Band: Helion Prime
Album: Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster
Release Date: 31st August, 2018
Label: AFM Records
Review by Khaine
Being a massive geek, there are two reasons I picked up this album to review. The first is that I love my power metal, and an album that is apparently all about sci-fi power metal absolutely gets my interest. The second is the name of the band AND the album. I mean, come on, Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster sounds like a band that doesn’t take themselves seriously and pretty fucking cool. As for the band name, Helion Prime sounded familiar… and I quickly realised it’s because it sounds like Helios Prime, the annoying companion in Warframe that likes to scan ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!
The band are science-based power metal band hailing from the good, old USA. They’re a traditional 5-piece, with Sozos Michael on Vocals, Jason Ashcraft on Rhythm Guitar, Chad Anderson on Lead Guitar, Jeremy Steinhouse taking up position on the Bass Guitar and Alexander Bosson manning the Drums. Full disclosure, I’d never heard anything from this band prior to this album, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect or anything regarding their history or the like. As such, I did a little research and discovered they had a previous, self-titled album with a female vocalist instead. Hopefully this will meet the expectations of the fans!
As for the album itself, it’s 9 tracks of blistering power metal clocking in at just under 60 minutes. First up is ‘Failed Hypothesis’, which is your typical instrumental track that you often find as the ‘intro’ for power metal albums. I don’t know why, but I felt this was a little too long despite being very good. The final few seconds see the guitars kicking in and swiftly moving into high gear so it can seemlessly blend into the second track, ‘A King Is Born.’ This really sets the theme and feel of the album, with hard-hitting guitars, pounding drums and high-pitched vocals that just grab hold of your earholes and make you listen.
‘Bury The Sun’ continues this trend, with a fast pace and amazing guitar work, while ‘Atlas Obscura’ changes things up by introducing a lovely piece of piano work for the first 15-ish seconds of the song. The whole flow and feel of this particular track is slower and slightly more melancholy than the previous offerings. Honestly? I felt it broke things up nicely and makes you really listen to the music and it’s lyrics. Very good choice of positioning on the album in my opinion.
Following on from that is ‘Urth’, which brings back the pounding drums, thrashing guitars and amazing riffs from earlier in the album. ‘The Human Condition’ is another song that starts off slower, but it doesn’t remain that way. It’s also one of the longer tracks on the album, clocking in at an impressive 8 minutes and it really does use this time well, with impressive harmonies and well-executed changes in tempo throughout. ‘Spectrum’ brings back the piano for it’s introduction, which is honestly something I do like to hear in power metal. I would honestly say this particular track is the ‘ballad’ of the album, and I do love me a good ballad.
‘Silent Skies’ changes things up again by starting things off with a lovely acoustic segment and well-harmonized lyrics, before kicking you in the balls with roaring guitars and thumping drums. It’s not even a gradual change… it just happens, and yet it somehow works really well! As for the last track, which is also the title track, ‘Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster’ has an absolutely huge running time of just over 17 minutes! Once more, we have a slower start with the piano, some string instruments I sadly cannot identify and two different vocal pitches that work incredibly well bouncing off each other. The pace eventually picks up back to the guitars and drums we have come to know and love on this offering, eventually moving towards another piano segment approximately one-third of the way through. There’s also a guest female singer introduced at this point, that compliments Sozos incredibly well. I feel this track really shows off what the band is capiable of doing, even if I have concerns regarding it’s length.
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album, and I would strongly recommend that fans of power metal give it a go. It reminds me a lot of Gloryhammer’s latest album in some ways, and that is not a bad thing in the slightest. My only criticisms are I feel the intro song could’ve been a little shorter, and I think I would’ve liked to see the final song be split into 2 parts.
Despite that, still a bloody good listen and it will be living permanently on my phone from now on!
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
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/helionprimemetal
Official website: helionprimemetal.com