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Helstar
Glory Of Chaos
February 2011
Released: 2010, AFM Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Recently resurrected Houston, Texas power metal icons Helstar fronted by the awe inspiring vocals of James Rivera, return with their second full length offering for AFM Records with the nine song (and two well chosen bonus cover tracks)GLORY OF CHAOS.



The album starts with the chug-a-lug riffs of "Angels Fall To Hell". James Rivera emits some seriously aggressive upper register wails come chorus time. Sounding slightly less melodic than previous releases from the band's illustrious back catalogue, it's nice to hear that the frenetic shredding of guitarists Larry Barragan and Robert Trevino is still represented through some sinister guitar solo wizardry. "Monarch of Bloodshed" is a mid tempo headbanger that plays well off of the no nonsense rhythm section of bassist Jerry Abarca and drummer Michael Lewis, who synchronize and lock in to place allowing James and company to interweave and disperse this battle anthem to it's full galloping potential.



"Bone Crusher" is a raging mad speed metal thrasher, I imagine this track will be a future live staple for the band. A definite headbanger of a song. As is, "Alma Negra" an even more intense walloping with an increasingly pissed off Rivera delivering the goods. This album's general vibe is "Helstar on steroids" with ten-ton riffs that could easily be at home on Exodus or Testament records. The material on this record is really good, it just does not recall much of the band's past output, instead sounding like a modern and reworked version of this classic band.



"Bone Crusher" is a raging mad speed metal thrasher, I imagine this track will be a future live staple for the band. A definite headbanger of a song. As is, "Deth Trap" an even more intense walloping with an increasingly pissed off Rivera delivering the goods. "Trinity of Heresy" continues the album's general vibe of "Helstar on steroids" with ten-ton riffs that could easily be at home on Exodus or Testament records. The material on this record is really good, it just does not recall much of the band's past output, instead sounding like a modern and reworked version of this classic band.



It's worth mentioning that the band also recorded two bonus cover songs that come in the form of the anthemic "Heavy Metal Thunder" by Saxon and "Animal Magnetism" by Scorpions. The Saxon cover is done by the book and remains faithful to the original studio interpretation, where as the Scorpions track goes for a more drawn out doomy approach that adds a bit of heaviness to the affair.



The production is superb, the performances are top notch and hell... even the album cover receives a thumbs up in my book. I suppose my only real gripe about this record is the sudden shift in musical direction from these Houstonians. I was expecting something a little more on par with the kind of metal that made Helstar a house hold name in metal circles. Either way, pretty cool stuff.
Track Listing

1. Angels Fall To Hell
2. Pandemonium
3. Monarch of Bloodshed
4. Bone Crusher
5. Summer of Hate
6. Deth Trap
7. Trinity of Heresy
8. Alma Negra
9. Zero One
10. Heavy Metal Thunder
11. Animal Magnetism

Lineup

James Rivera - Vocals
Larry Barragan - Guitars
Robert Trevino - Guitars
Jerry Abarca - Bass
Michael Lewis - Drums


Next review: » Helstar - Glory Of Chaos
Previous review: » Helstar - 30 Years Of Hel

Helstar
Glory Of Chaos
February 2011
Released: 2010, AFM
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Man, who pissed in Helstar’s breakfast cereal this time? The band sounds angry! Helstar are experiencing a bit of a resurgence and have settled nicely onto a supportive label and are on a (steam)roll. On GLORY OF CHAOS the band has often crossed the line from trad/power metal into thrash. This album is heavy and fast! This is likely their heaviest album. I know many bands and press people make that statement over and over until it loses it’s meaning, but trust me, the band have never sounded so vicious. Helstar knew they had to up their game to compete into today’s heavier Metal market and they have delivered.



Just looking at the song titles you know you are in for thrashing. ‘Anger’, ‘Deathtrap’, Summer Of Hate’, Bone Crusher’, the list goes on these guys are pissed off and it shows. After a very brief ominous intro for the first 30 seconds of the opening cut ‘Angels Fall To Hell’ the band rips the throttle wide-open and never look back. Greats riffs, great solos, the guitars of Trevino and Barragan are all over the map.



James Rivera delivers on of the vocal performances of his career. He uses his full range and power to really expressed the furious anger in these songs. His vocal melody on songs like ‘Pandemonium’ really shine through, very catchy. The band is tight and roars through 10 cuts in 45 minutes. It’s pretty relentless. The production is good, the nice guitar tone is heavy and sits nicely in the middle of the mix. The band looks good, sounds good and is firing on all cylinders. GLORY OF CHAOS is a sick, dirty and mean album and you are gonna love it.
Track Listing

1. Angels Fall To Hell
2. Pandemonium
3. Monarch Of Bloodshed
4. Bone Crusher
5. Summer Of Hate
6. Dethtrap
7. Anger
8. Trinity Of Heresy
9. Alma Negra
10. Zero One

Lineup

James Rivera- Vocals
Larry Barragan - Guitars
Robert Trevino - Guitars
Jerry Abarca - Bass
Michael Lewis - Drums


Next review: » Helstar - Nosferatu
Previous review: » Helstar - 30 Years Of Hel





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