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HELSTAR – XXX: Thirty Years Of Hel

| 19 October 2012 | Reply

Label: AFM Records

Release Date: October 2, 2012

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

What happens if you take equal parts Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Metallica?  You produce their bastard offspring known as Helstar.  Never heard of ‘em?  Then get your ass online or to the CD store (yes, those still exist) and pick up a copy of their latest, ‘XXX – Thirty Years of Hel,’ and discover one of the most under-appreciated bands to have been born in the early 1980’s.

This live collection pays homage to the band and its longevity.  The discography is well represented here on this 2CD set, which also includes a live DVD to commemorate the event.  I don’t usually review greatest hits packages or live discs, because they normally contain all the best songs or production.  The same is true here.  From disc opener “Angels Fall To Hell” to show closer “Run With The Pack,” the band is in top form, especially James Rivera’s vocals.  Thirty years later, he still has the metal voice that graced their debut disc, ‘Burning Star.’  Speaking of ‘Burning Star,’ the title track is here and you can hear the sonic difference between the band and vocalist.  Other Helstar classics are represented here by “Baptized In Blood” and “Pandemonium.”  The latter really brings a spark to the live show, especially near the end of the set, when most bands are about ready to pack it in.

The two discs contain all the song a die-hard fan will enjoy hearing, but it is also a nice introduction to the band if you aren’t familiar with them.  Another of my favorites, “Wicked Disposition” is on the second disc – this song crushes live!  I hope I get to heat this one live some day soon.  If you are looking for a feel good album, this may not be my first recommendation, but if you are looking for a solid collection that well represents a band who has stuck to their guns and genre for thirty years, get this one.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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