Helstar
A Distant Thunder


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (63 Reviews)
August 21st, 2013 | 14 replies | 956 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Perhaps Helstar's finest outing, A Distant Thunder presents the band's best riffs and may ultimately be their most cohesive work.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Helstar's first two albums were a fairly mixed bag. Both were quite poorly produced and occasionally a little tame by the band's future standards, but they did present some rather impressive vocal work and some entertaining riffs and solos that indicated that they were perhaps a band to watch. Their potential came to evident fruition on the excellent A Distant Thunder, a thrashier release with much improved song-writing that leaves it perhaps at the pinnacle of the band's considerable creative output, alongside Nosferatu.

Helstar's strengths have always resided in the technical skills of their musicians, especially their guitarists. Andre Corbin and Larry Barragan quite easily demonstrate their riff-writing throughout the album, with stand-out riffs on Bitter End, Abandon Ship, and Genius Of Insanity. Only adding to their already fantastic performances are their excellent leads and solos; their leads, such as on the aforementioned Abandon Ship's intro truly leave them in a league of their own, at least for the time. The rhythm section may not stand out quite so much, but little is left desired as both the bass and drums provide an excellent performance. As always, James Rivera's vocal performance is impressive in its range and adds greatly to the album.

Only adding to A Distant Thunder's strengths is its great songwriting, something that Helstar has remained successful with since its release. The song lengths sit around 5:00 on average, which is perhaps longer than what most thrash-bands would be secure with, but due to their interesting instrumental sections and fairly ambitious arrangements, they make it work well. However, the lengths of some songs such as Wind Of War can be a dull, and the tendency for songs to start with acoustic introductions is a genuine problem since it does cause some songs to get to a slightly tentative start. Nevertheless, this doesn't effect the album's strengths too much and merely prevents the album from being among the very best rather than excellent.

Recommended Tracks:
Bitter End
Abandon Ship
The King Is Dead
Genius Of Insanity
(The) Whore Of Babylon



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Madbutcher3
August 21st 2013



1081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good to have another thrash review done at last

KILL
August 21st 2013



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hel fuckin yes

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Madbutcher3
August 21st 2013



1081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yes bro

Willie
Moderator
August 21st 2013



15877 Comments


I haven't heard this one, but Glory Of Chaos is freakin' awesome.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Madbutcher3
August 21st 2013



1081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

GOC has some pretty awesome riffs yeah

manosg
August 21st 2013



5719 Comments


Nosferatu was excellent so I'll probably listen to this one too.

ThenamesTrenton
August 21st 2013



88 Comments


"Perhaps Helstar's finest outing, A Distant Thunder presents the band's best riffs and may ultimately be their most cohesive work."


Nope.


hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



1490 Comments


Troll user?^

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



19453 Comments


Nice review man pos. Haven't heard these guys they sound cool.

One small thing: I think you meant prevents not prevent in last sentence ;)

Digging: The Who - Tommy

bloc
August 21st 2013



34675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Favourite album from Helstar

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013



5915 Comments


Nosferatu is excellent, despite its weak production.

Will read in a minute.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

KILL
August 21st 2013



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

only band that matters besides mystik

Madbutcher3
August 21st 2013



1081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yay, I got a random troll neg :/

Madbutcher3
August 21st 2013



1081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Anyway, thanks for that spot, Atari.



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