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

Helstar

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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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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Helstar Announces "Summer Of Hate" Tour

Houston heavy metal act Helstar is set to blaze a trail east next month on the six-date Summer Of Hate U.S. tour, the newest rash of ongoing performances in support of the band's seventh studio full-length, "Glory Of Chaos."

The currently announced dates for the "Summer of Hate" U.S. tour are as follows:

6/17/2011 The Rail Club - Fort Worth, TX w/ Solitude Aeturnus, Era De Guerra
6/18/2011 Dirty Dog Bar - Austin, TX w/ Ignitor, Dead Earth Politics, Headcrusher
6/22/2011 Manhattan Room - Philadelphia, PA w/ Wastelander, Season of Mourning, Midian, Machine Dog
6/23/2011 Sonar - Baltimore, MD
6/24/2011 Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY
6/25/2011 The Blue Room - Secaucus, NJ w/ Armor Column, Bröhammer

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Helstar Members Joining Sabbath Judas Sabbath

James Rivera's Sabbath Judas Sabbath, a tribute to heavy metal icons Black Sabbath (primarily the Dio years) and Judas Priest, has been an ongoing side project for the Helstar front man over the past decade. Originating in Houston, Texas, the tribute band subsequently expanded to U.S. and European metal scenes in the form of "chapters", which feature musicians in each region.

This year the Houston-based chapter of Sabbath Judas Sabbath will unveil a new lineup consisting of two other Helstar members and will premier live this weekend in Houston and Corpus Christi. The band commented on the upcoming shows:

"Both shows are themed as 'James Rivera's Birthday Bash,' although the Houston Concert Pub event is especially unique, as it will commemorate the birthday of Rivera's dear friend, Leticia Estrada Auld, who passed away earlier this year due to cancer-related complications. In 2009, Rivera and Auld held a mutual birthday bash celebration together at the Concert Pub that featured a performance by Sabbath Judas Sabbath, which makes it fitting she be remembered at this year's occasion. Surprises will be revealed, memories will be had, and a rockin' good time is to be expected!" More...

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Helstar Announces New Live Shows

Houston's Helstar has announced several upcoming live appearances in support of the band's seventh full-length album "Glory of Chaos." In addition to the band's appearance this weekend at the San Antonio Metalfest, several brand new Summer appearances have also been confirmed, both in Helstar's home state of Texas as well as two shows in Northern New Jersey, with more to be announced shortly.

The currently announced tour dates are as follows:

3/05/2011 The Dorm - San Antonio, TX
6/17/2011 The Rail - Fort Worth, TX
6/18/2011 Dirty Dog - Austin, TX
6/24/2011 Dingbatz - Clifton, NJ
6/25/2011 *TBA - New York, NY

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Helstar Updates Tour Schedule

Helstar has issued an update to the band's 2010 European tour and announced that the previously scheduled December 12th date in Memmingen has been moved to the Garage Deluxe in Munich. The upcoming Helstar European shows are as follows:

10-12 The Rock Temple - Kerkrade, Netherlands
11-12 Metal City Festival - Lünen, Germany
12-12 Garage Deluxe - Munich, Germany
13-12 Gala Hala - Ljubljana, Slovenia
14-12 Viper Room - Vienna, Austria (with Blaze Bayley)
15-12 Rock City - Uster, Switzerland
16-12 Eiche - Crailsheim, Germany
17-12 Eindhoven Metal Meeting Festival - Eindhoven, Netherlands
18-12 Little Devil - Tilburg, Netherlands

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Helstar Announces European Tour

American heavy metal act Helstar has revealed the dates for its forthcoming European tour in support of its latest album "Glory Of Chaos."

