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Helstar - This Wicked Nest Award winner

This Wicked Nest
by Dan Mailer at 28 April 2014, 6:19 PM

Some bands are simply legendary, fighting through decades of both good times and tough times, continuing to forge new records as they carry on. HELSTAR is one of those bands. For those who don’t know, the band started in 1981 in Texas, formed by guitarist Larry Barragan. Their new album presents a really heavy and modern sound with a touch of old school style, with Melodic yet aggressive vocals and a powerful metal sound.

Opening up with “Fall Of Dominion”, the band begins affairs in style with some awesome harmonized guitars building up to a climax with some heavy and aggressive riffage following afterwards. The vocals are awesome here too, with a “very angry Rob Halford” vibe to them, and the chorus on this one is really great as well. “Eternal Black” follows this up with some intense riffs, and a powerful rhythm section pounding away as well, and a nice solid vocal rounds things off on this one.

The album is full of great tunes, from title track “This Wicked Nest” which is full of meaty riffs and some great soaring vocals, especially in the chorus, to slower tracks full of evil sounds and brooding atmosphere like “Cursed” which has some cool clean sections and some great vocals yet again too. Not often do metal singers this capable make themselves known nowadays. This is on the whole a really heavy and hard hitting album sound wise. Particularly impressive tracks on this one are “Isla De Las Munecas” which despite being the shortest and the instrumental track on the album, gets its point made nicely with some great guitar moments and intense playing, and also “Defy The Swarm”, a song that borders on extreme metal vocally in places, with some nice dynamics and some really powerful and in-your-face riffage.

The album closes with “Magormissabib”, and although I don’t know what it means, it certainly is a great closer to the album, with plenty of cool riffs and some great solos. Another great vocal performance and a storming rhythm section carry this song through it’s over 7 minutes running time in a great way.

The production is really nice on this album, nice and solid sounding, plenty modern with crunchy guitars and a great drum sound. The vocals have been recorded really nicely and mixed well too!

Overall, this is a really heavy album, not for those who like a ballad or two but definitely for fans of proper heavy metal!

4 Star Rating

1. Fall Of Dominion
2. Eternal Black
3. This Wicked Nest
4. Souls Cry
5. Isla De Las Munecas
6. Cursed
7. It Has Risen
8. Defy The Swarm
9. Magormissabib
James Rivera - Vocals
Larry Barragan – Guitars
Rob Trevino - Guitars
Mikey Lewis - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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Edited 01 April 2023

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