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HELIUM SOUL Mass Of Four OT ZOWCD 29001 (2005)

Helium Soul

Helium Soul are a powerful Surrey based riff driven band with a Hammond A1 and slide guitar led 70's retro feel that will appeal to all rock blues of a certain age.

But you suspect the band will have to gig their way to success given that aside from the internet there are all too few less radio outlets for well crafted solid rocking blues such as this.

That said Helium Soul has the chops and the live show to build from the ground up. 'Nowhere to Run' for example, is a characteristic full on guitar driven piece punctuated by Matt Dean's powerful kit work and ever present cymbal splashes.

The impressive production values manage to add a more contemporary feel and all the band members get to stretch out on this dynamic powerhouse outing. There's also an ever present funky undertow no more so than on the hard driving 'Can't Keep Me Down', and a strong melodic feel on rock ballads such as the impressive 'Set Me Free' and the nicely ragged 'Stay This Way'.

Above all there's a confidence to the band's playing bordering on swagger with the studio environment enhancing rather than restricting the band's oeuvre. Russ Blaber is an accomplished guitarist delivering some fiery lines on the intense 'I'm The One'. He's also a fine song writer with a penchant for mini rock anthems with big solo breaks.

Highly enjoyable throughout, this album is a solid debut that will appeal to AOR and guitar fans alike, and is only a few cracking songs short of a full set.


Review by Pete Feenstra

© 2005 Helium Soul. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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