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70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise


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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Raven Sign With Relaunched Combat Records

The first bands have been announced for the roster of the newly resurrected Combat Records label. Megadeth‘s David Ellefson and his EMP Label Group are behind the label now, which will serve as an EMP imprint. Ellefson has commented that the deal doesn’t include rights to the Combat back catalog however. He issued the below statement on the matter:

“Today is a really exciting day, as after over a year, it was finally announced the we will be relaunching the legendary Combat Records as a new label through EMP Label Group. So excited and honored to be able to revive such an iconic brand that was so instrumental to my history. More...

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Helstar Posts "Awaken Unto Darkness" Video

Texas group Helstar has released a video for “Awaken Unto Darkness,” the new single from current LP "Vampiro," which serves as a continuation of classic 1989 Metal Blade release "Nosferatu."

Mixed by producer Bill Metoyer (with Helstar’s Larry Barragan) who also produced and mixed "Nosferatu," the "Vampiro" album has been heralded as a stunning return to form for the band.

Said vocalist James Rivera: “It’s great to go back and revisit the themes from one of our classic albums, and kinda carry that on into the future, and it’s something it seems the fans are very excited about.” More...

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Helstar Announces Final "Vampiro" Tour Dates

Texas old-school metal outfit Helstar today announces the final dates for the "Vampiro" European tour 2017. Helstar released latest album "Vampiro" on August 26th, 2016 via David Ellefson‘s EMP Label Group. Catch the band live on these dates:

Feb 16 - Landgraaf, Oefenbunker, NL
Feb 17 - Rotterdam, Baroeg, NL
Feb 18 - Würzburg, Metal Assault VII Festival, DE
Feb 19 - Athens, An Club, GR
Feb 20 - Vienna, Viper Room, AT
Feb 21 - Lubljana, Orto Bar, SL
Feb 22 - Innsbruck, P.M.K., AT
Feb 23 - Milan, Blue Rose Club, IT
Feb 24 - Zaragoza, Centro Civico Valdefierro, ES
Feb 25 - Diest, Moonlight Music Hall, BE
Feb 28 - Gothenburg, Belsepub, SE
Mar 01 - Stockholm, Pub Anchor, SE
Mar 02 - Oslo, Hard Rock Cafe, NO
Mar 04 - Nijverdal, Cult Art Tattoo, NL More...

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Flotsam and Jetsam Thrashes Austin

Sunday December 4, 2016—

Veteran speedsters Helstar and Flotsam stopped in Austin, Texas for an old school metal throw down. New wave thrashers, Hatchet warmed up the crowd. Hair flew, fists pumped and even a mosh pit or two broke out. From pure speed to concrete grooves, from high pitch vocals to growls, the show was a lesson in true metal. More...

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Helstar Announces Tour With Flotsam And Jetsam

Texas old-school metal group Helstar just announced a tour of the USA this November/December with Flotsam and Jetsam and Hatchet. Helstar released new album "Vampiro" on August 26th via David Ellefson's EMP Label Group.

James Rivera says: "So as the world turns. Here you go my friends. The kind of tour I have been waiting for a life time for! Funny thing is it couldn't get any closer to home since I once filled in and sang with Flotsam myself. Wow!

"This is going to be one hell of a full on metal show. So for all of you who are into the real shit! This is the tour you do not want to miss! Vampiro is very happy and looking forward to transforming as many souls possible!!!" More...

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Helstar Posts "Black Cathedral" Playthrough Clip

Heavy metal monsters Helstar's new masterpiece “Vampiro” is out now, released on August 26, via David Ellefson's EMP Label group! "Vampiro" is another opus of tales of Dracula and vampires like the band’s all time most acclaimed 1989 release “Nosferatu” (produced and mixed by Bill Metoyer) in the same vein musically with shades of who Helstar is today.

“Vampiro” was mixed by Bill Metoyer, and is certainly proving to the world that there is much much more left in these Texas metal legends! Check out Larry Barragan's guitar playthrough video for "Black Cathedral" below.

"Vampiro" sports a track listing as follows:

1. Awaken Into Darkness
2. Blood Lust
3. To Dust You Will Become
4. Off With His Head
5. From The Pulpit To The Pit
6. To Their Death Beds They Fell
7. Malediction
8. Repent In Fire
9. Abolish The Sun
10. Black Cathedral
11. Dreamless Sleep

Check out the clip here: More...

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Helstar And Omen Bring Classic Metal To Austin

The masters of high-pitch heavy metal, Helstar made a rare appearance in Austin, Texas. I last saw the Houston band play about eight years ago. This time they came through with another veteran act, Omen. There is about seventy years of experience between the two bands. Neither of the acts have garnered the popularity of similar bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but their fans have remained steadfast. Old fans and new fans alike were on hand to witness both bands showcase new material, while dishing out the classics. More...

