HELSTAR

US Power Metal / Thrash Metal • United States
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Helstar began its quest in 1982. The line up consisted of James Rivera (A.K.A Bill Lionel) (vocals), Larry Barragan (guitar), Tom Rogers (guitar), Hector Pavon (drums) and Paul Medina (bass). By 1984 the band had signed with Combat Records and recorded its first album entitled "Burning Star". The average age of the band at that time was 19! After gaining much critical acclaim, the band began to splinter because of their management situation. It was at this time that James and Larry decided to part ways with the rest of the band and guide Helstar in a new direction.

Helstar recorded "Remnants of War" in 1985 with a new and powerful line up. Jerry Abarca, Rob Treviño, and drummer Rene Luna joined the band and released "Remnants" in 1986 for Combat records. Once again the band received much praise from around the world. Helstar embarked on its first US tour
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James Rivera LegacyJames Rivera Legacy
IRONG 2004
$8.46
$29.75 (used)
30 Years Of Hel (2CD/DVD)30 Years Of Hel (2CD/DVD)
AFM Records 2012
$8.63
$8.63 (used)
Burning StarBurning Star
Extra tracks
Emd Int'L 2009
$12.49
$12.48 (used)
VampiroVampiro
EMP LABEL GROUP 2016
$13.52
$12.36 (used)
Rising From The Grave (2CD+1DVD)Rising From The Grave (2CD+1DVD)
Remastered
Metal Blade 2010
$6.10
$15.14 (used)
Glory of ChaosGlory of Chaos
AFM Records 2011
$6.59
$13.47 (used)
Helstar - This Wicked NestHelstar - This Wicked Nest
AFM Records 2014
$7.85
$13.37 (used)
Remnants Of WarRemnants Of War
Extra tracks · Remastered
Emd Int'L 2009
$11.54
$11.53 (used)
A Distant ThunderA Distant Thunder
Reissued
Metal Blade 1996
$33.00 (used)
King Of HellKing Of Hell
Extra tracks
AFM Records Germany 2012
$6.87
$13.47 (used)
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Helstar - Sins of the Past [New CD] Helstar - Sins of the Past [New CD] USD $14.04 Buy It Now 2h 27m
HELSTAR BURNING STAR CD SEALED BRAZIL 1stPRESS 1999 Manowar  Iron maiden HELSTAR BURNING STAR CD SEALED BRAZIL 1stPRESS 1999 Manowar Iron maiden USD $25.64 Buy It Now 16h
Helstar - This Wicked Nest CD 2014 speed metal James Rivera AFM Records Helstar - This Wicked Nest CD 2014 speed metal James Rivera AFM Records USD $16.95 Buy It Now 17h
Helstar - Burning Star CD 1984 / 1999 Century Media Germany Helstar - Burning Star CD 1984 / 1999 Century Media Germany USD $15.35 Buy It Now 23h
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Wild Shadow ‎– Bound to be Free – Anthology 86-92 CD Jag Panzer, Helstar Wild Shadow ‎– Bound to be Free – Anthology 86-92 CD Jag Panzer, Helstar USD $10.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PHANTOM S/T 1991 SHARK RECORDS HELSTAR JUDAS PRIEST VICIOUS RUMORS LIEGE LORD PHANTOM S/T 1991 SHARK RECORDS HELSTAR JUDAS PRIEST VICIOUS RUMORS LIEGE LORD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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HELSTAR BURNING STAR CD BRAND NEW MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1999 HELSTAR BURNING STAR CD BRAND NEW MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1999 USD $21.24 Buy It Now 1 day
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HELSTAR - Nosferatu - CD - 1989 Good Condition** HELSTAR - Nosferatu - CD - 1989 Good Condition** USD $27.95 Buy It Now 2 days
HELSTAR Sins of the Past CD 13+ trks FACTORY SEALED NEW 2008 AFM Locomotive USA HELSTAR Sins of the Past CD 13+ trks FACTORY SEALED NEW 2008 AFM Locomotive USA USD $13.88 Buy It Now 2 days
CENTVRION-V CD,MANOWAR,SAVATAGE,ACCEPT,HELSTAR,SAXON,IRON MAIDEN,DIO,LIEGE LORD CENTVRION-V CD,MANOWAR,SAVATAGE,ACCEPT,HELSTAR,SAXON,IRON MAIDEN,DIO,LIEGE LORD USD $9.01 Buy It Now 2 days
HELSTAR burning star LP 1984 1st UK Presss Music For Nations MFN 20 HELSTAR burning star LP 1984 1st UK Presss Music For Nations MFN 20 USD $33.18 Buy It Now 2 days
ATTACK Seven years in the past cd Manowar Helloween Warlord savatage helstar ATTACK Seven years in the past cd Manowar Helloween Warlord savatage helstar USD $0.99 (0 bids)
2 days
ATTACKER The second coming CD OMEN HELSTAR GARGOYLE VICIOUS RUMORS LIEGE LORD ATTACKER The second coming CD OMEN HELSTAR GARGOYLE VICIOUS RUMORS LIEGE LORD USD $0.99 (1 bids)