Dec. 10 - The Rock Temple - Kerkrade, Netherlands
Dec. 11 - Metal City Festival - Lünen, Germany
Dec. 12 - Kaminwerk - Memmingen, Germany
Dec. 13 - Gala Hala - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dec. 14 - Viper Room - Vienna, Austria (with BLAZE BAYLEY)
Dec. 15 - Rock City - Uster, Switzerland
Dec. 16 - Eiche - Crailsheim, Germany
Dec. 17 - Eindhoven Metal Meeting Festival - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Dec. 18 - Little Devil - Tilburg, Netherlands

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Mob Rules To Appear On "All For Metal II" Set

Mob Rules has issued the following statement about their video clip for the song "Astral Hand" appearing on an upcoming compilation CD/DVD set:

"Our brand new video clip 'Astral Hand' will be featured on the 'ALL FOR METAL II' compilation, to be released on October 9th (also the release date of our 'Astral Hand' EP). 'All For Metal II' is a DVD+CD compilation which will be sold for a special low price (suggested retail price is 9,99 euro)."

The track listing for "All For Metal II" will be as follows: More...

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The Exalted Piledriver Confirmed For Headbangers

The Exalted Piledriver has issued the following statement about playing at the 2009 Headbangers Open Air Festival in Germany:

"It gives us great pleasure in our pants to announce that we will be returning to Europe next summer with our "UNSUCK THE CONTINENT TOUR" in support of our new album "METAL MANIFESTO". We have our first confirmed festival date: HEADBANGER'S OPEN AIR!!!

"There are many awesome bands on this bill including our metal-bro's RAZOR, the ever- powerful ENFORCER, the stunning JACOBS DREAM horde, the freakin' RODS!, the influential Tankard, the pounding Manilla Road, and classics Helstar and Angel Witch amongst other incredible bands. . . and it is our esteemed honour to share the stage with all of 'em!

"We'll keep you posted when we discover which day and time we'll be on at HOA, and continuing updates as we receive more date confirmations to post for our 'UnSuck The Continent' EuroTour '09."

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Helstar's "The King of Hell" Contains Misprint

Texas metal band Helstar brought up an important detail concerning a misprint on the booklets of their new album:

"It has come to our attention that the Locomotive Records North American release for the new album, 'The King of Hell,' contains a misprint. The CD booklets and back track listing include the following Bonus Tracks: 10. White Witch, 11. Tormentor (Sins of the Past version), 12. Caress of the Dead (Sins of the Past version). These songs are not on the Locomotive Records CD itself. Only the AFM Records European release was packaged with the three bonus tracks.

"Helstar apologizes to its fans for the mistake, although the error was on behalf of Locomotive Records and beyond the band's control.

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Helstar Signs Onto Intromental Management

Texas power metal band Helstar has just announced that they've been signed on to Intromental Management. "The first step in our cooperation will be the booking of a European tour for Helstar to take place in May 2009. More than half of the shows have now been confirmed and we will soon announce the dates."

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Helstar Reveals New Album Tracklisting

Houston metallers, Helstar, issue the following update:

"Yeah we know, we suck! We haven't kept up with the site, but hey we've been in the studio! That's right we have a new CD completed! The title is "The King of Hell" and if you're reading this you've already seen the cover! The European release date is set for September of this year. The US release should be about 3 months later. Don't ask why, we don't even know. The track listing for the new CD is:

1. The King of Hell
2. The Plague Called Man
3. Tormentor
4. When Empires Fall
5. Wicked Disposition
6. Caress of the Dead
7. Pain Will Be Thy Name
8. In My Darkness
9. The Garden of Temptation"

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Hellstock 2008 Details Announced

This year's HELLSTOCK is to take place at State Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL on Saturday August 9th.

The show features the first time ever appearance in Florida by the legendary HELSTAR, which features vocalist James Rivera of Flotsam and Jetsam/Seven Witches/Vicious Rumors fame. Also on the bill are Dark Balance Records' goth metal band Menna Brinno, Tampa metal act My Evil Side, and Queensryche tribute band Jet City. Another band is soon to be announced.

Tickets cost $13 in advance, $15 day of the show.

