"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Formed: 1982
From: Houston, TX, United States
Last Known Status: Regrouped

Latest Helstar News

Below is our complete Helstar news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Helstar To Release "30 Years Of Hel"

The ultimate anniversary album for all Helstar fans, "30 Years Of Hel," will be made available as a special 2CD + 1DVD set on August 31st in Europe and October 2nd in North America. The package will contain concert footage of the band's 30-year-anniversary hometown show at Warehouse Live in Houston, Texas on March 24th, 2012.

This is the band's only official live release and includes a unique twenty-song performance featuring material spanning the entire Helstar discography, plus behind the scenes extras, interviews with each band member, photography, and more. Helstar also has an upcoming run of 30th anniversary tour dates starting in late August.

The "30 Years of Hel" track listing is:

01. Angels Fall To Hell
02. Toward The Unknown
03. Suicidal Nightmare
04. The King Is Dead
05. Burning Star
06. To Sleep Per Chance To Scream
07. The Plague Called Man
08. Evil Reign
09. Monarch Of Bloodshed
10. Winds Of War
11. Good Day To Die
12. Wicked Disposition
13. Pandemonium
14. Bitter End
15. Harker's Tale
16. Angel Of Death
17. Baptized In Blood
18. Alma Negra
19. The King Of Hell
20. Run With The Pack More...

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Dragonforce Playing 70,000 Tons Of Metal

The organizers of the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise have issued the following announcement about confirming Dragonforce for the 2013 edition:

"After a short visit to the host city of the 2012 Olympic Games, London, they are now sailing under Dragonforce through The Channel. Their Course: West-Southwest.

"Round 3 of 70,000 Tons of Metal, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival, went on public sale on Tuesday July 10, 2012 at 12PM noon Eastern Time.

"Imagine starting the year in style: In January 2013, 40 Heavy Metal bands and 2,000 fans from all over the World will go once again to the Caribbean to take over the luxury cruise ship 'Majesty of the Seas' for 5 days and 4 nights. Are you ready for a trip of a lifetime?

"Make no mistake, this is not one of the cruises where you share the ship with regular cruise guests... and don't get intimidated by copy-cats! Unlike others we remove the seats in the theater, or do you like seated Heavy Metal shows? This is 70,000 Tons of Metal, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival, featuring the biggest Open Air Stage to sail the open seas. Enjoy unrestricted festival access to all live shows on board, Open Mic Nights, Clinics, Work-Shops, our infamous Metal Karaoke, Bars that never close, two full days at Sea, a fun-and-sun-filled day on a beautiful Caribbean Island and an opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It's like everyone has a backstage pass!"

The following 13 out of 40 bands have already been announced:


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Helstar Finalizes 30th Anniversary Tour Dates

After announcing an upcoming 30th anniversary tour earlier this month, Helstar has now finalized the tour routing and lineup. The band commented:

"This summer Helstar returns to Europe to mark its 30th Anniversary as a band on the '30 Years Of Helstar Metal Tour.' Support acts for the tour are Canadian Power thrashers The Order of Chaos and Switzerland's Emerald. All tour dates are now complete and can be found below.

"The band is also proud to announce that bassist Jerry Abarca will be joining them for the trek! Abarca was diagnosed early last year with a stomach-related illness, which forced him to take a temporary leave of absence from live performances, including the previous Helstar European tour in August/September 2011.

"No doubt this will indeed be a triumphant reappearance for Helstar in Europe with Abarca back in the fold, in addition to a celebration of the 30-year milestone occasion!"

