HELSTAR — Nosferatu

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HELSTAR - Nosferatu cover
4.34 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under US Power Metal


1. Rhapsody in Black (0:58)
2. Baptized in Blood (4:24)
3. To Sleep, Per Chance to Scream (4:36)
4. Harker's Tale (Mass of Death) (4:25)
5. Perseverence and Desperation (4:16)
6. The Curse Has Passed Away (5:08)
7. Benediction (5:57)
8. Harsh Reality (3:14)
9. Swirling Madness (4:04)
10. Von am Lebem Desto Strum (1:57)
11. Aieliaria and Everonn (3:46)

Total Time: 42:50


- James Rivera / vocals
- Larry Barragan / guitars
- Andre Corbin / guitars, keyboards
- Jerry Abarca / bass, piano
- Frank Ferreira / drums

- Beto Flores / Guitars (track 7)

About this release

Metal Blade Records, September 5th, 1989

The first half of the album is a conceptual piece dealing with Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.

Recorded at Digital Services and Rampart Studios in Houston, Texas.
Mixed at Track Record in Hollywood, California.

Thanks to Time Signature, Unitron, adg211288, UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

I personally think that A Distant Thunder just has the edge on it, but make no mistake - Helstar's Nosferatu is a great little US power metal album, easily on a par with Remnants of War. The recurring vampire theme seems to have helped the band focus their sound for this one, bringing their incorporation of thrash metal influences into a power metal context to a final, polished form. Helstar are one of those groups who have rarely been able to make two studio albums in a row with the same lineup (in fact, I believe this is the first of only two times they managed it), and the extra cohesiveness that resulted from the team working together really helps.

After the masterpiece that was 'A Distant Thunder', Helstar comes back a year later to make an even stronger masterpiece of a concept album. 'Nosferatu' is a concept album about the vampire Nosferatu and actually uses sound clips from classic vampire movies, which really adds to the sound.

The album begins with the serene to chaotic intro 'Rhapsody in Black', which transitions perfectly into the Helstar classic 'Baptized in Blood'. The song starts out with shredding guitar and double bass, and Rivera's voice soon fades in. During the bridge the guitar and pounding drums compliment each-other perfectly, and soon a great solo comes in. I find it hard to describe such a masterpiece. Another favorite of mine 'Sleep Per Chance to Scream', which begins with a sound clip from an old vampire movie. Barragan's guitar shredding combined with Rivera's low menacing vocals just fits perfectly. The solo at the bridge comes in at perfect timing after it appears to be signaled in.

The instrumental 'Perseverance and Desperation' is an amazing prog-thrash piece, with relentless guitar soloing and a beautiful acoustic bridge. Next is probably my favorite song on this flawless album 'The Curse has Passed Away'. The song begins with beautiful acoustics and cold low vocal by Rivera. The electric guitar soon kicks in, and the chorus feels very heartfelt with sweet guitar shredding and Rivera's vocal being very powerful. 'Benediction' is yet another favorite, having a very loud feel to it. Rivera gives an amazing vocal performance on this track, constantly shouting and singing with amazing power. 'Harsh Reality' is a great thrash track, with constant tempo changing and awesome lyrics. i'm sure everyone will find it hard not to head-bang to this song.

The lyrics are mostly about vampires, fitting in with the concept. The song 'Harsh Reality' though has lyrics more akin to thrash lyrics at the time. Political lyrics with the best ending sentence to any song ever, 'Why is the world so fucked up?' Couldn't have said it better myself Rivera.

Overall, This is Helstar ultimate masterpiece. There are no weak moments, and I'm sure any fan of thrash, speed, and power metal will find immense enjoyment out of it. Underrated, and an essential album for any metal collection.

Hope you found this review helpful

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  • SilentScream213
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