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HELIOS Touch The Sun

By George Mihalovich, Pittsburgh Contributor
Saturday, October 29, 2022 @ 12:07 AM


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HELIOS
Touch The Sun

Stormspell Records




HELIOS is a Pittsburgh, PA metro region-based classic heavy metal band featuring noted vocalist Tim Aymar (CONTROL DENIED, PHARAOH, PSYCHO SCREAM), Jeff Loy and Jonathan Stanley (guitars), Jack Buckholt (bass) and Eric Rymers (drums). This is the second phase of the band, as they released the Strike At Dawn EP in 2018 under the STORM DRAGON moniker with vocalist Joey Torres.

With the history lesson out of the way, the point is that HELIOS has delivered a worthy U.S. metal record with SAVATAGE, METAL CHURCH, ICED EARTH, TAD MOROSE and DIO as stylistic reference points. Check out the “Kill Your Mother” lyric video as a representative sample of Touch The Sun, along with the rocking “Mystery”. Note that Touch The Sun also has some mellower touches, exhibited by the clean intro to “Fire From The Sky” and the verses in “Hellbender” — as well as the metal ballads “Like A Gun” and “You Knew It All Along”. There are even a few progressive elements, and these are most prominent on the closing track “Ancient Ones”.

There are plenty of memorable guitar riffs, harmonies and sharp leads, and the rhythm section propels things along admirably (with plenty of double bass and four string thunder as appropriate). That said, these elements are in service to the songs, and all of them feature Tim Aymar squarely front and center delivering the hooks. Tim is a classic metal vocalist in the sense that he has a powerful tenor range, but he also has some distinctive qualities to his voice that are harder to classify. His melodies tend to be slightly more complex than the average (“Touch The Sun”), and he uses various tones and dynamics to create contrast. For example, he will move from a smooth delivery to a Blackie Lawless-style venomous, razor-blade roar — which is where he spends the majority of his time delivering his intelligent, dark, vitriolic and often unexpected lyrics.

In summary, HELIOS’ Touch The Sun offers ten immediate and well-crafted songs in the classic heavy metal tradition.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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