Thu 30 Aug The Rock Temple Kerkrade, Netherlands
Fri 31 Aug Turock Open Air Essen, Germany
Sat 01 Sep Thunder & Lightning Festival Siegburg, Germany
Sun 02 Sep Biebob Vosselaar, Belgium (w/Lillian Axe)
Tue 04 Sep Meisenfrei Bremen, Germany
Wed 05 Sep Exit Club Prague, Czech Republic
Thu 06 Sep Conrad Sohm Dornbirn, Austria
Fri 07 Sep Live Music Hall, Weiher, Germany
Sat 08 Sep De Pit Terneuzen, Netherlands (w/ Tim Ripper Owens)
Sun 09 Sep Rock City Uster, Switzerland
Tue 11 Sep Garage Deluxe, Munich, Germany
Wed 12 Sep Club 202 Budapest, Hungary (w/ Lillian Axe)
Thu 13 Sep K17 Club Berlin, Germany
Fri 14 Sep The Mekan, Istanbul, Turkey
Sat 15 Sep Rock Hard Festival, Milan, Italy More...

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70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise Announces First Bands

The organisers of the highly successful 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise have announced the first ten bands to be confirmed for next years edition of the floating extravaganza. 70000 Tons Of Metal, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival will sail Monday, January 28, 2013 aboard the Royal Caribbean Majesty Of The Seas from Miami, FL and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, February 1, 2013.

Ticket prices start at US$666 plus US$299 taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages, all meals at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and even 24 room service.

The initial confirmations are as follows:

Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
In Flames
Lacuna Coil
Subway To Sally

Pre-booking promo codes for those who have attended the past years' cruises will be sent out soon.

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Warriors Of Metal Fest Posts Bands And Times

The Warriors of Metal Fest V Open Air, which will take place on Friday June 29th and Saturday June 30th at the Frontier Ranch in Pataskala, OH (located about 20 minutes east of Columbus), has officially announced the band order and set times for this weekend's event. Additionally, there will be a pre-fest showcase on Thursday the 28th The Shrunken Head Rock Club at 251 West 5th Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. Doors for the showcase are at 7:00 and the first band takes the stage at 8:00. The lineup for the pre-fest showcase is as follows, with a promo streaming below:

Thursday, June 28th

08:00 - 08:35 - METEORFALL
08:50 - 09:25 - KLNZR
09:40 - 10:15 - A.O.D.
10:30 - 11:10 - SKULL HAMMER
11:25 - 12:20 - RAVAGE
12:35 - 01:15 - ZUUL
01:30 - 02:10 - SEAX

Band order and set times for the Warriors of Metal Fest V Open Air:

Friday, June 29, 2012

12:00 pm - 12:40 pm - BORROWED TIME
12:55 pm - 01:35 pm - FIERCE ATMOSPHERES
01:50 pm - 02:30 pm - THORHAMMER
02:45 pm - 03:25 pm - POSSESSOR
03:40 pm -04:20 pm - DEGRADATION
04:35 pm -05:15 pm - MACHINAGE
05:30 pm - 06:20 pm - POWER THEORY (CD Release Performance)
06:35 pm -07:35 pm - TWISTED TOWER DIRE
07:50 pm -08:50 pm - EXXPLORER
09:05 pm -10:05 pm - MYSTIC-FORCE
10:20 pm - Midnight - MANILLA ROAD More...

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Warriors of Metal Fest V to Feature Manilla Road

Amelia, OH. June 6th, 2012. The Warriors of Metal, Inc. is thrilled to announce that Manilla Road's Mark "The Shark" Shelton will be making an appearance at the Pre-Fest Showcase of the Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air. The Pre-Fest Metal party will be held at The Shrunken Head Rock Club at 251 West 5th Avenue in Columbus, OH on the evening of June 28th. Doors open at 7:00 pm and music starts at 8:00 pm and will continue till closing time. The cover charge is $10 at the door and all attendees will receive a raffle ticket for a prize drawing at the conclusion of the show. More...

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Helstar Announces "30 Years Of Helstar Metal" Tour

Legendary Texas power metal band Helstar, featuring vocalist James Rivera (Killing Machine/Malice/Distant Thunder), announced a string of European dates in celebration of the band's 30th anniversary dubbed the "30 Years of Helstar Metal" Tour. Support for the tour will come from Canadian power thrashers The Order of Chaos and Switzerland's Emerald.