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BLACKSTORM Twist Of Fate CD Arkey Steel Ltd.1000 HELSTAR OLIVER MAGNUM BLACKSTORM Twist Of Fate CD Arkey Steel Ltd.1000 HELSTAR OLIVER MAGNUM USD $0.99 (0 bids)
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DELIVERANCE Sword of the Necromancer CD SEALED APOLLO RA FATES WARNING HELSTAR DELIVERANCE Sword of the Necromancer CD SEALED APOLLO RA FATES WARNING HELSTAR USD $0.99 (0 bids)
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HIGH RISK Dawn At The Alamo CD Arkeyn Steel Recs. Ltd.500 HELSTAR U.S METAL HIGH RISK Dawn At The Alamo CD Arkeyn Steel Recs. Ltd.500 HELSTAR U.S METAL USD $0.99 (0 bids)
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Helstar - Burning Star [New CD] Helstar - Burning Star [New CD] USD $14.80 Buy It Now 3 days
Helstar - Remnants of War [New CD] Helstar - Remnants of War [New CD] USD $14.80 Buy It Now 3 days
Zanister - Symphonica Millenia - '99 OOP cd Chastain Surgeon Liege Lord Helstar Zanister - Symphonica Millenia - '99 OOP cd Chastain Surgeon Liege Lord Helstar USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
HELSTAR HELSTAR "SINS OF THE PAST" CD NEW+ USD $17.50 Buy It Now 3 days
HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST  CD NEW+ HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST CD NEW+ USD $17.50 Buy It Now 3 days
THE SCOURGE CD THE SCOURGE CD "First Comes Destruction" Texas Thrash Metal HELSTAR Helloween USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
The King of Hell by Helstar (CD, Nov-2008, AFM (USA)) The King of Hell by Helstar (CD, Nov-2008, AFM (USA)) USD $13.13 (0 bids)
3 days
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Blackstorm-Twist Of Fate Helstar,Vicious Rumors,Liege Lord, Jag Panzer, Private Blackstorm-Twist Of Fate Helstar,Vicious Rumors,Liege Lord, Jag Panzer, Private USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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Commandment-Engraved In Stone Liege Lord, Oliver Magnum, Metal Church, Helstar Commandment-Engraved In Stone Liege Lord, Oliver Magnum, Metal Church, Helstar USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
NECRYTIS-Dread En Ruin CD Onward,Queensryche,Helstar,Shadowkeep,US Metal,Private NECRYTIS-Dread En Ruin CD Onward,Queensryche,Helstar,Shadowkeep,US Metal,Private USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Pharaoh – Ten Years Warlord, Fates Warning,DreamTheater, Savatage, Helstar,Power Pharaoh – Ten Years Warlord, Fates Warning,DreamTheater, Savatage, Helstar,Power USD $10.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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Commandment-No Mercy Heir Apparent,Liege Lord,Warlord,Helstar,Hammeron, Savatage Commandment-No Mercy Heir Apparent,Liege Lord,Warlord,Helstar,Hammeron, Savatage USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
THRUST-Harvest Of Souls CD Helstar,Shadowkeep,Judas Priest,US Metal,Private THRUST-Harvest Of Souls CD Helstar,Shadowkeep,Judas Priest,US Metal,Private USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3 days
HELSTAR original CD A distant thunder 1988 on Roadrunner HELSTAR original CD A distant thunder 1988 on Roadrunner USD $53.72 Buy It Now 3 days
HELSTAR original CD Multiples of black 1995 on Massacre HELSTAR original CD Multiples of black 1995 on Massacre USD $34.11 Buy It Now 3 days
Helstar - Nosferatu / ORG 89 Enigma Helstar - Nosferatu / ORG 89 Enigma USD $7.00 (0 bids)
4 days
HELSTAR T'WAS THE NIGHT OF A HELISH X-MAS HELSTAR T'WAS THE NIGHT OF A HELISH X-MAS USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Helstar Burning Star CD Rare OOP German Import Texas 80s Heavy Power Speed Metal Helstar Burning Star CD Rare OOP German Import Texas 80s Heavy Power Speed Metal USD $6.99 (0 bids)
4 days
HELSTAR MULTIPLES OF BLACK FIRST PRESS HELSTAR MULTIPLES OF BLACK FIRST PRESS USD $35.00 Buy It Now 5 days
HELSTAR Nosferatu CD 1989 Enigma Metal Blade 73419-2 Original Press w/ LONGBOX HELSTAR Nosferatu CD 1989 Enigma Metal Blade 73419-2 Original Press w/ LONGBOX USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5 days
