I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Helstar. Celebrating 30 years of American power metal, the band has always been one of the most underrated in the genre. But they've always offered solid material with strong performances led by vocalist James Rivera. Needless to say, 30 Years of Hel is a collection for the fans.
The DVD and two CD package offers a live recording in their hometown of Houston, Texas, and pretty darn good. The venue is small, but that band in fine form before a particularly enthusiastic crowd. As for the song selection, the title lives up to it's name as Helstar includes selections across every album, delivering in concert lasting more than two hours. Can't beat that with a stick.
As for the video and audio, I'll give you a quick heads up: play the DVD on a decent stereo system rather than simply through your television; if you do so your experience will suck, big time. Early on you get the feeling that engineers aren't getting the mix quite right. The drums seem overpowering, with both the guitars and vocals trying battle above them. It gets better or maybe your ears simply adjust. But in the end I wished the guitars got a better lift. Nevertheless, it's a good show with Helstar delivering an enthusiastic performance. It's not the greatest live metal concert DVD I've seen, but rabid Helstar fans will dig it. Recommended.
30 Years of Hel celebrates Helstar's lengthy career in good form, showing them in their element, an enthusiastic and entertaining live show.
With a cursory scan of the Internet, even before their first album is released, some are calling Phantasma a symphonic supergroup. There's good reason for some such speculation. Phantasma features the collaboration of founders ... [ Read More ]