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Horrific Tale….Terrific Music - 98%

elmet, September 20th, 2008

The first thing we notice about “Nosferatu” is while being enormously different from the previous ones, it is still maintaining links with the band’s past. The firs tracks make it immediately clear that we are about to experience something different from what they did before, exploring whole new levels which resulted in absolute musical supremacy. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that there unfolds a musical treasure predating European power metal by almost a decade, though they were never meant to undertake such a mission. Helstar can easily assume the title of one of the rare few innovative thrashers of its time.

Something that can be ironically seen as a problem is that Helstar seems to have put all the eggs in one basket with this particular album, which is why it is so awe-inspiring but, on the other hand, leaving nothing for a suitable follow up. This is Metallica’s “Mater Of Puppets”, Overkill’s “The Years Of Decay”, Running Wild’s “Death Or Glory” and many other bands’ best achievements could be cited as evidence about the overwhelming importance of this record.

This album could take a few listens to get used to but the more you listen to it the more it grows on you. Surely you don’t find new things in it each time but you do in yourself. It’s an album to change your perception of metal music. With no hesitation almost every single song could be pointed out as a particular favourite. They keep coming one after another like marvels of the universe of music. This is Helstar at its best. Choruses are more settled in the right direction compared to the before material. And those solos, they pop up now and then like an instant lightening and recede like a distant thunder. The first four tracks, the initial one “Rhapsody in Black” being an intro but it is hard to separate it from the following “Baptized in Blood” as they sound like one song , “To Sleep, Per Chance to Scream”, Harker's Tale (Mass of Death) are all in complete harmony with each other and are full of great musicianship. But the best is yet to come. The greatness of the 5th track “Perseverence and Desperation” is just beyond my description ability. For me, this one is the second best instrumental track in the whole heavy metal history next to Metallica’s “Orion”, if not the best. I can’t remember any other song so full of haunting melodies and so rich in musical diversity. Just listen to it as the time shows 02:22 when the climax of both the song and the album is being approached. A metallic phenomenon strikes the listener like no other. One can’t help but wonder how on earth could a humble human being make such an artistic creation that can make its listener feel nearer to its maker?...Of the rest of the remaining tracks only “Benediction” could be deemed average but nevertheless packed with loads of killing riffs that could alone make up an album.

This may not be the most extraordinary album of all but very damn close to being one. It’s an album still looking for its true heir, containing knowledge of musical mastery to be passed from father to son. It is a good testimony to the good old days when once thrash metal was so truly beautiful and fabulously rich. “Nosferatu” is surely many times better than the highly praised speed-thrash classics in that this one has solos a lot more brilliant, riffs a lot more terrific and an original composition of the two which together explain why Nosferatu is a class or two above them.