‘Vampiro’ is one of the first releases for the in 2015 founded EMP label. The man behind the label is Dave Ellefson, also known as the bass player and founding member of Megadeth. Helstar hail from Houston, Texas and had their heyday in the eighties with albums like ‘Remnants Of War’, ‘Burning Star’ and ‘A Distant Thunder’ (just to name a few). Although the band never officially split up there was a big gap in their history from 1995 to 2006. From that year on the band around singer James Rivera and guitarist Larry Barragan kept releasing albums again, the most recent being ‘This Wicked Nest’ (2014). Is there still a market for a band like Helstar in 2016 and an upcoming future? I think there is. When you look at bands like Testament, Death Angel and Vicious Rumors still going strong, then there should also be a spot available for Helstar. It is not that the band is doing revolutionary things on ‘Vampiro’, but they do deliver a solid heavy metal record with crunchy guitars, thundering drums and a convincing vocal performance from Rivera during kick ass tracks like ,,Off With His Head’’, ,,Abolish The Sun’’ and ,,Awaken Into Darkness’’. The fast paced instrumental ,,Malediction’’ is also a track not to be missed with an impressive performance from skin beater Michael Lewis.  ‘Vampiro’ matches up with its older brothers like ‘A Distant Thunder’ or ‘Remnants Of War’ and should give Helstar a healthy platform to continue their career.


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