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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VampiroVampiro
Import
EMP LABEL GROUP 2016
Audio CD$9.78
$3.51 (used)
Remnants of WarRemnants of War
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Emd Int'l 2009
Audio CD$8.53
$8.53 (used)
Burning StarBurning Star
Extra tracks · Import
Emd Int'l 2009
Audio CD$11.93
$9.98 (used)
Glory of ChaosGlory of Chaos
AFM Records 2011
Audio CD$8.30
$13.59 (used)
Multiples of BlackMultiples of Black
Massacre Records
Audio CD$51.76
$43.23 (used)
King of HellKing of Hell
Import · Limited Edition
Afm Records Germany 2008
Audio CD$14.97
$19.64 (used)
Helstar - This Wicked NestHelstar - This Wicked Nest
Import
AFM Records 2014
Audio CD$12.29
$13.15 (used)
A Distant ThunderA Distant Thunder
Metal Blade 1996
Audio CD$8.99
$8.50 (used)
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HELSTAR original CD HELSTAR original CD "A distant thunder" 1988 on Enigma / Metal Blade USD $34.72 Buy It Now 2 days
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Helstar - King of Hell [New CD] Helstar - King of Hell [New CD] USD $13.80 Buy It Now 9 days
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HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE NEW CD HELSTAR - RISING FROM THE GRAVE NEW CD USD $15.83 Buy It Now 10 days
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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 11 days
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 $19.42 Buy It Now 11 days
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IMAGIKA And So It Burns CD: HELSTAR, HARROW, ENOLA GAY, CAGE IMAGIKA And So It Burns CD: HELSTAR, HARROW, ENOLA GAY, CAGE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11 days
HELSTAR Remnants Of War CD: VICIOUS RUMORS, MALICE, DAGGERS EDGE, DESTINY'S END HELSTAR Remnants Of War CD: VICIOUS RUMORS, MALICE, DAGGERS EDGE, DESTINY'S END USD $11.98 Buy It Now 11 days
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Helstar - Vampiro [Vinyl New] Helstar - Vampiro [Vinyl New] USD $29.99 Buy It Now 12 days
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DARK NOVA-DARK NOVA CD,SAXON,SPITFIRE,HELSTAR,SAVATAGE,IRON MAIDEN,ACCEPT,RAVEN DARK NOVA-DARK NOVA CD,SAXON,SPITFIRE,HELSTAR,SAVATAGE,IRON MAIDEN,ACCEPT,RAVEN USD $10.01 Buy It Now 12 days
KING'S RANSOM-CURATORS OF THE REALM,BRAND NEW CD+DVD.HELSTAR,WHITE METAL,USA KING'S RANSOM-CURATORS OF THE REALM,BRAND NEW CD+DVD.HELSTAR,WHITE METAL,USA USD $10.01 Buy It Now 12 days
Vampiro - Helstar Vampiro - Helstar USD $34.80 Buy It Now 12 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 $79.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar Remnants Of War Special Edition CD new Century Media 9962212 Helstar Remnants Of War Special Edition CD new Century Media 9962212 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar Burning Star Special Edition CD new Century Media ‎– 9962202 Helstar Burning Star Special Edition CD new Century Media ‎– 9962202 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 12 days
CITIES Annihilation '86 US Power metal Pero-TWISTED SISTER HELSTAR 1st pr MINT- CITIES Annihilation '86 US Power metal Pero-TWISTED SISTER HELSTAR 1st pr MINT- USD $19.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Helstar - King of Hell autographed lyrics Helstar - King of Hell autographed lyrics USD $300.00 Buy It Now 13 days
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Helstar - Rising from the Grave [New CD] With DVD Helstar - Rising from the Grave [New CD] With DVD USD $16.62 Buy It Now 13 days
Helstar - Sins of the Past [New CD] Helstar - Sins of the Past [New CD] USD $15.14 Buy It Now 13 days
INTREPID-The Message CD Helstar, Forte, Oliver Magnum, Overkill,US Metal,Private INTREPID-The Message CD Helstar, Forte, Oliver Magnum, Overkill,US Metal,Private USD $16.98 Buy It Now 13 days
Helstar - This Wicked Nest [New CD] Helstar - This Wicked Nest [New CD] USD $15.71 Buy It Now 13 days
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HELSTAR Discography

HELSTAR albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.31 | 12 ratings
Burning Star
US Power Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 4.58 | 13 ratings
Remnants of War
US Power Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.44 | 18 ratings
A Distant Thunder
US Power Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.29 | 17 ratings
Nosferatu
US Power Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.34 | 7 ratings
Multiples of Black
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.47 | 7 ratings
The King of Hell
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.60 | 9 ratings
Glory of Chaos
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 6 ratings
This Wicked Nest
Thrash Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 8 ratings
Vampiro
US Power Metal 2016

HELSTAR EPs & splits

HELSTAR live albums

.. Album Cover 0.87 | 4 ratings
Twas the Night of a Helish Xmas
US Power Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
30 Years of Hel
Thrash Metal 2012

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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1983 demo
US Power Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live demo
US Power Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demolition
US Power Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1993 demo
US Power Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo Demo 1993
US Power Metal 1993

HELSTAR re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The James Rivera Legacy
US Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.41 | 3 ratings
Sins of the Past
Thrash Metal 2007
.. 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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

HELSTAR Movies Reviews

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Worlds Apart Deathcore
MAKE THEM SUFFER
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