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Review: Helstar - Clad in Black
Clad in Black

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 1:32:13
Tracks: 17
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: April 4, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)

Damn, this is a long one. This contains a bunch of news songs, some cover songs and also their album Vampiro (which I didn't have, so that's cool). I'm going to keep this short even though this is pretty much "live-album length". If you know Helstar, there are no surprises here. These guys have pretty much stuck to their original '80s style and the new songs, while they don't sound dated, really have that '80s feel that so many "traditional metalheads" love. They're not a band that does things over the top and their stuff tends to just flow along without making any waves, and that's also true here despite Clad in Black being a mix of a bunch of things. Unsurprisingly, with covers of Accept ("Restless and Wild"), Judas Priest ("Sinner") and Black Sabbath ("After All (The Dead)"), you have those songs that stand out because they are so well known, having been staples since the '70s and early '80s. I find Helstar's music is pretty much run-of-the-mill '80s heavy metal that doesn't stand out all that much, but it's good. You put this one and it'll at the very least get the foot tapping, and maybe a bit of headbanging, though that's not quite the style. Air instruments are sure to be dusted off here and there; these guys are accomplished and there's a lot of cool passages here. I've found that the vocalist was a highlight, often overshadowing the music but not to the point of being detrimental to the musical performances. A bit of a weird compilation, but Clad in Black is a great investment in first-rate traditional heavy metal.

More about Helstar...
Review: A Distant Thunder (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Black Wings of Solitude (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Glory of Chaos (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Glory of Chaos (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Nosferatu (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Remnants of War (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sins of the Past (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: The King of Hell (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: This Wicked Nest (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Vampiro (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Vampiro (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with vocalist James Rivera on November 20, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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