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Forbidden and Sebastian Bach Drop off TMT Festival

Upstate New York's TMT festival has been temporarily postponed. The organizors have issued the following update:

"Due to an unagreeable situation that has arisen with the venue, we are forced to postpone - TEMPORARILY this event. We are currently spending every waking moment searching for a replacement venue that will satisfy both our needs and please all of the bands and fans. The lack of basic cooperation on the part of the venue is what has prompted this decision. We tried in vain to make every effort necessary, but in the end - they failed us."

"There will be two lineup changes - Forbidden had a problem between management and booking, they decided to play another gig that weekend. Metal Mike contacted us when Sebastian Bach decided to go on tour, this tour conflicted with the concert date. We wish both bands good luck in their endeavors."

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Merciless Death Announce New Album Release Date

MERCILESS DEATH annihilated the unsuspecting masses in early 2007 with their scorching debut "Evil in the Night". Eager to keep fans banging their heads, thrash metal purveyors MERCILESS DEATH have set a release date for their highly anticipated sophomore effort entitled "Realm of Terror", which will be unleashed on May 20. Gracing the cover of "Realm of Terror" will be artwork be legendary metal artist Andreas Marschall, whose talents have been displayed on classic albums by such bands as SODOM, KING DIAMOND, DESTRUCTION and OBITUARY. And once again Heavy Artillery Records will be pulling out all the stops with limited edition vinyl featuring a full color gatefold jacket, inner sleeve, deluxe 24” x 24” poster and limited colored vinyl.

MERCILESS DEATH will land on European soil for the first time with an exclusive appearance at the upcoming Keep It True X festival on April 4. This historic event marks the tenth installment of the legendary festival and is celebrated with exclusive early material sets by JAG PANZER, MANILLA ROAD, HELSTAR, OMEN, TITAN FORCE, and ATTACKER, amongst others.

For more information, visit their MySpace page.

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Helstar Vocalist Checks In

Vocalist James Rivera (HELSTAR, SEVEN WITCHES, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, VICIOUS RUMORS) has posted this message on his MySpace page:

"I hardly write blogs, but felt compelled to do so, since I have never smiled so much in my life. The guys (my band mates) have even noticed it in pictures. The momentum of HELSTAR is probably at its peak right now and rising!

We just got back from doing the Play It Loud Festival in Italy, which was an awesome show!! The fans were in a complete frenzy! Great venue, all of the bands were exceptional, and the hospitality was unbelievable without a doubt. Guiliano, the promoter, has the right idea and will go long way with this festival.

Before that we did a run through Austin, TX, and Juarez, Mexico, which were our first shows of the year. Again, what can I say? Austin gave us a very warm welcome after so many years. Took us back to the old days! Room 710 was very nicely packed, which made me feel really good since their staff are extremely nice and easy to work with, thus we got to pay them back with a good show! All I can say is it's all in the HELSTAR name baby!!!

K.P. productions brought us to Juarez for the home run! It was HELSTAR's first performance there and what a surprise to see such die hard fans. Some said they have waited for 20 years to see us and asked why it took so long? Our answer is that we never encountered the right promoter. And when I say the right promoter, I mean the most professional, thorough guy I have ever met. His business tactics will make him king promoter for the Juarez Metal market. Thank you Kenneth!!!!

As I move forward, I'm looking forward to my tribute show with SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH this Saturday, March 1 at the Concert Pub, followed by a HELSTAR performance in Houston at FBI Rock Club on March 29, and three more festivals HELSTAR is scheduled to play so far this year: Keep It True - Germany, Rock Hard Festival - Germany, and Total Metal Television (TMT) Metalfest - New York.

I just wanted to share my inner feelings at this moment. Now that several of the shows have passed and I'm feeling normal again after the tiresome traveling, I opened my eyes to see how blessed I am to be back home where I've always belonged. In the driver's seat of a war machine called HELSTAR!"

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