DESTINY'S END - TRANSITION (CD Metal Blade 2001) HELSTAR , Heavy Metal *Sealed* DESTINY'S END - TRANSITION (CD Metal Blade 2001) HELSTAR , Heavy Metal *Sealed* USD $11.99 (0 bids)
5 days
Forte - Division 1994 (Mint Condition) For fans of Helstar - Hexx - Pantera Forte - Division 1994 (Mint Condition) For fans of Helstar - Hexx - Pantera USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Twas The Night... - Helstar (CD 2000) thrash metal Twas The Night... - Helstar (CD 2000) thrash metal USD $2.50 Buy It Now 6 days
HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE USED - VERY GOOD CD HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $8.95 Buy It Now 6 days
HELSTAR - THE GLORY OF CHAOS USED - VERY GOOD CD HELSTAR - THE GLORY OF CHAOS USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.42 Buy It Now 6 days
HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST USED - VERY GOOD CD HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.02 Buy It Now 6 days
Helstar - Vampiro [New Vinyl LP] Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket Helstar - Vampiro [New Vinyl LP] Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket USD $29.21 Buy It Now 6 days
Helstar 30 Years Of Hel (W Dvd) 3 CD NEW sealed Helstar 30 Years Of Hel (W Dvd) 3 CD NEW sealed USD $32.31 Buy It Now 6 days
Helstar - Vampiro [New Vinyl LP] Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket Helstar - Vampiro [New Vinyl LP] Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket USD $31.97 Buy It Now 6 days
NECRYTIS-Dread En Ruin CD Onward,Helstar,Shadowkeep  2018 SEALED NECRYTIS-Dread En Ruin CD Onward,Helstar,Shadowkeep 2018 SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6 days
THRUST-Harvest Of Souls CD Helstar,Judas Priest  2018 SEALED THRUST-Harvest Of Souls CD Helstar,Judas Priest 2018 SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Holy Grail-Times Of Pride And Peril CD Rare,Private Metal, Helstar,Metal Church Holy Grail-Times Of Pride And Peril CD Rare,Private Metal, Helstar,Metal Church USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Helstar Rising From The Grave CD new A Distant Thunder + Nosferatu + DVD Helstar Rising From The Grave CD new A Distant Thunder + Nosferatu + DVD USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7 days
T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas HELSTAR T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas HELSTAR USD $5.49 Buy It Now 7 days
Helstar - The James Rivera Legacy CD (2001) Metal Helstar - The James Rivera Legacy CD (2001) Metal USD $10.51 Buy It Now 7 days
NUTHIN' PRITTY: Same EP Canada Private Power Metal Omen Helstar Jag Panzer NUTHIN' PRITTY: Same EP Canada Private Power Metal Omen Helstar Jag Panzer USD $49.99 Buy It Now 7 days
SACRED STEEL Hammer Of Destruction CD heavy metal attacker helstar virgin steele SACRED STEEL Hammer Of Destruction CD heavy metal attacker helstar virgin steele USD $8.50 Buy It Now 7 days
Helstar - Rising from the Grave [New CD] With DVD Helstar - Rising from the Grave [New CD] With DVD USD $16.41 Buy It Now 8 days
Helstar - King of Hell [New CD] Helstar - King of Hell [New CD] USD $14.04 Buy It Now 8 days
HELSTAR original CD HELSTAR original CD "Nosferatu" 1989 on Roadracer USD $52.57 Buy It Now 8 days
BLACKSTORM-Twist of Fate Helstar, Vicious Rumors BLACKSTORM-Twist of Fate Helstar, Vicious Rumors USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Helstar - A Distant Thunder (cassette) Helstar - A Distant Thunder (cassette) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 9 days
HELSTAR - THE KING OF HELL NEW CD HELSTAR - THE KING OF HELL NEW CD USD $10.42 Buy It Now 9 days
HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE NEW CD HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE NEW CD USD $12.89 Buy It Now 9 days
HELSTAR - THE GLORY OF CHAOS NEW CD HELSTAR - THE GLORY OF CHAOS NEW CD USD $10.42 Buy It Now 9 days
HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST NEW CD HELSTAR - THIS WICKED NEST NEW CD USD $10.82 Buy It Now 9 days
 Lords Of Meat - A Mind A World Away CD LIM. 500 Oliver Magnum, Helstar, Syris Lords Of Meat - A Mind A World Away CD LIM. 500 Oliver Magnum, Helstar, Syris USD $15.99 Buy It Now 9 days
