´S PARADISE reeks of some quality words that can be used to describe the content on the album. Right at the very moment, however, such songs off the album as “God of Fire”, “King of Fools”, “Stay Human” and “The Point of no Return” are the type songs that provide easily some of the most moving, shamelessly addictive listening pleasures for me personally; all very moody, damn well-executed works of a true talent and sheer joy, greatly showing how to churn your shit out from the very bottom of your heart and soul as devoted and uncompromising way as it can be possible for someone in the first place. And I even don´t hesitate to say that FOOL´S PARADISE as one single album in a more progressive orientated world of Heavy Metal, is also one of the better albums that has crossed my path within these last 5-6 months or so. The band has really answered all those challenges and expectations that have been ahead of them as far as both bettering and improving the songs on THE SHORES OF EVERMORE is concerned. And that can only be a respectable sign of a really cool attitude inside the band for sure...
I don´t know how much the addition of a second guitarist Hannu Tammela (also in another Finnish metal band called Corruption Inc.) has had overall to do with Helion´s tighter, heavier and a tad more straight-forward metallic approach on FOOL´S PARADISE, but obviously it has done some miracles to their sound without doubts.
Last words to sum up this shameless yet well deserved praising for them? Well, consider yourself as one of those poor people (in a paradise of fools) if you dare to ignore these fellows´ excellent debut album totally. It would be an unforgivable mistake because honestly I think Helion have clearly outdone themselves on FOOL´S PARADISE. It´s absolutely a fucking amazing album in so many different ways, just count on my word this time, will ya? ;=)