Helker – Firesoul (AFM Records)

Helker – Firesoul (AFM Records)

Powerful stuff from Argentina...

The Argentinian powerhouse that is Helker are back for their fifth album (their second en Inglés) and it’s a corker!

I’ve never really understood the need for short, instrumental intros. Genesis, while it builds up into the fantastic single Fight, could have just been one longer song. Anyway, this doesn’t detract from the album as Fight kicks off with solid metal aplomb. If this track doesn’t hook you, give the album to someone more deserving of it and check yourself in to the nearest mental institution.

From there, For All the Eternity gallops along with some solid drum work from Hernán Coronel. Next track Playing with Fire contrasts this nicely with a slower, chunky stride.

The One has one of the better choruses on the album. There’s a nice key change that pulls some emotion out of you. Nice backing vocals. About as soppy as a love song should get.

Where You BelongDio fans rejoice! This could easily have been a Dio B side. I liked this song initially, but by the fourth listen it really ‘clicked’ in my head. Love this track.

You Are in My Heart boasts awesome rhythm guitar work. This is what a metal ballad should sound like. Which means we can almost skip Empty Room. Almost. It’s a bit more lovey-whiney than I’d like, but it’s a great example of the talent pouring out of these guys and is bound to please someone. Leaving Out the Ashes – This is needed after the last track to get the album back on course with some powerful crowd participation goodness. This screams out wholesome 80’s metal. More of this, ¡por favor!

Stay Away proves singer Diego Valdez could have easily been the lovechild of Dio and James Hetfield. It works really well. Fast and thrashy.

Break Your Chains is full of hard riffs and a solid solo throws this track back to the eighties where we all had a good time. Guitarists Leo Aristu and Mariano Ríos really shine on this track.

Firesoul – the title track of the album is probably the most drum-heavy track on the record. It’s fairly lacklustre compared to the rest of the album, but it’s the worst of a fantastic bunch, so it’s all good. The first bonus track, Rise or Fall comes plodding along with some slow Dio goodness. The chorus is glorious. It’s a smooth slow jam you could happily end the night on.

Neon Knights really showcases Diego’s ability to channel Dio. This is a song that is covered by a lot of bands and results vary a lot. Helker have produced one of the best versions of this song. Ever.

Overall, there’s just under an hour of rocking goodness available for you right now. A patch for my jacket has been ordered and will hopefully arrive soon.

Firesoul is out now on AFM Records.

Andrew Orel
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