HELSTAR - T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas (CD) HELSTAR - T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas (CD) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Helstar - 30 Years Of Hel (Dvd2cd) Helstar - 30 Years Of Hel (Dvd2cd) USD $22.83 Buy It Now 9 days
Helstar - The King Of Hell  Sins Of The Past (2CD) Helstar - The King Of Hell Sins Of The Past (2CD) USD $22.83 Buy It Now 9 days
Rising From The Grave - Helstar Compact Disc Free Shipping! Rising From The Grave - Helstar Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $20.48 Buy It Now 9 days
Helstar Nosferatu CD Metal Blade Thrash Speed 1996 Rare Slayer Kreator Venom OOP Helstar Nosferatu CD Metal Blade Thrash Speed 1996 Rare Slayer Kreator Venom OOP USD $15.99 Buy It Now 10 days
HELSTAR - VAMPIRO   CD NEW+ HELSTAR - VAMPIRO CD NEW+ USD $28.36 Buy It Now 10 days
SANCTUARY 2017 CD - Inception - Nevermore/Warrel Dane/Iced Earth/Helstar - NEW SANCTUARY 2017 CD - Inception - Nevermore/Warrel Dane/Iced Earth/Helstar - NEW USD $17.99 Buy It Now 10 days
HELSTAR sins of the past *500 copies LP* sanctuary liege lord agent steel toxik HELSTAR sins of the past *500 copies LP* sanctuary liege lord agent steel toxik USD $29.00 Buy It Now 10 days
LOUD CROWD guardians [2006 ORIGINAL CD] helstar, liege lord, artch, tarot LOUD CROWD guardians [2006 ORIGINAL CD] helstar, liege lord, artch, tarot USD $29.00 Buy It Now 10 days
RELLIK killer **HYPERARE TEST PRESS #5/5 ** Queensryche Shok Paris Helstar Riot RELLIK killer **HYPERARE TEST PRESS #5/5 ** Queensryche Shok Paris Helstar Riot USD $149.00 Buy It Now 10 days
JAG PANZER ample destruction *RARE Diff Cover 1990 LP* Liege Lord, Helstar, Omen JAG PANZER ample destruction *RARE Diff Cover 1990 LP* Liege Lord, Helstar, Omen USD $49.00 Buy It Now 10 days
DESTINY'S END - TRANSITION  (HELSTAR, JAMES RIVERA)  FREE SHIPMENT WITH FEDEX! DESTINY'S END - TRANSITION (HELSTAR, JAMES RIVERA) FREE SHIPMENT WITH FEDEX! USD $17.99 Buy It Now 10 days
BANDEMONIC-Against All Odds CD Iced Earth, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Metal Church BANDEMONIC-Against All Odds CD Iced Earth, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Metal Church USD $13.99 Buy It Now 10 days
VANLADE-Iron Age MANOWAR, SKELATOR, DOMINE, HELSTAR VANLADE-Iron Age MANOWAR, SKELATOR, DOMINE, HELSTAR USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Helstar-Remnants of War (Extra Tracks)  CD NEW Helstar-Remnants of War (Extra Tracks) CD NEW USD $24.15 Buy It Now 11 days
HELSTAR-THIS WICKED NEST  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW HELSTAR-THIS WICKED NEST (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $10.83 Buy It Now 11 days
Vampiro - Helstar Free Shipping! Vampiro - Helstar Free Shipping! USD $35.01 Buy It Now 11 days
High Risk-Dawn At The Alamo CD FATES WARNING,JAG PANZER,HADES,HELSTAR,RIOT,RARE High Risk-Dawn At The Alamo CD FATES WARNING,JAG PANZER,HADES,HELSTAR,RIOT,RARE USD $15.99 Buy It Now 11 days
AGENT STEEL Mad Locust Rising DVD 2007 Japan Metal Church Abattoir Helstar AGENT STEEL Mad Locust Rising DVD 2007 Japan Metal Church Abattoir Helstar USD $49.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Helstar-Sins of the Past  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Helstar-Sins of the Past (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $10.83 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar / Vigilante The James Rivera Legacy CD new Helstar / Vigilante The James Rivera Legacy CD new USD $14.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar - King of Hell autographed lyrics Helstar - King of Hell autographed lyrics USD $300.00 Buy It Now 12 days
HELSTAR T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas CD SEALED NEW 1989/2000 Metal Blade USA HELSTAR T'was the Night of a Helish Xmas CD SEALED NEW 1989/2000 Metal Blade USA USD $7.88 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar - This Wicked Nest [CD] Helstar - This Wicked Nest [CD] USD $11.50 Buy It Now 12 days
HELSTAR Remnants of War LP 1986 Combat Records MX 8052 Speed Heavy Metal Vinyl HELSTAR Remnants of War LP 1986 Combat Records MX 8052 Speed Heavy Metal Vinyl USD $49.99 Buy It Now 12 days
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HELSTAR Discography

