Helker
Somewhere In The Circle


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (196 Reviews)
March 11th, 2013 | 20 replies | 1,226 views


Release Date: 02/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Feel good power metal.

With Helker’s fourth record, chances are that the listener is going to know roughly what to expect. Even without a prior knowledge of the band, one look at the album cover screams melodious power metal filled with ringing chords and falsetto vocal aerobatics. Somewhere In The Circle does nothing to move away from the preconceptions of the genre. The album fits perfectly within the stereotypes associated with their music, with no attempt at bringing anything new to the table. That’s okay, it is power metal after all. The music sticks to a formula of same sounding vocals, ringing guitar chords, steady albeit predictable drum work and mid-paced tempos. Making Helker’s 2013 release far from anything special but it is able to stand by itself as some moderately enjoyable modern power metal. What’s also interesting about this release is that it’s the first record by the band to be released in English. The group’s other records were released solely recorded in Spanish, whereas, Somewhere In The Circle was released separately in both English and Spanish allowing for the album to become more accessible on an international level.

The most positive feature of this release comes in the ‘feel good’ mood presented by Helker’s almost infectious lyrical content. Tracks like ‘Just Be Yourself’ have a sense positive reinforcement, for example the chorus:

For better or worse, just be yourself, Do not try to be someone else, what they care about is not what you want… just be yourself.

The context is clear. Feel good about you, make sure what you’re doing fits your interests. These moments pop up every so often through the entire of the record and engage the listener. Thankfully, the result is not (overly) cheesy and benefits the album hugely. It’s important to note that the lyrical ‘goodness’ would have a hard time holding together without a strong instrumental effort. It’s already been mentioned just how steady the music is and despite being incredibly generic, the instrumental work of this five-piece tie everything together. There is a groove present throughout the record that allows Somewhere In The Circle to maintain interest throughout its forty-six and a half minute play time. Throw in the occasional face melting guitar solo and things become just a little bit more interesting. The highlight of record comes in the form of ‘Wake Up’. Punching driving riffs come to the front of the music and even with the ballad strong structure form; the track showcases the best of the band’s writing abilities. At times however, the almost constant use of hook-lines becomes tedious to sit through. Yes, they do their job in creating a memorable listen but, at the same time the constant switch of hook-line to hook-line actually creates an overbearing listen. This isn’t a huge problem with the record, just something that over time will become more noticeable.

Overall, Helker’s Somewhere In The Circle, is a steady albeit un-exciting release. It gets everything right, but it’s far from the hugely ground-breaking release that it needs to be. It’s overall good mood atmosphere does the record wonders but unfortunately the rest of the record is generic down to the “t”. Listen if you’re a fan of the genre, it certainly does the stereotypes justice but for the casual listener there is indeed much better out there. This Argentinian power metal group are solid, consistent and at their weakest point, safe. Somewhere In The Circle, promotes everything a power metal record should be but doesn’t come close to rising above the band’s competitors.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


2013 power metal, might be a black metal year i think.

Tyrael
March 11th 2013



20719 Comments


Nono this has been a great year for power metal so far but I agree black metal reigns victorious

2013:
Code of Silence - Dark skies over Babylon
MindMaze - Mask Of Lies
Epicrenel - The Crystal Throne
Edge Of Attack - Edge Of Attack
Blood Of God - The Fall And Rise Of Man
Sacred Steel - The Bloodshed Summoning
Kurogane Lab - Lightning Mirage II


Other stuff I discovered recently:

Ravensthorn - Horrors Of The Black Mass
Unlucky Morpheus - Parallelism・β (warning: japanese)
Balflare - Downpour (warning: japanese)
UI-70 - Bewitching Flowers Bloom In The World Of Law/ Endless Flight Of Eternal Night

hope you enjoy them

and good review too :]

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


Yeah I've heard about half that list there man - didn't find any of it to grab my attention greatly. I'll check out the others though - ya know in case i get lucky : ]

Tyrael
March 11th 2013



20719 Comments


I know how you feel

keeping up with everything is simply impossible

it stresses me out :]

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


I definitely know the feeling.

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



28297 Comments


dam I can't even pos


Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


How about a rate instead dude?

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



28297 Comments


sorry bro I only rate prog and free bandcamp now

oh and sorry Maria Carrey too

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


In that case - Bandcamp this: A starless night - the depression lingers EP

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



28297 Comments


whoa 28 minute track! I'm down!

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



28297 Comments


dam bro u tryin to make me commit suicide!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


Is not bad, nice and raw -

BlackLlama
March 11th 2013



1608 Comments


Damn, this reminds me I haven't listened to my power metal stuff in a LONG time. I think I'll throw on the first Primal Fear album while I do homework tonight m/

Digging: Cinderella - Heartbreak Station

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



28297 Comments


gonna jam some moar and see how it sticks, thanks nigz

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


I threw another link in your shoutie Capitano, enjoy.

BlackLlama
March 11th 2013



1608 Comments


Fuuuuuuuck I just downloaded a ton of power metal for tomorrow. Viva la 90's!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2013



6923 Comments


I just downloaded a ton of power metal for tomorrow. Viva la 90's!


Sounds relatively cheesy : ] Good luck to you

BlackLlama
March 12th 2013



1608 Comments


Dream Evil, Stratovarius, Hammerfall and Prime Evil. All the stuff I was jamming like 14, 15 years ago. Throw in some Iced Earth and it's on.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013



6923 Comments


No Gamma Ray?

BlackLlama
March 12th 2013



1608 Comments


Honestly, was never a huge fan of their. A release here or there. I was heavily into Death metal at the time, but listened to some power metal here and there. Oh, that reminds me I need to dig out my Blind Guardian as well.....



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