Published on September 29th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Helion Prime: Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster (AFM)
It’s been a busy couple of years for California-based power metal band Helion Prime. They signed to the AFM label (yay!) and lost both original vocalist Heather Smith (now in Graveshadow) and replacement Kayla Dixon (now in Witch Mountain) (boo!). The band quickly regrouped, this time with new vocalist Sozos Michael, and have delivered a follow up to their breakout 2016 debut. The new album is titled Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster, and it does not disappoint.
In case you couldn’t tell from the title, Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster continues Helion Prime’s love affair with all things science and science-fiction. It worked well on the debut, and continues to work well here. Sure, you’d normally expect tales of dragons and ancient history from a band playing this kind of power metal, but the science-based themes are really cool. Musically, Helion Prime’s sound shows an obvious appreciation for German bands Blind Guardian and Iron Savior, and there are definitely parallels with newer US bands like Judicator, Seven Kingdoms and Unleash the Archers. It’s not sing-songy in the way some European power metal bands can get, but definitely has a strong melodic aspect to go along with the intense rhythms and impressive guitar work. It’s interesting that the band went from a female lead vocalist to a male lead vocalist and the change is not really that big of a deal. Sozos Michael has a very powerful voice and his style is perfect for this kind of power metal.
It’s hard to call out favorite tracks when the entire album is so uniformly strong. The shorter (say 5-minute), faster songs like “ A King is Born” and “Urth” have a huge appeal in that classic Iron Savior kind of way, but the longer songs like “The Human Condition” demonstrate that the band is capable of something more epic. Speaking of which, it doesn’t get much more epic than the title track. “Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster” is a massive 17-minute epic that features three guest vocalists: Brittney Slayes (Unleash the Archers), Hatdee Irizarry (Aversed, Carnivora) and David Brown. Kind of a mini US power metal Ayreon moment, and it closes the album in a very dramatic fashion.
The US is killing the European competition in the power metal game this year, and Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster is proof of why that is the case. It’s another very impressive album from one of the most promising new power metal bands to emerge in recent years, and a must-have album for fans of Iron Savior, Judicator, Unleash the Archers, Ironflame, Brainstorm and Blind Guardian.
Summary: Power metal from outer space