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Helstar Announces "Texas Vampyric" Summer Tour

Heavy metal monsters Helstar just announced the "Texas Vampyric Summer Tour" with Omen as special guest in Austin, Miami, and Brooklyn. Details on the trek are as follows:

July 29th - Ft.Worth, TX - The Rail Club
July 30th - Austin, TX - Grizzly Hall (with Omen)
August 5th - Miami, FL - Churchills (with Omen)
August 6th - St. Pete, FI - West End Pub
August 13th - Clementon, NJ - The Room at Harpers
August 14th - Brooklyn, NY - St. Vitus (with Omen) More...

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Helstar Teaming Up With Omen For Saint Vitus Show

Heavy metal monsters Helstar and epic power metal legends Omen will join the forces for a double dose of classic metal, performing a co-headline show at Saint Vitus Bar (New York) on August 14th.

Full details are available here. Prior to the New York show, these two Legends will headline the night at Churchill’s (Miami) on August 5th.

Helstar is preparing to unleash new masterpiece, entitled “Vampiro,” via EMP Label group. Omen
meanwhile is set to release “Hammer Damage” worldwide today - May 31st - via DSN Music. More...

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Helstar Discusses Band Lineup, Vampire Theme

Robbs MetalWorks recently completed in an in-depth interview with Helstar members James Rivera (vocals) and Larry Barragan (guitars) during the band's performance in San Antonio on April 16th.

In the video below, the band discusses the official departure of original guitarist/songwriter Rob Trevino and the addition of Houston shredder Andrew Atwood, how and why the vampire theme came back into the fold, and how the band came to be one of the initial signings for David Ellefson's EMP Label Group.

Helstar is:

James Rivera (voice)
Larry Barragan (guitars)
Andrew Atwood (guitars)
Mikey Lewis (drums)
Garrick Smith (bass) More...

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Helstar Releases New Single

The heavy metal monsters from Helstar have released their new single "Black Cathedral" via Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Underground label. The single is now available through iTunes here.

Comments Helstar Frontman and vocalist, James Rivera: "As my late great father use to say. 'Better Days are coming!' So here you go my blood thirsty friends! The new single you have been waiting for. This is just the beginning of the new Vampiric race we will establish!!"

The new single “Black Cathedral” is taken from the band’s upcoming album “Vampiro,” another opus of tales of Dracula and other vampires like the band’s 1989 release “Nosferatu” (produced and mixed by Bill Metoyer). “Vampiro” – to be released in the coming months via EMP Underground – was again mixed by Bill Metoyer, and will certainly prove to the world that there is much much more left in these Texas metal legends.

Helstar is:

James Rivera (voice)
Larry Barragan (guitars)
Andrew Atwood (guitars)
Mikey Lewis (drums)
Garrick Smith (bass) More...

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Helstar To Release New Album

Alpha Omega Management is extremely delighted to announce that heavy metal monsters Helstar just joined its roster family, and the band has also signed a contract with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.

Helstar's lastest effort "This Wicked Nest" came out to the masses in April 2014, promising the band's powerful return to the scene. Currently Helstar is preparing to unleash new masterpiece, entitled "Vampiro," an opus spinning tales of various blood sucking fiends.

First single "Black Cathedral" will be released on April 9th and "Vampiro" is being mixed by Bill Metoyer. Comments Helstar frontman James Rivera:

"It's with great pleasure that Helstar is proud to announce we will be working with Alpha Omega Management group. With a team like this that has satellite offices around the globe, we definitely feel the band will receive the exposure and promotion we deserve. This all was instigated by our life long friend and producer Bill Metoyer who recently joined the Alpha Omega team weeks prior to our decision to work with him in this sense on top of him still mixing our music to this day. Alpha Omega! Let's conquer new and bigger horizons!!!" More...

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Bayou Doom Fest III Details Announced

The Houston Doom Brigade is pleased to announce that this year’s edition of the Bayou Doom Fest will be headlined by none other than Houston legends Helstar. Bayou Doom Fest III will take place on August 8th at Fitzgerald’s in Houston, TX. In addition to Helstar, the fest will feature Century Media’s newest signees, Oceans of Slumber, plus Las Cruces, Sanctus Bellum, Project Armageddon, Funeral Horse, and many more.

Speaking on the festival, Helstar vocalist James Rivera stated “Although most people wouldn’t consider us to be a doom band in the traditional sense, doom is a style of music that is very near and dear to our hearts and it’s one that’s been a big influence on us. Doom metal has a darkness to it that we incorporate into our sound as well. In honor of the occasion, we’ve got a very special set planned that will showcase some of our doomiest tracks. We’ve also got some surprises planned around the theme of the late, great Christopher Lee as Dracula. Godfathers of Doom and Nosferatu anyone?”

Houston Doom Brigade co-founder Doomstress Alexis commented “There’s been no bigger friend to the doom scene in Texas than Helstar. Though they may a somewhat unorthodox choice as headliner, there’s not a doom fan in the state that isn’t a big fan of Helstar. That makes them a great fit for the fest.”

Now in its 3rd year, Bayou Doom Fest has showcased the best talent that the Gulf Coast region has to offer. Festival alumni include Venomous Maximus, Warbeast, Wo Fat, Cauldron (ex-Gammacide), Mothership, and Destroyer of Light. More...

