Helstar was one of the classic American power metal bands of the eighties. Though superstardom eluded them, their five albums garnered critical praise and they were a fan favorite throughout their career, in addition to being an influence on many a nineties band.
They began with a more basic metal style in 1984 with the Burning Star album for Combat Records, making them label mates with Megadeth and Exodus. It was not long before inner struggle and management trouble broke that line up apart, exit Hector Pavon, Tom Rodgers and Paul Medina.
After a year or so, they had regrouped and came out more powerful than before, and released the Remnants of War album, also on Combat, produced by Randy Burns.
Helstar soon left Combat with high hopes for the future, and in 1987 they moved to Los Angeles with another line up change bringing in guitarist Andre' Corbin and Frank Ferreira on drums.
Helstar signed with Metal Blade records and recorded the A Distant Thunder album produced by the infamous Bill Metoyer (DRI, Slayer, Fates' Warning, Flotsam and Jetsam and others). Shortly there after, Helstar embarks on their first European tour, opening for Yngwie Malmsteens' Rising Force at the Masters of Rock Festival in Belgium, as well as touring with Tankard and Vendetta through out Holland, Germany and Switzerland.
Soon to follow was a monumental metal guitar album that was way ahead of its time, this was the peak of the bands' existence, the Nosferatu record.
Amazingly tight, blistering, melodic and intense, burning fretboards and melting picks, the dual guitar work of Larry Barragan and Andre Corbin on this record, sets them apart from the rest for all time.
Unfortunately it was not meant to be, the record gained popularity far too many years after the band had fallen apart. The label wasn't supporting the band, and the demand for Helstar in the U.S. just was not enough to sustain the band, moral was hitting bottom, and the guys drifted apart.
After the departure of Andre' Corbin and Frank Ferreira, Helstar regrouped again and recorded a demo but gained no interest from the labels. Shortly there after, Larry left the band as well,and that really was it for the band. James Rivera has put together numerous line ups since those days and called it Helstar, such as for the Multiples of Black record, but never anything of the epic quality the band once was.
Helstar when through several reunions starting in 2001. These reunions were primarily organized by James riviera and longtime bassist Jerry Abarca. Several live albums came out of this period, but no new material. Finally, in 2006, for the first time in over fifteen years, James Rivera and Larry Barragan reunited and Helstar was officially declared musically active again. Along with Jerry, James and Larry also reunited with Remnants Of War era guitarist Robert Trevino and Multiples Of Black drummer Russell De'leon. This lineup has since released Sins Of The Past, a greatest hits collection of rerecorded songs. A new album is planned for release in spring of 2008.
Click on the link below for pics of Helstar from the Nosferatu line up in 1989