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Helstar (1983)

Helstar hail from Houston, Texas and have just produced one of the best demos I have ever heard. Containing seven tracks of out-and-out metal, the tape has not left the deck since it was sent to me.

It kicks off with ‘Burning Star’, featuring some excellent twin lead guitar work from Larry Barragan and Tom Rogers. Vocalist James Rivera is up there in the Rob Halford class – his voice has to be heard to be believed! Paul Medina (bass) and Hector Pavon (drums) complete the Helstar line-up.

‘Towards The Unknown’ and ‘Witch’s Eye’ are next – metal at its best; loud, fast and dirty. ‘Run With The Pack’ follows with its gentle intro before bursting back into the fast paced metal. This song will have headbangers everywhere posing with their tennis rackets in front of the mirror.

‘Leather And Lust’ comes firing out of the speakers next and is my favourite track on the demo, sounding much like Judas Priest. In fact, the whole demo sounds a lot like Priest in their early days with Tipton / Downing-like dual guitaring and Rivera’s Halford sounding high pitched voice.

‘Possession’ and ‘Shadows of Iga’ bring to a close one of the best demos of 1983, along with Queensrÿche. They certainly give the likes of Judas Priest a run for their money, and soon I hope you will be hearing a lot more from Helstar.

Dave Shaw

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 2 (1983)

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