On May 5th, Argentinian power metal act HELKER will release their latest album Firesoul via AFM Records. It will mark the band’s 5th studio release and their second available in English (the band’s first 3 records are only available in Spanish).
I’ll admit, my knowledge of this band was completely non-existent before getting this release. Power metal isn’t considered my sweet spot. That’s not to say I don’t like it, I just find myself gravitating closer to hard rock, old school metal, and hair bands. My initial impression was “DAMN!” This band is earsplitting and the production sounds fucking awesome.
Formed 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina by guitar player Mariano Ríos and bassist Christian Abarca, the current HELKER line-up features guitar player Leo Aristu, drummer Hernán Coronel, and powerhouse vocalist Diego Valdez.
The album gets it all started with an intro (“Genesis”) leading into the first song “Fight” which reminds me of a mixture that falls somewhere between Judas Priest‘s Redeemer of Souls and Megadeth‘s Youthanasia, with vocals on a little more of the operatic realm. Caution: This will make your eyes tear up a bit as if you have been punched in the nose, so be prepared.
Firesoul continues its bombastic assault as it moves from song to song, which range from power metal to just straight up metal. There are several songs which have really good melodies and hooks that draw you in without losing that heaviness provided by the sheer twin guitar attack provided by Rios and Aristu.
This release is full of highlights, but some of my faves are “All The Eternity,” “Fight,” “You Are In My Heart” and the title track “Firesoul.”
As with many bands today, you get a couple of extra bonus tracks on this release, one of which is a cover of Black Sabbath’s classic “Neon Knights”
which I absolutely love. To be fair, I love the original version also, and the band stays pretty true to the original but recorded in today’s age with this band’s playing and production produces something that Ronnie James Dio himself would be proud of today.
No matter how many times it happens, I always appreciate going into something blind and coming out on the other side with a new found love and appreciation for a piece of musical art.
I have found that new love in the form of Helker’s latest release Firesoul.
As is always the case, no matter what your taste are, go and support live and recorded RnR music as it creates the soundtrack to your life.