Released: 2006, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Let me just say as for starters first that some bands get signed and some others don´t. And why´s that? Is it because the most talented ones musically rightfully get their record contracts whereas untalented ones remain without? Most of the cases it is just like that, but there are always a few of exceptions.
The Finnish progressive metallers Helion are surely one of those so-called ´exceptions´ that have bravely fought their way to many metal hearts´ homes, but somehow they have managed to avoid getting snapped by any label thus far. Seems like the stars of fortune have either ignored or abandoned Helion completely, or at least it seems like. Not fair - not fair at all, say I...
Since the band´s previous self-released promotional-CD (SHADOW OF THE SUN) which they recorded in 2005, Hannu Tammela has stepped aside from the band and he has been replaced by Kimmo Korhonen for the 2nd guitar.
As for this new CD-EP itself from this highly talented sextet of Helion, the band has continued writing a top-notch material, keeping their own bar of song writing level high again, kind of just to make sure people don´t think that they somehow could have run out of ideas or anything like that. Actually you could not expect any less from them, but top-notch songs that grab your attention in a split of few seconds, putting you into a state in which you start asking questions from yourself why on earth these lads are still without a recording contract (hopefully for not long though) - or what they should do differently before someone could get his/her awakening call?
The two brand-new songs, “Devils´s Tattoo” and “Darkness Remains” are - to put it simple, sort of strong tour de forces of a metallic genre Helion represents for, and what they both can offer at their best: Lots of greatly churned out guitar riffs, catchy rhythms with many well-thought out hooks, excellent leads, splendidly sung vocals, bombastic melodies - and so forth and so forth and so forth. The whole package simply works perfectly, like a trimmed hot rod car in high speeds. Also a remake of from the old song called “King of Fools” off the band´s self-financed debut album (FOOL´S PARADISE), sounds really good with the new singer Jukka Salo. They have shortened the original song more than a minute - added some more tempo into it, and this new version of the song stands even better against the original version of it.
The last “Pay Day”, which they consider as a bonus track on this EP, was released as a net single for quite some time ago through their own website. The version they have included for the EP, has been mixed again and there´s nothing in the song I could complaint about. Everything in that song reeks of sort of perfection and opportunity to challenge yourself as a song writer - a demanding and ´hungry-for-more´ type of song writer. I have to admit that especially Jukka´s vocal parts are phenomenal. The guy has got so much power and a large scale of different tones and nuances behind his voice that it´s very fair to say he´s one of the better vocalist out there nowadays who´s capable of doing anything he want with his voice. He´s not holding back anything as he shouldn´t do so due to his extraordinary great gift to sing.
So, the owners of record companies: Wake up from your drowses and sign this band. At the same time, you would do a great favor for all the fans of prog-metal genre around the world. Any of you would hardly regret signing Helion - just count on my sincere word this time.