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Helstar - Burning Alive (CD)

Burning Alive
by Grigoris Chronis at 21 January 2007, 10:40 AM

HELSTAR can easily be considered as the mere example for why 80s US Metal is - for many - the purest Metal form of music to emerge all these years to our bleeding ears. This DVD release, filmed when HELSTAR appeared in the 2001 instalment of the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany, comes out of nowhere after five(!) whole years and the feelings are mixed, in general.
The Texas, USA quintet reunited for (more than) one gig in 2001 and this appearance - backed by a certain relief for European fans, now able to see this legendary band - is now transferred on DVD. Unusual maybe, but let's point out to the release itself at first. Well, nine tracks are 'served' - eight of them are written on the DVD's back cover - and…that's all! Letting aside the James Rivera 10 intro speech, what the consumer will get is nine pieces of HELSTAR music. Nothing else. No extras, no bonus, no bio, no gallery, no nothing. Weird, huh? I hope the DVD will have a rather 'smile' price or then only the 80s US Metal 'core' fans is destined to show some interest for Burning Alive.
As for the music, the shiver is deep. HELSTAR provided a set of four dominant release - in specific, 1985's Remnants Of War is considered to be a Top-10 US Metal release all these years - based on a more complex Iron Maiden-influenced style mixed with pure Epic or Speed Metal tempos parallel to the high-pitched dominant voice of James Rivera (many fans may recognize him via his later works with bands like DESTINY'S END or FLOTSAM & JETSAM, while he lately sang on last year's VICIOUS RUMORS effort Warball). A 'sad' number of nine songs come off the band's 80s albums: Burning Star (1984 - Dracula's Castle, Run With The Pack, The Shadows Of Iga), Remnants Of War (1986 - Evil Reign, Angel Of Death) A Distant Thunder (1988 - Winds Of War, King Is Dead) and Nosferatu (1989 - Baptised In Blood, Benediction) are played with the most of excitement and the best of virtuocity; HELSTAR wrote 'difficult' songs back then, remember? Before the whole 'progressive' genre was even invented…
The crowd's response is average, due to the fact - I guess - that it's in the middle of the fest billing. Letting this aside, the band performs rather 'vividly' while the shot is clear and various enough. But, bearing in mind this release being a DVD offer, the total product is too poor for such a band. Imagine the duration does not exceed 46 minutes. If you feel you wanna purchase it, go ahead. I'd love it even with a 10 minutes show. You choose…The grading strictly refers to the consuming 'artefact'.

3 Star Rating

Evil Reign
Winds Of War
Baptized In Blood
The King Is Dead
Dracula's Castle
Angel Of Death
Run With The Pack
The Benediction
Shadows Of Iga
James Rivera - Vocals
Larry Barragan - Guitar
Robert Trevino - Guitar
Jerry Abarca - Bass
Russel DeLeon - Drums
Record Label: Perris Records


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