30 Years of Hell AFM Records
Now this is a fantastic package for fans of Helstar and is a 30th anniversary package with DVD and much more, '30 Years of Hell' celebrates all that is great with these Power Metallers/ thrash maestros.
Helstar were formed in 1982 and kind of dropped off the radar for twelve years between 1995-2007, but the band has astounded and wowed fans and built up a loyal following as it clearly shows by this albums release of '30 Years of Hel', recorded in their home town of Houston, you cannot miss how adored they are, not only in their home town but worldwide.
The bands loyal and fanatical fans buoy the band throughout and as the album opens with 'Angels Fall To Hell' you know you are in for a treat. You cannot mistake the vocals of James Riviera, his screams can peel wallpaper off the walls still after all these years. This whole album is Helstar at their finest and delivers a Power Metal / Thrash induced mayhem of Metal delirium.
'Suicidal Nightmare' is Power Metal at its finest and you can see how this band has influenced so many bands. This song batters at your door like a ram on narcotics. 'The King is Dead' for me stands out and captures the live feeling as the crowd sings with Riviera and horns are thrown in the air. You could be there in Houston! 'The Burning Star' continues the insanity.
'Sleep Per Chance To Scream', a harder and faster number and hard as nails. 'The Plague of Man' has Riviera asking the crowd if they are ready to go crazy. Now here I find fault with the album, it’s like the fans are a mile away, you hear they are there, but very far way. The whole sound production on here is exceptional but you can feel it’s not a live album at times.
Anyway don’t let that detract from the music you can imagine the fans and the band having a great time, just the fans sound distant. Like 'Sleep Per Chance', 'Monarch of Bloodshed' batters and stampedes out of your speakers and will burn into your conscience with heavy riffs and delightful hell induced screams from the frontman. But again when the track slows down and Rivera is asking if the fans are they with him, yeah they are, but it seems they are in the distance!
The epic ‘Winds of War’ opens the second part of the album. A dark and brooding song, brilliant and intense and a remarkable song that is not only intelligent, but also quite mind-blowing as the band steps up the gears. 'Good Day to Die' is another fist punching, horns in the air tune where the Houston hordes must have been in their element as the band continues and runs straight into 'Wicked Dispostion'. I can see a mosh-pit frenzy and bodies bruised and mangled hell yeah! Now if I was to introduce this band to a new metal-head then I would play them this track.
Next you get a nice bit of crowd interaction as Riviera talks about the past and how the band started up. Then from the 'Glory Of Chaos' album you go into 'Pandemonium', a frenzy of moshing, head-banging metaldom! And then we have my favourite Helstar song 'Harkers Tale'. Power Metal heaven with an epic story line, you just can’t go wrong! Then we get 'Angel of Death' smashes and crushes you as we go into the epic 'Baptized in Blood'.
'Alma Negra' is a maelstrom of screams and hell on earth. Riviera’s vocals are quite outstanding, especially when you think he’s not a whippersnapper anymore! 'The King of Hell' is a hell of a track opening with a choral effect you are dragged into hell and Satan’s sat there on his throne, horns in the air worshiping Helstar's awesomeness. Love the crowd interaction as they thank the crowd and everyone and lead and finish off with 'Run with the Pack'.
A great ending to an awesome album, check them out if you have not or are unfamiliar with the bands work! It’s going to be worth it!!
Review by: Seb Di Gatto
1. Angels Fall To Hell2. Toward The Unknown3. Suicidal Nightmare4. The King Is Dead5. Burning Star6. To Sleep Per Chance To Scream7. The Plague Called Man8. Evil Reign9. Monarch Of Bloodshed
1. Winds Of War2. Good Day To Die3. Wicked Disposition4. Pandemonium5. Bitter End6. Harker's Tale7. Angel Of Death8. Baptized In Blood9. Alma Negra10. The King Of Hell11. Run With The Pack