Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 4/1/2004
posted on 2/2005 By:
So basically I get passed this self released album to review as a favor for some folks I know. So I’m immediately torn before I even listen to it: “Am I honest if it sucks?” or do I candy coat the truth? Well luckily, I don’t have to do either, as while this Finnish quintet play a form of progressive thrash/heavy metal that doesn’t really appeal to me, they have some obvious skills that should surface on a record label soon.
Laden with talent, Helion deliver a polished, professional and incredibly confident demo that has all the trapping of a full label released album. The synth laden, technical and progressive material gleams with typical Finnish gusto and soars with prog rock sensibilities, but has an earthy grit to it also, avoiding the usually brittle Prog rock exterior. Vocalist Kim Högberg is part of the reason for the material’s earthiness, avoiding the usual high end falsetto outburst, although he has since been replaced by Jukka Salo.
Again, while not something I’d reach for voluntarily, I can objectively say this demo easily compares and often supersedes some of the other similar bands I’ve come to review (Heaven’s Cry, Nightmare, Time Machine, Mercury Tide), and side by side you’d be hard pressed to point this out as a demo. Guitarists Hannu Tammela and Jaakko Kunnas deliver the expected levels of adventurous fret play and dynamic solos, while keyboardist Lauri Heikkinen keeps the proceedings appropriately lively and futuristically frivolous.
The songs themselves are slightly overlong resulting in attention loss even with the busy guitar work, and as with most efforts of this style, I can’t recall a single moment once the album ends, but may just be my own subconscious musical blinkers. The likes of the urgent “God of Fire”, the complex “Frail Vision” and the sweeping “The Sun is Burning Down” are all adept, well played compositions though well deserving of any Prog metal fan’s attention.
I’d look for these guys to be on a label like Sound Riot or DVS Records pretty soon.
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