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Review of the Album "Burning Star" by Texas Band Helstar

Updated on December 11, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

About the Album Burning Star and Some of Its Musical Influences

Texas heavy metal band Helstar captured my interest with their 2010 studio album Glory of Chaos. However, being a band formed in the 1980’s, their debut album called Burning Star goes way back to 1984, a very special year in the genre of heavy metal for sure. Burning Star is an album that has a real progressive feel to it. Influences in this album include Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate just to name a few. James Rivera performs the vocals on this album under the name of Bill Lionel.

How Does the Album Burning Star Begin?

The first song the title track Burning Star features him sounding like ray Alder combined with high falsetto like screams. Be ready for what is going to be a decent, pleasure filled listen from these Texans.


A Helstar Song That Has Fantasy Style Lyrics Called Toward the Unknown

"Toward the Unknown" lyrically dives into the fantasy realm as the song is about vultures flying through the air as a warrior has come to defend his land, defend his honor and defend against attacks by strangers that desire his throne. Throughout history, empires have come under attack by external forces and other groups that have looked to take advantage of overextended and weakened empires. The song has that feeling of Judas Priest during the Screaming for Vengeance era with songs such as Riding on the Wind.

Favorite Song on the Album Burning Star

What is your favorite song on the album Burning Star?

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Running With the Pack One of the Strong Songs on the Album

Lyrically though, Helstar still does not compare to Mercyful Fate but nonetheless, the album is decent progressive metal. "Run With the Pack" has some sounds in the beginning that sound like a music box playing. Now there’s something we don’t always hear from a heavy metal band especially back in those days. James Rivera lets out a great falsetto style scream, something that Pantera’s Phil Anselmo would later use on the album Cowboys from Hell. In a moment of irony or interesting timing, both Pantera and Helstar were formed back in 1981 and both are from Texas. The song has a repeating mid-tempo riff as the song is about running with the pack to avoid the wolves that are pursuing the person. It is important to have pride when you know that there are times in life where there is no turning back.

"Burning Star"

What is the Song Leather and Lust About?

"Leather and Lust" is a metaphorical way of looking at how life can pass us by while we are playing this game of life in a risky fashion. Treasure the feeling of life but when you are taking risks it is important to take risks that are manageable. But unfortunately, many people will just gamble away their lives almost like they are playing Russian Roulette.

"Possession" (not the song by Danzig)

Final Thoughts About the Album Burning Star

"Possession" is a Mercyful Fate influenced song about someone that is being literally possessed and controlled as they are rebelling against these moves because they don’t like what they see. As the album ends, the progressive filled song Dracula’s Castle is a song about being aware that a bat flies through the night ready to sting his or her prey. It is important to stay awake and be aware what Dracula is weak against. Dracula is susceptible to the stake or exposure to sunlight. Overall, Burning Star as an album by Helstar is a decent progressive filled album with good lead guitars but it is not as good as 1989’s Nosferatu album or what was to come later.

The Complete Full Length Discography of the Band Helstar

Year Released
Album Title
Burning Star
Remnants of War
A Distant Thunder
Multiples of Black
Sins of the Past
King of Hell
Glory of Chaos
This Wicked Nest

"Towards the Unknown"

© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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