Helstar-This Wicked Nest
Helstar is an act that shouldn't really need any form of introduction. If you're into heavy metal even a little bit then chances seem pretty good that you've at least come across their name at one point or another. Still, here is the band's bio (short and sweet). Formed back in 1982, and featuring one of metal's finest voices in James Rivera (see below for his long list of accomplishments!), this Texas band plays a sweet combination of traditional heavy metal, U.S. power metal and speed metal. Other then the fact that this is the band's ninth (full-length) studio-album since they debuted with the SPECTACULAR "Burning Star" in 1984 and, without sounding entirely crazy or anything here, "The Wicked Nest" is about as good a album that you can record in this day and age without the intervention of GOD HIMSELF! James Rivera is perfection of the mic and his co-conspirators help him steal the spotlight as far as "Best Heavy Metal Albums Of 2014" is concerned! Even after some 30 years of singing James still delivers epic translations of heavy metal glory tunes and on "This Wicked Nest" he sounds as if he could go for another 30 years plus years! Maybe James is immortal? What other explanation is there? "This Wicked Nest" has the vibe of an instant classic while simultaneously coming across as if it's a timeless classic. For certain it recalls Helstar's early years, but not in a retro way or as if the group is simply trying to rework it's greatest moments. Instead Helstar gazes at the past, looking back with a wicked smile, and then lunges forward with an epic release that's melodic enough to showcase this band's technical side well it's HEAVY enough to knock you straight out towards the next century! I don't know about everyone else, but I freaking LOVE albums like that where the skill level is there on full display while the metal (as in God gave heavy metal to you!) just SLAMS the SHIT out of everything! While I would never call Helstar a thrash n' roll band "This Wicked Nest" has a deadly beast of a beat about it and man if it doesn't make you want to break the speed limit then well, you're a better, way more controlled, individual then I am! One more thing. When 2014 finally winds down I have a real gut feeling that it will be looked back upon as a great year for U.S. metal fans (well, metal fans in general!) with Helstar's "This Wicked Nest" sitting right up there on top of all the stellar LPs pulses or more!
Besides Helstar, a great, to the point (no frills kids!), heavy metal outfit, James Rivera currently plays with Killing Machine, Malice and Distant Thunder. Meanwhile he is ex-Destiny's End, ex-Thrasher, ex-Vigilante, Children of the Grave, ex-New Eden, ex-Seven Witches, ex-Vicious Rumors, ex-Flotsam and Jetsam (live), ex-Masters of Metal (live), ex-Agent Steel (live), ex-Bad Heaven, ex-Chaotic Order, ex-Daggers Edge, ex-Malakis Reign and ex-Denim and Leather!