Confirmed dates for the tour are as follows:

Thu 30 Aug: The Rock Temple, Kerkrade, Netherlands
Fri 31 Aug: Turock Open Air, Essen, Germany
Sat 01 Sep: Thunder & Lightning Festival, Siegburg, Germany
Sun 02 Sep: Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium (w/Lillian Axe)
Tue 04 Sep: Meisenfrei, Bremen, Germany
Wed 05 Sep: Exit Club, Prague, Czech Republic
Thu 06 Sep: Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria
Fri 07 Sep: Live Music Hall, Weiher, Germany
Sat 08 Sep: De Pit, Terneuzen, Netherlands (w/ Tim Ripper Owens)
Sun 09 Sep: Rock City, Uster, Switzerland
Tue 11 Sep: Garage Deluxe, Munich, Germany
Wed 12 Sep: Club 202, Budapest, Hungary (w/ Lillian Axe)
Thu 13 Sep: K17 Club, Berlin, Germany
Fri 14 Sep: TBA, Istanbul, Turkey
Sat 15 Sep: TBA, Athens, Greece More...

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Warriors Of Metal Fest V Posts Promo

Warriors of Metal, Inc. has revealed its 2012 Promo Video for Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air produced by the vocalist and guitarist of the Brazilian thrash metal band Machinage. Furthermore, the organization has issued the following statement regarding its charitable effort for this year's festivities:

"Since Warriors of Metal, Inc. is a registered non-profit organization in the state of Ohio and we are dedicated to education and proliferation of metal music as well as charitable service to our greater metal family and community, we would like to announce that for this year's charity project we will be collecting money at the festival to donate to our metal brother Brian Bond, who plays in the Thursday, June 28th Pre-Fest Showcase band KLNZR."

"Brian recently lost his home to a fire and although everybody in the family is fine, they did lose some pets in the process of trying to escape the blaze. Brian and his family are in temporary housing now and we will be making a collection during the Fest to help them out. Additionally, our friend Fabio Delibo of the Brazilian thrash metal band Machinage has stated: 'We from Machinage are very saddened to hear about Brian Bond's home having been destroyed in a fire, and since we can't help just by our hands, we are willing to try to collect as much money as we can in all the gigs."

"We are going to play in our month long US Tour this summer in order to help Brian and his family.' The 2012 Machinage US Tour starts at Worcester, Massachusetts, goes as far north as Burlington, Vermont, as far south as New Orleans, Louisiana, and as far west as Kansas City, Missouri. We at Warriors of Metal, Inc. applaud Machinage's pledge and shall do our best to help them raise even more money for the Bond family and this worthy cause during our fifth year anniversary show this summer."

For more information on the Warriors Of Metal Fest V, go to its website.

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Warriors Of Metal Fest Goers To Receive Free Comp

The Warriors of Metal Fest V has announced that all the fans who will attend the festival this year on June 29th and 30th at Frontier Ranch in Pataskala, Ohio will receive a special 2012 Double CD Fest Compilation album which is in pressing right now. Additionally, thanks to the efforts of the WOM Fest European Street Team, 2000 of the Keep It True XV Festival attendees this year will also receive this compilation for free.

This 158 minute metal monster was funded by all 36 participating bands from five different continents, mixed by the WOM Fest promoter Datis Alaee and mastered by Thord Klarstrom at the 7th Gate Studio in Arvika, Sweden. The layout and arrangement of the accompanying 16 page full color booklet was done by the WOM Fest organizer Lea Alaee. All the artwork for this official Fest release was done by Dragonfyre Studios' Wayne Smith and Frank Parr in Defiance, Ohio - who also designed the soon to be revealed Fest poster and Fest T-shirt designs.

The 17 tracks on Disc 1 contain bands from USA, Australia (Taberah), Greece (Power Crue), Sweden (Gallows End) and Brazil (Machinage) and includes exclusive pre-release tracks from: Power Crue (Lighten The Underground from Greece), Gallows End (Independent from Sweden) and American bands; Mystic-Force (Siegen Records), Power Theory and Fiakra (Pure Steel Records).

