The follow up to their self-titled ‘Helion Prime’ can best be described as nerd metal. It comes off as spectacular for those that are constantly in a state of daydream, wishing they were among the fantasy realm with cyborg wizards riding on unicorns made of brass in space! These guys are of a certain ilk that could be seen as comical escape from reality; however, Helion Prime take themselves pretty serious and their crispy, calculative song styles prove this. The quartet returned to the studio in 2017/2018 without the very talented vocalist Kayla Dixon this time, as Sozos Michael brings his Hansi Kürsch-like vocals to the forefront, with Jason Ashcraft on rhythm and Chad Anderson on lead guitars, Jeremy Steinhouse on bass and Alex Bosson on bing bongs.
The intro track of ‘Failed Hypothesis’ gives us an eerie prelude that ushers in a couple of excellent opening tracks in ‘A King is Born’, followed by ‘Bury the Sun’. I have mentioned Sozos’ vocals being similar to Hansi but you get a serious feeling of some Blind Guardian mixed with bits of Bloodbound in aggressiveness. It is an exhilarating experience, honestly. What came next, I was not prepared for.
Plain and simple, the track ‘Atlas Obscura’ is one of the greatest tracks of 2018, thus far! I find it an absolutely exhilarating experience from beginning to end with its pacing, from the keys intro to the speedy transition into a slowly building refrain, all collected together that creates one of the most epic chorus lines ever experienced. Now, here is where it gets a little weird; the chorus line has some striking similarities to a classic Sega Megadrive/Genesis title called ‘Gunstar Heroes’ OST theme. I’m unsure if this is a complete coincidence or if the band has an affinity for this brilliant gaming gem, but I absolutely was blown away when I initially heard the ruckus riffs in the chorus. I am in love, honestly.
Following that epic track HP continues to destroy your earbuds with terrific riffs and classic choruses that will leave you wanting more! ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Silent Skies’ lead into a tad slower finale of the title track, weighing in at a mighty SEVENTEEN MINUTES! Now, usually a naturally organic track that has so much to offer has no issue growing to over 10 minutes and charming the listener for that length; however, this track feels a bit like it was forced into being bloated to this size. It’s not bad by any means, but has a bit of polish needed to truly give it that magnificent feel the rest of the album has. The only real blemish found on this whole album.
It is difficult to comment on whether this is a step backwards or just in a slightly more technical direction for the band this go about. I would give the slight edge to their self-titled ‘Helion Prime’ effort but ‘Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster’ is a great listen, containing excellent tracks, brilliant pacing that will not overwhelm you from beginning to end. Recommended!
TERROR OF THE CYBERNETIC SPACE MONSTER
Review by Joshua Jaeger
31st August 2018
1) Failed Hypothesis
2) A King is Born
3) Bury the Sun
4) Atlas Obscura
6) The Human Condition
8) Silent Skies
9) Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"These guys are of a certain ilk that could be seen as comical escape from reality; however, Helion Prime take themselves pretty serious and their crispy, calculative song styles prove this."