Album Reviews

Helix – Bastard of the Blues Review

helix_cover

Released by: Perris Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Metal

Links: http://www.planethelix.com

 

Line Up:

Kaleb Duck (guitar, vocals)
Daryl Gray (bass, vocals, keyboards)
Brian Vollmer (vocals)
Chris Julke (guitar, vocals)
Gregory “Fritz” Hinz (drums)

 

Tracklist:

1. Bastard of the Blues
2. Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved In His Hometown)
3. Winning is the Best Revenge
4. Screaming at the Moon
5. Metal at Midnight
6. Hellbound for a Heartbreak
7. When All the Love is Gone
8. Axe to Grind
9. Skin in the Game
10. The Bitch is a Bullet
11. Sticks & Stones

 

When the opportunity presented itself to review the new Helix album I was pretty excited. The only previous exposure to the band was back in 1990 when I bought their album Back For Another Taste. And since I really enjoyed that album I was very curious to hear what they sounded like almost a quarter of a century later.

While doing a little research for this review I learned that the band, which hails from Canada, has been around since the mid 70s. And while they haven’t been quite as proficient in releasing albums as another high profile band from Canada who got their start 40 years ago as well, they have managed to release (somewhat under the radar) 13 studio albums and a handful of live and compilation albums.

Their latest offering is entitled Bastard Of The Blues. And as the title would suggest it is a bluesy record with hard rock and classic rock influences. As a whole this record is rather flat, lacking much to keep the listener interested. And the songs are somewhat redundant, each having the same basic vibe. Individually, some of the songs do hold some promise of a really cool song, but it’s almost never the entire song, just parts. A chorus here, a verse there. Take for example Winning Is The Best Revenge. The opening 30 seconds might lead the listener to think it’s going to be a great AOR song. Unfortunately it falls apart during the verses, only to be brought back by the catchy chorus. The one song which doesn’t fall victim to inconsistency, and is consequently the lone stand out of the record, is When All The Love Is gone. It’s the one slower, ballad-esque song of the bunch.

For a record that is inconsistent and lacks a punch it does have some things going for it. First, after all these years Brian Vollmer’s voice sounds great and is perfectly suited for this kind of sound. Second, and most important, lead guitarist Brent Doerner’s solos are top notch. Unfortunately Brian’s singing and Brent’s guitar work cannot keep this record from falling into the average category with a 5 rating.

 

Written by Jeff

Ratings    Jeff    5/10

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