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Helix - 'Bastard Of The Blues' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/dd/f1/3d/helix-bastard-of-the-blues-11-1417121387.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 27, 2014    
 
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One for my “Top 10 Albums Of 2014”.

Helix is one of those bands that don’t need any further introduction – nearly every one of us has their 1980s classics ‘Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge’ and ‘Wild In The Streets’ in our record collections. Now, five years after the previous Helix album ‘Vagabond Bones’ hit the shelves – followed only by the five-song EP three years ago – it’s time to realize nothing much has changed in this band’s camp; with maybe the exception of some fresh ideas that the new album ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ is a perfect realization of.

What about a portion of Blues-infused Hard Rock driven with tasty, muscular guitar riffs for a good start? And although the opening ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ is no drastic shift from the classic Helix style, it still doesn’t sound dated either. Tracks such as ‘Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved In His Hometown)’ or ‘Hellbound For A Heartbreak’ are in the same vein, with straight-in-your-face lyrics, feisty vocals, aggressive guitar and thumping bass. But ‘Bastard...’ isn’t all rough and rowdy, and so neither was Helix. Just listen to the infectious 1980s infused melody of ‘Winning Is The Best Revenge’ or the soaring power ballad ‘When All The Love Is Gone’ for a bit of a nostalgic plunge, and you’ll certainly end up sketching a draft of the time machine to go back thirty years in time.

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There is a little treat for every fist-pumping and head-banging Rocker out there as well – ‘Metal At Midnight’ doesn’t let us forget it’s the same band that gave us ‘Rock You’ and often dwelled upon the clichéd, yet fan favourite topic of the beauty of Heavy Metal. Alongside the new material, there are tracks which will be remember from the 2011 Helix EP ‘Skin In The Game’ – the guitar-laden titled track and fast-paced ‘The Bitch Is A Bullet’ – but the biggest surprise music-wise comes from the grand finale. If you ever wondered if the Canadians can kick butt playing Americana – listen to ‘Sticks And Stones’; a Country-infused gallop with Bluesy overtones which leaves you thinking “oh yes, they can”.

‘Bastard Of The Blues’ is a classy record from a classy band, and not a disappointment in any way. It’s still the same ol’ Helix we have all loved since 1979’s ‘Breaking Loose’, but still to be counted among serious candidates and one for my “Top 10 Albums Of 2014”.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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