HELSTAR @ The Purple Turtle, Camden, London

Spread the metal:

HELSTAR With Hybris, Deceptor & Atomkraft

Monday 29th August

Review by Noel Wesley

Photos by Jo Blackened (Altercarnated Photography)

The Purple Turtle, Camden plays host to the first show on UK shores

for Texas Thrashers, Helstar!

Opening this night of Thrash at The Purple Turtle in Camden are ‘Hybris‘, formed of members of other London based bands of different metal genres.


With members of Black Metal Titans, ‘Abgott’ and Vampire Overlords ‘Stukka Squadron’, Hybris deliver a well balanced mix of Maiden style Vocals, Thrash riffs and Lead guitar trade offs.

Opening song ‘Emperors’ was a fast pace riff machine, ‘Foe or Friend’ had a definite Power Metal feel to it.


‘Hypertube’ was more Trash based in structure, ‘Volcano’ did exactly what it said on the tin by fusing Slayer riffage and Iron Maiden lead work.


The self titled finisher ‘Hybris’ was a winner with the crowd to close a a great but otherwise short set.


But as far an opening band go a must see at a show of their own to see what they are really capable of.

Second on the bill are ‘Deceptor‘, this 3 piece slam the crowd with a mammoth sound that belies their small line up.

The Guitar and Bass are so tight with each the sound is immense!

Neo-Classical lines from Guitarist Sam give Deceptor’s brand of Speed Thrash a real depth and feel that set them apart from other bands of the genre.

Very commanding stage presence, banter with the crowd and between band members make a really good performance.



The crowd chant the bands name almost from the start, highlighting the bands strong fan base in London.

With their very British sound, the dual vocals of Sam and Bassist/Frontman Paul really give ‘Deceptor’ an edge within the genre.

Paul’s Bass is played more like rhythm guitar giving their sound that huge feel.  Solid heavy drums provide spot on timing for the guitar and bass.


The crowd still chant the bands name after they have left the stage, again proving the loyal following the band have in London.

Veterans of the NWOBHM movement ‘Atomkraft’ are on before the headliner’s and fire up the crowd with a more brutal and faster approach than their contemporaries with the original movement.


‘Atomkraft’ have an aggressive sound that more than keeps them on par with their younger bill mates.

The band paid tribute the Late great Phil Lynott by covering ‘Cold Sweat’, kicking off a Mosh Pit and getting the crowd going to the Lizzy classic.

Singer/Bassist, Tony ‘Demolition’ Dolan also paid tribute to Metal Fans for keeping Metal alive and announces a new album planned for January 2012, much to the approval of the crowd.

Atom Kraft show that after 30 years they still have what it takes to put on awesome show and show no sign of slowing down.

Début UK show for headliners Helstar, as they take to the stage with sound bites from their 1989 album ‘Nosferatu’.

With the ease and confidence of old hands of the 80’s US Thrash movement they storm through the set with songs covering their near four decade career.

Opening with ‘Angels Fall to Hell’, from the 2010 album, ‘Glory of Chaos’ they continue with classics like ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Burning Star’.


The crowd are eating up every second of this Thrash feast as the band bring out their extensive arsenal of songs with changing styles from Thrash and Death Metal to even Power Metal showcasing the song writing ability of these lesser known Metal Giants.

How this band never got bigger and more well known is a mystery.

Definitely on the same level as Thrash Gods, Testament, Megadeth and Slayer. I really don’t know how I missed this band before tonight. Technical, melodic and savage guitars from Larry Barragan and Rob Trevino are more than a match for Messers King and Hanneman, difficult for me to admit, but true.

Founder and Vocalist, James Rivera’s vocal range is huge, going from traditional Thrash to soaring Power Metal screams.

The rhythm section of Jerry Arbarca on Bass and Mikey Lewis on drums gave Helstar a solid back bone for the riffs, leads and vocals of this Metal beast. With more samples from ‘Nosferatu’, the band leave the stage, the eerie and atmospheric sound bites filling the brief gap in the show.

The crowd are treated to the band re-taking the stage with the ferocious ‘Baptized in Blood’ and closing the show with ‘Run with the Pack’ .

James thanks the crowd for the amazing response to the first UK show for the Texans since being founded in 1982 and judging by the reaction of the crowd, the Boys from the South will return!

Helstar Setlist;

Angels Fall to Hell/Pandemonium/The Plague Called Man/Conquest/Bitter End/Summer of Hate/Evil Reign/Burning Star/Monarch of Bloodshed/Dracula’s Castle/Angel of Death/The King Is Dead/Baptized In Blood/Alma Negra