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'This Wicked Nest'
(AFM Records)
Out Now

Daryl Soar

daryl soar



Whatever conclusion you jumped to from that opener, it is sure to fit this album in some respect. Ever wanted to relive the good bits of yesterday? 'This Wicked Nest' could be your chance to start.

Far from a backward looking rampage through rock history, the music and vocal screams reflect contemporary bands as well as classic tastes. Whatever your favourite rock tipple, if it's from the 80s onwards, your needs will be satisfied. King Diamond, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Annihilator... the list of memories just goes on.

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So for the bit after the advert... the YouTube offering, and album opener, 'Fall Of Dominion'.

By now you should be comfortable with the my earlier ramblings and be coming to grips with where the music of Helstar is going to take you.

The opening of the second track leaves you waiting like a schoolboy outside the headmaster's office. For all the growing tension, the promised ear bashing doesn't quite live up to earlier pretensions. But don't be discouraged, by the second listen through the album, 'Eternal Black' will strike you as much better and more accomplished than you remembered.

By the third track I was ready for more riff based songs thrashing my ears with a wall of sound. While true songmanship may force the best vocalists to diverge from the guitar riffs, Helstar's James Rivera is comfortable in reliving past glories of the 80s and blindly following the riff.


Again, have no fear, he has stepped up to the plate an incorporated an almost fry-vocal to bring things up to date. And just when you think you've discovered his limitations he even finds a tune in his own right.

By the fourth track I thought I had come to grips with everything Helstar could throw at me only to be greeted by a proper musical treat akin to those old offerings from Maiden and Metallica. Yes, an instrumental, and a good one at that. Not just a self indulgent musical extravaganza of mastabatory guitar work but a valid song that maintains your interest through out.

The rest of the album carries on in the same vein. Vocals follow and diverge from the guitar riffs with impeccable timing. The overall sound maintains a fresh modern metal feel with some favourite elements of yesteryear thrown in to the production for good cheer. The album has an eclectic mix of mature and naive songwriting that glued a smile to my face. Nothing particularly surprises from one song to the next but if you like 'Fall Of Dominion' it's a pretty safe bet you'll like the rest.




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