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On disc: Helker

Somewhere In The Circle - Lars Bjørn - 8 stars

Somewhere In The Circle

Somewhere In The Circle
(AFM Records - 2013)

They are not the most well-known heavy metal name in Europe, their previous 3 albums have gone by without the biggest attention, but now it's time to focus the periscope towards Argentina and the band Helker. They have earlier made a contribution to a compilation album with the Iron Maiden song The Loneliness Of The Distance Runner, but their brand new CD have the Iron Maiden clinging name Somewhere In The Circle, but here the comparison stops. What Helker is doing is another type of metal. Their singer Diego Valdez is a great fan of Ronnie James Dio and tries to make his voice so close to Dio's feelings as he can but only successes halfway, other songs on their album is performed in a way to give Helker their own sound and personality. The whole metal pot is produced by Mat Sinner, and on one of the songs, Begging For Forgiveness there is a guest appearance by Tim Ripper Owens and Ralf Scheepers, but it's not making the biggest of difference in my view. Diego Valdez himself is capable of leaving a hard impression, and the eleven songs represented here are good and well-worked all of them. Modern Roman Circus has a unique pressure in how the song is constructed, a Dio inspired metal hymn that Ronnie James Dio could have been proud of. No Chance To Be Reborn is hard and heavy, great metal attitude, simple and effective. Wake Up is once again Dio in a nutshell from Argentina, Helker gives it a solid hardness and charm. At The End Of The Journey is high tempo where the great guitar work brings the focus away from Valdez but that is not a shame to let the whole band speak for themselves. Inside Of Me brings more of the Dio inspired metal without fresh or new ideas, it's holding average but just confirms that not all songs on a new album are of highest quality all the time. Let me finish with the highlight from the album, a song that could be inspired by Virgin Steele, hard drums, melodic song where they are themselves 100%, Ghosts From The Past, heavy metal the good old fashioned way, energy and nerve, great sound and attitude.

8 stars

Lars Bjørn


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