The 19 tracks on Disc 2 contain bands from USA, Brazil (Woslom) and Jordan (Dragonrider); and includes exclusive pre-release tracks from Seax and Iron Will from Massachusetts, Lady Beast from Pennsylvania, The Last Alliance from New York and Banshee from Kansas. For the full track listing, please see the back panel of the album below. For all event related information visit the Warriors Of Metal Fest's website here. More...

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Helstar Comments On Upcoming 30th Anniversary

Helstar has issued the following announcement about recording a live DVD at the band's upcoming 30th anniversary show:

"Counting down... 15 more days until we celebrate 30 Years of HELSTAR in Houston!!! So what can everyone expect at this epic celebration, aside from a chance to be apart of the recordings for the band's official live album/dvd release??

"A unique 20-song performance featuring material spanning the band's entire discography, including songs which haven't been played live in years!

"New merchandise!!! Here's a preview of our featured merch item: More...

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Manilla Road And Helstar Confirmed For WOM Fest V

Epic metal masters Manilla Road will headline Friday night of the Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air on June 29th at the Frontier Ranch in Pataskala, Ohio. Mark "The Shark" Shelton states: "We have not played in Ohio since 1988 or '89 and we're really looking forward to playing at this American True Metal festival in Ohio!" On Saturday night, June 30th, Helstar will return to performing in Ohio after 26 years. Last time Helstar performed in Ohio was after the release of their "Remnants Of War" album in 1986. Head over the Warriors Of Metal Fest V website for more information.


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Helstar Celebrating 30th Anniversary

Helstar has issued the following announcement about celebrating the band's 30 year anniversary and recording an upcoming show for a DVD:

"Happy new year everyone! Can you believe that 2012 marks 30 years since the formation of HELSTAR? This calls for an epic celebration!

"We are thrilled to announce that a special HELSTAR 30th Anniversary Concert will take place in Houston, Texas on Saturday, March 24th at Warehouse Live!

"The entire show will be audio & video recorded and later released as the first official live HELSTAR album and DVD!!! Tickets are on sale now at this location!"

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Helstar Posts Video Of Guitarist's Road Rig

Texas power metal band Helstar posted a video of guitarist Larry Barragan giving the low down on his road rig. Check out the video here:

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Helstar Working On New Album

Helstar has checked in with the following statement about taking a break from live shows for the remainder of the year to work on new material for an upcoming album:

"Helstar closes out 2011 with a bang! We would like to send a shout out to our H-town fans for joining us last Thursday, October 6th for the final Helstar show of the year! It was amazing to play with the legendary N.W.O.B.H.M. band Saxon right in our home town! What a way to end our live appearances for 2011!

"Following the success of our 2010 release, 'Glory of Chaos,' plus the accompanying tours, festivals & shows, it is now time for Helstar to withdraw from the stage to start work on our next album.

"We thank our fans for the support on our latest effort and look forward to kicking your asses again in 2012! Horns up!"

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James Rivera Leaves Seven Witches

Blabbermouth reports James Rivera (Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Flotsam and Jetsam) has left Seven Witches. Rivera posted the following statement:

"Some of you may be aware through online media that ARMORED SAINT has announced three confirmed shows in the Northeastern U.S. with SEVEN WITCHES as a support band.

"To avoid any confusion, I would like to make it clear that I will not be performing with SEVEN WITCHES. In fact, I have chosen to no longer be a part of this band due to circumstances beyond my control. I tried my best to get things going in the right direction for SEVEN WITCHES, although the powers that be did not see it the same way and have decided to go out and represent the new SEVEN WITCHES record with a whole different lineup again already.

"I'm more than positive the long-anticipated return of ARMORED SAINT will be well worth the wait. As for the fans who have been looking forward to the SEVEN WITCHES lineup with me back in the picture, my deepest apologies go out to you.

