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Nicely executed power-thrash!! - 86%

UltraBoris, August 18th, 2002

This is definitely the best Helstar album. It's got both variety and strength in all of its songs - far more interesting than Remnants of War, and more effective than A Distant Thunder.

We start with "Baptised in Blood" which is a wicked thrasher, that goes through several nice breaks, and also throws in a killer solo or three for good measure. Next is "To Sleep Perchance to Scream" and "The Harker's Tale" which are not quite as fast, but still quite excellent, focusing more on the riff work and the solos.

Next, "Perseverence and Desperation" - an instrumental, done by Andre Corbin. One of the greatest guitarists in thrash metal - he and Barragan are the most unheralded guitar duo, ever. This solo completely owns you, period, end of conversation. Then, "The Curse has Passed Away" - a bit slower, and it kind of drags on at times. It's not bad, but it is the worst song on the album. Still, it throws in some kick-ass solos.

The first six songs are the theme part of the album: about Nosferatu, the Vampire, who is eventually destroyed. The rest of the album has nothing to do with that.

"Benediction" and "Harsh Reality" are pretty damn good thrashers, both very fun to sing along to... "mass has now begun! ALL HAIL!!!" Then, we have "Swirling Madness" - the best song on here, with quite possibly the best two-note riff before the chorus ever devised - more effective than Slayer's "Dissident Aggressor" cover, with similar effect. But damn does that song fucking own. Completely lethal thrash.

Then, the album closes with a more melodic number, "Alieria and Everonn" (I think I totally butchered the spelling and am too lazy to look!), which is a very nicely done ballad, and of course they throw in one more Larry Barragan solo, just for the Hell of it.

Yes, this album rules. The production is crystal clear, the songwriting impressive, and every member of the band is technically perfect. If you want some very engaging, complex thrash metal that doesn't ever resort to wankery, this is the album for you.