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Helstar – Glory of Chaos – Record Review by Phil Chevron

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Helstar – Glory of Chaos – Record Review by Phil Chevron

HELSTARGlory of Chaos – AFM RECORDS – Release Date 8/2/2011
Review by SLTM (the Podcast) Producer Phil Chevron

Okay, I admit, I’m the guy who gets all the metal on the show. I know Brad enjoys it too, but I’m the one who actively pursues labels, PR places and bands so that we can play metal on the show. All kinds of metal too, I love them all.
So when this Disc was given to me a while back, I thought (after repeated listens) that I would write up a little review for it, because I enjoyed it so much. It’s given me a lot of listening pleasure, is what I’m trying to convey to you.

The description on the press sheet lists it as Speed or Thrash metal, and it does have the speed requirements for those two categories. What I think makes it a little different than just being a straight ahead Speed Metal band is the vocals. I like the fact that lead singer James Rivera, can keep it subtle and strong, then unleash some screaming when it fits into the song. Some singers, well they tend to over volume everything and don’t realize that the subtle weight of their singing is just as important and the screaming, it may not have as much power but one sets up the other and the contrast is what is rewarding.

That this band has been around since 1983 and I have not heard their music is really a crime, and I would like to apologize to the band for being such a Jason Helger (a total dork nerd I went to school with who always seemed to latch onto cool stuff way too late. Hey Jason, how’s the Vans shoes working out for ya? dork!).

There is a nice subtle undertone to this record, and some very fine guitar work. I would say that the strong vocals, and the solid guitar work are the stand out points. That’s not to say everything else sucked, it didn’t it was good too, it’s just that those two things really stood out to me. Want to know the other strong point of this record? The song times. Yes, I said it. The song times are just perfect. Hey, look I love a long metal song that takes me on a journey, but let’s be straight here. These songs are in the perfect time allotment, no reason the drag on your message when your message is this clear.

Let’s examine one song for a minute. SUMMER OF HATE. Okay, starts out nice with some acoustic guitar, with someone talking in the background, he sounds a bit distressed. Now, the guitars kick in,and the drums. Nice, not to heavy or laid back, just a nice mixture here to start the song. When the singer starts in, he knows there is a nice groundwork here to share his message, nice and heavy. Nice slow pace, not ready to speed up the journey yet. “I am the god of Death” could easily have been screeched or shouted, but no James Rivera knows, you don’t need to be clubbed over the head. This song could easily have been on a late eighties/early nineties Megadeth Album. Nice guitar Solo, it seems to be spiraling into the depths of hell, and then the yell. Perfect placement. If you like this song, then I think you’ll like this band and album.

This is one of my favorite metal albums of the year. Check out their Wikipedia Page and their Website for more on this band, but if you like some melody with your Speed then this is the album for you. I recommend it and I should know, I’ve been producing SLTM (the Podcast) for five years and 123 episodes, so I’ve heard a lot of metal.

editors note: we played a song from Helstar on SLTM (the Podcast) earlier in the year. Give it a listen here.

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