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Helstar Streaming New Track "Eternal Black"

U.S. metal act Helstar is streaming the new track "Eternal Black." The track appears on the band's new album "This Wicked Nest," which was just issued in North America yesterday via AFM Records.

Check out "Eternal Black" here:

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Helstar Posts Preview For "This Wicked Nest"

U.S. metal legends Helstar are set to release the band's new album "This Wicked Nest" on April 25th (EU), April 29th (US) via AFM Records. The band posted a new preview clip for the album, which can be heard in the player below.

"This Wicked Nest" is the ninth full length studio album in the band's 33 year history. The band will celebrate its history at the Warriors of Metal Festival in Columbus, Ohio in June (for information, head over to this location). The track list for the new release is:

1. Fall of Dominion (streaming here)
2. Eternal Black
3. This Wicked Nest
4. Souls Cry
5. Isla de las Munecas
6. Cursed
7. It Has Risen
8. Defy the Swarm
9. Magormissabib

Check out the preview clip here: More...

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Helstar To Headline Warriors Of Metal Fest VII

The Warriors of Metal, Inc., a non-profit organization, has announced that Texas Power/Speed Metal legends Helstar will headline the Saturday portion of the upcoming Warriors Of Metal Fest VII at O'Sheckys in Columbus, Ohio on June 27th-28th.

Vocalist James Rivera states: "Here I go again; round three for me to appear at Warriors of Metal Festival, at its new location O'Sheckys live in Columbus, Ohio! My first time performing at WOM was when Helstar headlined the fest in 2012 along with Manilla Road at its former grounds in Pataskala, Ohio. The band and I had an awesome experience our first time around, we were treated very well by the organizers Datis & Lea Alaee and their organization and given a warm welcome by the fans. Due to overwhelming popularity in the Midwest U.S. region and with veteran WOM festival goers, I was invited back as the headliner in 2013 to premiere my solo project, James Rivera. Once again, I received unbelievable treatment and to say the least, I'm always overly flattered by the kindness of everybody involved in WOM. Now I'll be returning for the seventh edition of WOM Fest with Helstar headlining on Saturday, June 28th, and there's no better time to have us back. We have a new album coming out on April 29th entitled 'This Wicked Nest,' which will be on the streets for two months by the time we hit the stage at WOM. I feel it's the strongest Helstar record to date and will embrace all Helstar fans, old and new, throughout the decades. We even went as far as writing an instrumental to please the neoclassical metal admirers, which features guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Loomis (Nevermore, Sanctuary, Conquering Dystopia). More...

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Helstar Streaming New Song

Today the first song from the upcoming Helstar album "This Wicked Nest" has been released on the public. Check out "Fall Of Dominion" in the player below. "This Wicked Nest" is due for release on April 25th, 2014 and follow 2010's "Glory of Chaos."

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Helstar Names New Album, Reveals Artwork

U.S. metal veterans Helstar announced that the band's ninth full length studio release will be entitled "This Wicked Nest." The album will be released on April 25th in Europe via AFM Records. The artwork for the album can be seen below.

The album is the first studio album of new material since 2010's "Glory of Chaos." More information is expected shortly.

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70000 Tons Of Metal Posts Final Lineup

The annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise posted the final lineup of bands for the upcoming event, which kicks off Monday, January 28, 2013 at the Port of Miami in Florida. On Friday, the final six bands were revealed to be: Nightmare, Threat Signal, Anaal Nathrakh, ETECC, Steel Engraved and Fatal Smile.

The complete lineup is as follows:

3 Inches of Blood
Anaal Nathrakh
Angra (w/Fabio Lione on vocals)
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
Fatal Smile
Flotsam & Jetsam
Holy Grail
In Flames
Lacuna Coil
Lizzy Borden
Metal Church More...

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Helstar Recruits Fill-In Bassist Mike LePond

Helstar has checked in with the following announcement about upcoming live activity and recruiting Mike LePond as a fill-in bassist:

"It's been a few months since we've issued an update and there are several news items we'd like to share with you HEL-Raisers on what to expect in 2013!

"As many of you know, early in the new year we will set sail from Miami onboard the largest floating heavy metal festival '70,000 Tons of Metal'. We are proud to have been invited and look forward to this awesome opportunity, but why stop there? Since we'll be in the area, we decided to schedule several onshore gigs in Florida as well! Our first stop is the city once described as the 'damnedest town this side of Hell' a.k.a. Tampa, at the legendary Brass Mug on Saturday, January 26th, followed by the Metal Cruise Pre-Party (also featuring FLOTSAM & JETSAM) at Miami's Grand Central on Sunday, January 27th. After we return from the high seas of metal, we're heading southeast of Orlando to the city of Melbourne, where we'll wrap up on Saturday, February 2nd at The County Line Saloon.

"On a more somber note, after several years of enduring a stomach-related illness, our bassist, Jerry Abarca, continues to fight an unrelenting battle to regain his health and will take an extended break from the band for the foreseeable future. We had all hoped that he would have fully recovered by now, but the reality is that he is still very ill. This was made painfully obvious to us on our recent tour of Europe when he had to be hospitalized again and missed the biggest show of the entire run. More...

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