Sins Of The Past

Written by: PP on 17/02/2008 21:30:48

Each time a previously unknown band to me pops up on my review list, I do some basic research about the band and its history, mostly by reading through reviews of the band\'s current and past releases. Occasionally I stumble on a band that has been exceptionally popular 20 years ago, and has since then either faded away completely, or broken up and later re-formed in an attempt to regain the glory of the former years. Helstar didn\'t quite break up but they disappeared from the classic heavy metal scene almost entirely, after recording only one album in the 90s and releasing nothing but a live album on this decade thus far. Apparently they were one of the corner stones of American heavy metal back in the day (read: 80s when better music didn\'t exist yet), which probably explains why \"Sins Of The Past\", a re-recorded compilation of some of Helstar\'s most popular songs throughout their career, has been receiving rave reviews across the online metal webzines.

This leads me to think that the writers to said magazines must either be about 40 years old by now, or alternatively people in their early 20s who wish they were 40 now so they could\'ve lived the cheesefest era known as 80s heavy metal back in the day. Now I know genre loyalists will give me lots of hate for saying this, but listening through the trade-off solos and clean vocals of \"Sins Of The Past\" makes me want to switch to something else - instantly. Every song on the album has roughly the same effect on me as the rest of the 80s heavy metal bands (other than Iron Maiden of course): they sound boring, tired, cliché and awfully unnecessary in 2008. By the sounds of it, Helstar even attempted twin guitar harmonies on the record, but anyone who\'s ever heard of At The Gates of In Flames should instantly recognize that although Helstar might have been among the pioneers of experimenting with dual guitars, their material sucks the big one in comparison to the two aforementioned bands, or in fact any prominent Gothenburg metal band that arrived 5 to 10 years later.

What I don\'t understand is the recent trend of old school classic/thrash metal bands first being inactive for the majority of the 90s and early 2000s, then suddenly coming back with a live/re-release/best of album as an appetizer for the first new studio album since God knows when. My guess is that the reason why bands like Helstar were hibernating all this time is because the more melodic bands pulled the carpet from underneath them when they came along, and now that the Gothenburg styled metal seems to be out of fashion and revivalist music is \'in\', they thought to themselves it\'s safe to come back out and dominate. However, the problem is that music scene has evolved into a much broader and better version of what it was in the 80s (especially in metal), and people are now accustomed to listening to quality music only. Just because it\'s been a good couple of years since the last Gothenburg styled album doesn\'t mean we\'ve forgotten how great that melody sounds instead of your tired, cliché leather-bound sound. Avoid.


Download: Burning Star, Baptized In Blood
For the fans of: Judas Priest, Nightmare
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 23.11.2007
AFM Records
Provided by Target ApS

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