"In related news, I am working on booking some dates in Europe with my tribute band, SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH, which will be billed as special shows performing a night of SEVEN WITCHES and METALSTEEL songs. Three gigs have been confirmed in November with others in the works. When all shows are finalized, the dates and locations will be announced."

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Helstar Announces Return Of Bassist

Helstar had previously recruited a stand-in bassist for Jerry Abarca, who took a leave of absence. The band has now issued the following announcement about Jerry's return and gearing up to write a new album:

"Helstar is excited to report that our long-time bassist and brother, Jerry Abarca, will officially return to the stage this week! His first show with us will be this Saturday, September 24th at The Rail Club in Forth Worth, Texas. Jerry will finish out our last two shows of the year in Chicago and Houston in October. The band will then take a break from playing live in order to concentrate on writing new material for our next album.

"Jerry has been seeing specialists for his stomach-related illness and now has his condition under control through medication. Doctors have permitted him to proceed with normal physical activities, although he must still be cautious not to over-exert himself.

"Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for the support and well wishes for Jerry's recovery. Your kind words and heartfelt messages mean a great deal to the band, Jerry and the Abarca family."

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Helstar Comments On Recruiting Stand-In Bassist

Helstar has issued the following announcement about recruiting a stand-in bassist to fill in for Jerry Abarca, who is experiencing health issues:

"Helstar has now concluded its auditions for a bass player to stand-in on upcoming live shows within the U.S. The need for this position arose when current long-time Helstar bassist, Jerry Abarca, announced earlier this month that he will be taking a leave of absence until his health has improved and he is deemed fit to perform live.

"Stepping in will be Houston musician Michael Millsap, known locally for his role in the progressive power metal band Six Minute Century. The Helstar camp welcomes Millsap to the fold and feels he will prove to be an exceptional fit.

"Millsap's first show with Helstar will be on August 6 in Corpus Christi, Texas. More U.S. dates for Helstar will be announced shortly."

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Bands Announced For Ragnarokkr Festival

The 2011 Ragnarokkr Metal Festival is set to take place in Chicago, IL on October 1st, 2011. The currently announced lineup for the festival includes Helstar, Cage, Sacred Oath, Black Widow USA, Furnaze, and Catalano.

The promotional poster for the show can be viewed below, or you can find more information on the festival by heading over to this location.

The festival organizers also issued the following statement:

"For far too long, metal has been disappearing from the US. Few bands are doing long tours in the US and even fewer are coming to the US from other countries. We are dedicated to revitalizing metal in the US again and bringing the greatest metal bands from around the globe for all headbangers in the states still going strong. The Gods have been invoked and the battle has begun."

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Helstar Announces Touring Bassist

As was recently reported, Helstar bassist Jerry Abarca is currently undergoing more testing to diagnose and treat his stomach-related illness. Abarca has now announced he will take a hiatus from performing live until his health has fully returned and doctors have pronounced him fit for stage.

Abarca first fell ill on Helstar's December 2010 European Chaos tour. Considered a medical emergency, Abarca was flown home to Texas, while Slovenian bassist Matej Susnik was then recruited to complete the tour.

Helstar will once again enlist the services of Susnik on the "Summer of Hate" European tour, slated to take place August 25th through September 5th. The tour will consist of eleven concerts covering eight countries (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Austria, England, Greece and Italy).

A replacement bassist will also fill in on upcoming shows Helstar has scheduled in the U.S. Auditions are now underway, and Helstar will announce the session player for this position once a selection has been made.

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Helstar Issues Health Update On Bassist

Helstar has checked in with the following update about bassist Jerry Abarca experiencing health issues:

"This past week our bassist, Jerry Abarca, had biopsies done for his ongoing stomach illness, which first occurred during the December 2010 Helstar European tour. At this time the doctors have ordered more testing for Jerry, as his recent results have yielded cause for concern.

"Please keep Jerry in your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate the love and support of our fans.
More updates will be provided as news becomes available."

You can also find more information on Helstar, and listen to tracks available for streaming online, by heading over to the band's MySpace page.

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