In the school cafeteria that is the heavy metal world, power metal has always been the nerd’s table. But with that in mind, there are a few things that people forget about metal’s geekiest subgenre: power metal is about more than Dungeons & Dragons, and girls can most certainly be nerds too. Those tropes are out in full force on the full-length debut album by California’s Helion Prime.
In the grand tradition of groups such as Arjen Lucassen’s Star One, Helion Prime is pre-occupied with all things sci-fi and fantasy. Sometimes the songs deal with general themes of space and time travel, while others snapshot specific events in stories such as Star Trek and The Chronicles of Riddick among others. Everything is executed with a strong sense of purpose but not so much that it detracts from the inherent fun factor.
It also helps that the band sounds pretty damn good throughout. The clean production job offers clarity but doesn’t take away from the heavy guitar chugs and occasional keyboard flourishes. There’s a chance that the vocals may be a little too poppy during the album’s more aggressive tracks, but they provide a nice contrast and the various hooks are delivered in a strong fashion.
Overall, Helion Prime’s debut is the best result one can expect from a cover depicting aliens shooting at a robot Tyrannosaurus. The band has an obvious love for the cheesy themes at work and every song has a memorable chorus to it, even if it may sometimes take an extra listen or two to digest. Anyone who thinks that all female-fronted power metal bands are just Evanescence wannabes will be in for a rude awakening…
“The Drake Equation”
“Life Finds A Way”
“Into The Black Hole”
“A Place I Thought I Knew”
“Ocean of Time”