HELSTAR albums / top albums

HELSTAR Burning Star album cover 4.10 | 12 ratings
Burning Star
US Power Metal 1984
HELSTAR Remnants of War album cover 4.22 | 14 ratings
Remnants of War
US Power Metal 1986
HELSTAR A Distant Thunder album cover 4.59 | 18 ratings
A Distant Thunder
US Power Metal 1988
HELSTAR Nosferatu album cover 4.38 | 17 ratings
Nosferatu
US Power Metal 1989
HELSTAR Multiples of Black album cover 4.36 | 7 ratings
Multiples of Black
Thrash Metal 1995
HELSTAR The King of Hell album cover 4.33 | 8 ratings
The King of Hell
Thrash Metal 2008
HELSTAR Glory of Chaos album cover 4.85 | 9 ratings
Glory of Chaos
Thrash Metal 2010
HELSTAR This Wicked Nest album cover 4.45 | 7 ratings
This Wicked Nest
Thrash Metal 2014
HELSTAR Vampiro album cover 4.18 | 8 ratings
Vampiro
US Power Metal 2016

HELSTAR EPs & splits

HELSTAR live albums

HELSTAR Twas the Night of a Helish Xmas album cover 1.50 | 4 ratings
Twas the Night of a Helish Xmas
US Power Metal 2000
HELSTAR 30 Years of Hel album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
30 Years of Hel
Thrash Metal 2012

HELSTAR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

HELSTAR 1983 demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1983 demo
US Power Metal 1983
HELSTAR Live demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live demo
US Power Metal 1983
HELSTAR Demolition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demolition
US Power Metal 1990
HELSTAR 1993 demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1993 demo
US Power Metal 1993
HELSTAR Promo Demo 1993 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo Demo 1993
US Power Metal 1993

HELSTAR re-issues & compilations

HELSTAR The James Rivera Legacy album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The James Rivera Legacy
US Power Metal 2001
HELSTAR Sins of the Past album cover 4.21 | 3 ratings
Sins of the Past
Thrash Metal 2007
HELSTAR Rising From The Grave album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Rising From The Grave
US Power Metal 2010

HELSTAR singles (0)

HELSTAR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Burning Alive
US Power Metal 2006

HELSTAR Reviews

HELSTAR Burning Star

Album · 1984 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Helstar's debut album finds them bursting straight out of the gate with a solid selection of early 1980s-style US power metal songs. Were it not for the cheesy, rudimentary cover art of a spooky wizard on the front cover of the original Combat issue of the album, you'd be hard-pressed to guess that this was just their first album rather than the release of a seasoned, experienced band who'd mastered their craft. (The wizard artwork was replaced by the far superior spaceship illustration on most editions.)

Musically, we're talking catchy, raucous celebrations of pop culture, hedonism, and a bit of "Leather and Lust" - classic 1980s metal subject matter, in other words. The great thing about Helstar is that they can take that well-trod material and make it sound just as awe-inspiring and exciting as it was when you first heard someone singing about it, and even at this early stage of their career they'd already got the hang of that trick.

