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Chaos of Glory - 89%

GuntherTheUndying, February 18th, 2011

When it comes to old-school speed/power metal on this rotating orb we call our planet, Helstar are the gods, the masters, the judges, the juries, and since their reawakening, have earned the various executioner positions too. It would only make sense these prime musicians would continue on such a violent road after summoning thrash influence once Helstar rose from the grave with "King of Hell," which Satan himself said was a fitting tribute to his daily agenda. "Glory of Chaos," much like its predecessor, is another lesson in thrashing madness that gnaws and rips like a frenzied animal looking for anything to satisfy its bloodlust addiction. I don't know why Helstar is so aggressive; maybe the Texas heat fried their prefrontal cortexes, or perhaps old age induced this sickening turn into depravity.

Whatever the reason, there is absolutely no debate this album is the heaviest montage Helstar have ever birthed. The riff-frenzied "Angels Fall From Hell" immediately soaks the band's gimmick with crunchy gallops that bite and snarl with every turn while James Rivera continues to prove why he's one of the greatest metal vocalists of all time with his monolithic howls and harsh registers that match the song's flow perfectly. The attack never lets up soon after, as Helstar continuously regurgitates monumental tracks submerged in killer riffs, memorable choruses, and neck-snapping furiousness. The record plays this formula throughout, but they hardly trip over their own feet or turn remotely bland, which is always a blast of freshness considering "Glory of Chaos" is really just thrash ala "Shovel Headed Kill Machine."

The rest of the album smolders with brimstone throughout cuts like "Pandemonium" and "Trinity of Heresy," which are equally addictive and devastating. Many memorable moments occur during the half-way point of "Glory of Chaos" once the epic "Bone Crusher" and "Dethtrap" roll around, which still conjure hammering riffs and Rivera's excellent vocals. But the heat cranks itself past eleven for the closing "Alma Negra," a burning storm of thrash riffs and crushing mid-paced sections which make the experience extra painful and crispy. Variety isn't the key strength of "Glory of Chaos," but with so many wonderful tracks, why not play it safe?

Helstar’s story is often unsung by many, even though their speed-burst assault has proven more effective and lasting than most bands of similar niches; this album is no different. Compared to other thrash bands waltzing around the sound like it’s a Lady Gaga song, here we have an honest construction of stellar riffs layered over the faction’s unique characteristics that forged a legacy typically unknown, yet one treasured by those familiar with Helstar’s usual greatness. I suppose some old-school metal fans may find “Glory of Chaos” too much like Destruction or Exodus and not enough like Helstar, but that is certainly no reason to completely shun this sensational record; Helstar’s demeanor is superb throughout, and certainly one many thrash/power metal fans will crave.

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