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Helker - Somewhere In The Circle

Somewhere In The Circle
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 February 2013, 12:40 PM

I know that I have been waiting for many moments since I began listening to Metal music, but this particular one had me flabbergasted quite a bit. Unlike Brazilian Metal bands that have been well incorporated and marketed in Europe, bands of Argentinian origin wouldn’t let the other chick as they most of them have been loyal to their home country and continent, writing material in Spanish, never letting go of the local scene that embraced them so tightly. The funny thing has always been that these bands didn’t create anything unique on their own but rather chose to follow European or North American musical directions. Now there is a band in the image of HELKER, which have been playing Heavy / Power Metal since 1998, feverishly writing material oriented to their own local scene, but this year, Europe came out heeding the call and the finally the cry was answered and the band signed with the German AFM Records for the release of the band’s first record in English entitled “Somewhere In The Circle”, produced and written alongside Mat Sinner with the mixing hands of Achim Kohler. Can I call this one a golden fish in the bag? Sure this is not my first choice, but sure it turned out just as I like it.

As I mentioned earlier, HELKER, similar to plenty of Metal bands worldwide, particularly from Argentina as it is a special occasion for a band from this vast land of a country to release something in Europe, didn’t alternate with their material as it kept a straight line within the borders of Heavy and Power Metal. Vast correspondences such as of PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER, GAMMA RAY, DIO, ACCEPT, HAMMERFALL among the many, will probably right head out charging your thought patterns with ease. HELKER, throughout the tracklist of eleven, composed songs on the basis of rather common song structures with only a few diversions. The choruses have that triumphant nature, filled with wonderful harmonic, clear cut and sharp vocal layers, melodic as the old book of Metal commanded and as a runner up for a winning album should be. In general, “Somewhere In The Circle” is a melodic Metal output, somewhat 80s based under the modern sound layers, matching the band’s earlier efforts. There have been plenty of great harmonies in the vein of IRON MAIDEN, destructive heavy riffs of the Teutonic legacy along with a few punching Rock features that might raise a few British memorandums. The soloing is spectacular, between Hard Rock and traditional Metal, slicing in presented a duo of guitarist that will be showing more fascinating features.

On the other hand, “Somewhere In The Circle” was better produced due to the magic hands of Sinner & Kohler, attaining the band its new European identity with a high rated wall of sound manufacture, not too much like PRIMAL FEAR but rather closer to mid-90s, early 00s SINNER. As a crazed fan of both bands, I didn’t find any problems with HELKER being blessed with the configuration for their purposes. The end results provided me wonderful means to enjoy the listening sessions I had with “No Chance to Be Reborn” and “Still Alive”, both hard-hitting and potent blasting Metal that kept my craving at bay for a little while at least with their tasty riffing, humongous vocal front and impressive melodic ends. “Ghosts from the Past” seemed a bit Popish with a highly catchy chorus, but right after tuning it again and again it occurred to me that it had everything to become a favored hit, great harmonic moments and inspiring vocals. “Just Be Yourself” and “Wake Up”, a bit heavier tracks but can’t escape the earlier category. Generally speaking, it is great to have this band in the European arsenal of AFM Records, this label has been fortunate to have them. I liked the production, the direction of the music, though a bit basic at times and the songs aren’t too different from one another, but the performance and quality are high.

4 Star Rating

1. Modern Roman Circus
2. Just Be Yourself
3. No Chance to Be Reborn
4. Begging For Forgiveness
5. Wake Up
6. At The End Of The Journey
7. Ghosts from the Past
8. Still Alive
9. Flying
10. Inside of Me
11. Dreams
Christian Abarca - Bass
Mariano Ríos - Guitars
Diego Valdez - Vocals
Leo Aristu - Guitars
Hernán Coronel - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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