HELSTAR Vampiro

Album · 2016 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
Over more recent years Helstar have been responsible for some very good to excellent thrash/power metal albums, the last being 2014’s This Wicked Nest. Whilst this leant heavily towards thrash their earlier work was more in the traditional metal and US power metal style. I have to be honest and say I never knew what all the fuss was about with A Distant Thunder which I know is loved by many but for me things improved when the thrash started creeping in. I know a lot of fans prefer this era but I feel they’ve hit a rich vein of late releasing much of their best work yet. Vampiro sees a partial return to earlier times with less emphasis on the thrash elements.

Not for the first time have Helstar visited the realms of Vampires. Long-time fans will remember 1989’s Nosferatu, a firm favourite of many and their debut also contained a song called Dracula’s Castle. Awaken Into Darkness kicks things off and compared to Fall Of Dominion, the opener on This Wicked Nest its relatively subdued with a more melodic sensibility though with James Rivera’s histrionic vocal style it’s business as usual. Now don’t get the idea that this isn’t still heavy stuff and if confirmation were needed mid-song they up the pace and hit thrash mode. Following track Blood Lust also sits well with recent albums but overall a more measured approach is the order of the day on a fair proportion of the rest but we are talking relatively speaking here. Nevertheless, this is still great stuff packed with powerful and memorable riffs and there’s plenty of pace in much of the material. The rhythm section is solid as a rock with drummer Michael Lewis being joined by new bassist Garrick Smith. Andrew Atwood is the other new member joining life sentence original member Larry Barragan in the guitar department making an impressive pairing with some compelling lead work too.

Vampiro is an excellent piece of work and anyone who’s enjoyed Vicious Rumors more recent albums should also find plenty to get stuck into here. As already mentioned, whilst not abandoning the thrash there’s more of a US power metal feel to much of this, but the albums none the worse for it and although not necessarily better is the equal of most of their past releases.

HELSTAR Burning Star

Album · 1984 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Burning Star is the debut studio album from US Power/thrash metal band Helstar.

Helstar is one of the few artists I can think of who's every single album is a masterpiece, and of course Burning Star was the album that started it all. This was the first album I had heard from the band, as well as perhaps the first metal album I owned myself. I grew up listening to classic hard rock, heavy metal, and thrash, but after Aerosmith and Rush really got me into music I had found Helstar at random. It was the greatest random find possible.

The music here is a mix of US power metal, classic heavy metal, speed metal, and a bit of proto-thrash metal. Already on their debut, Helstar had their own pretty unique sound with a wide range of metal styles. While you can hear influence from bands such as Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, and Rush (The Rush influence is especially heard in the beginning of "Run With the Pack"), the band manages to muster up their own distinct sound. The guitar riffs are razor-sharp, the drums are powerful, and James Rivera's vocals are absolutely killer. Just listen to his vocal performance on "Toward the Unknown", and that song is one of many reasons why he's among my favorite vocalists.

The title track is one of the best album openers, with a catchy as hell descending riff that really makes it sound like you're in the sky and going down in fire. Now you want to hear one of the best guitar solos ever made? Just check out the end of the solo, it sounds like a downward spiral into the abyss. "Witch's Eye" is another highlight, and the punchy main riff just kicks the listener in the gut. Rivera's vocals switch perfectly between a sneering bite to high pitched screams on both of these tracks.

Already on the debut with the song "Dracula's Castle", there is lyricism based around vampires, which would return as the concept album "Nosferatu". The rest of the lyrics follow your usual 80's metal lyricism of darkness, fantasy, etc. The title track, with it's menacing shredding, is reflected incredibly well with the sci-fi cover art. It really makes you feel like your flying through the stars, involved in a chaotic space battle.

This album holds a special place in my heart as not only an amazing album but also as the first metal album I ever owned myself and listened to a lot. I hadn't of listened to it in a while, but coming back to it I'm glad I still hear the magic. A classic, as well as one of my favorite albums of all time. Do yourself a favor and check this album and this band out.

Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

HELSTAR Nosferatu

Album · 1989 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
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.

HELSTAR A Distant Thunder

Album · 1988 · US Power Metal
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Warthur
Another album, another lineup for Helstar, who on A Distant Thunder deliver an excellent US power metal release. At points they sound uncannily like Iron Maiden, but when you sound this good doing it that is no bad thing. The closing "He's a Woman, She's a Man" - a Scorpions cover - is to my ears a little average, especially after the excellent Winds of War which could easily have been the album closer, but aside from that it's a very listenable album which will appeal to anyone who likes speed or power metal or the proggier bits of Iron Maiden's discography.

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