One of the most important US-Metal albums without a doubt is the debut of HELSTAR. The piece had been released in 1984 and even back then caught my eye with its great spaceship cover. I had been on a school trip in Kiel and bought the record without having heard a single note before. That the music contained also fully convinced was luck!
It had been something special that the Texans had to offer us. The extremely high vocals of James Rivera, who then had the pseudonym of Bill Lionel, was absolutely my cup of tea. The MAIDEN-touch was not to be overheard, but still HELSTAR sounded pretty original, by the cranky vocals alone! Add to that unusual song-arrangements, like with "Toward The Unknown", where I always have the feeling as if the song was out of tune. Or the "strange" chorus of "Run With The Pack" and the inhuman cries of "Witch's Eye".
My two absolute favourites are "Shadows Of Iga" with its divine hookline and the tense "Dracula's Castle". Wait, I still have forgotten the title track and opener "Burning Star", also an immortal classic! The other, also very good songs cannot keep up with that, but still there is not a single filler on "Burning Star".
It is one of the most important US-Metal albums of all time and should be in every collection. Who also likes DESTINY'S END should test out all the old HELSTAR-stuff… (Online December 6, 2002)