Review: “The Great Fall” by Helion

Technical Death Metal trio Helion formed in 2012 in Bergamo, Italy and having released a trio of EPs since in 2015’s “Duat’s Calling“, 2016’s self titled and 2019’s “Legacy Of The Serpent” which is effectively a promo for this album, Max Cirelli (Guitar/Vocals), Andrea Cividini (Bass), Alessandro Francesco Caruso (Drums) finally dropped their debut full length in March 2020. Produced by David Zampini, mixed and mastered by Stefano Santi at SPVN Studios and with artwork by Lorenzo Airoldi, “The Great Fall” is that album. Turning back the clock to times of the ancient Mediterranean civilization and telling us their stories by adding characteristic melodies that bring us back to the ancient splendor of those lost, romantically looked upon times…

…the explosive Trivium esq riffs of “Legacy of the Serpent” are outdone only by the jackhammer footwork and powerhouse blast beats of Caruso as the rhythm section of Helion has a field day on the opening cut of this album. Rapid fire chord progressions and artillery shell drum machine activities are the order of the day and despite that Cirelli still manages to tell a lyrical tale without running out of Oxygen. The Fear Factory riffs before the final lead flush are simply jaw dropping. “Tales of the Skytower” runs along similar lines but has a Black Metal blast beat passage before the false end after 70 seconds that rivals former Impending Doom sticksman Brandon Trahan for sheer energy. Longer instrumental passages create some epic soundscapes and this eight minute affair has a wonderful synth section with some acoustic guitar work mid song that is simply breathtaking as the band go from Death Metal to Progressive leaning material and then back again in a giant pendulum swing. Keeping the high energy attack going “The Aten Rises” is a relentless headbangable affair that breaks the speed limit multiple times over. There are times when there must have been smoke coming from the instruments in the recording studio. Each instrumental passage is well constructed with a fine ebb and flow that keeps it all highly engaging even if the lyrics are sparse.

The title might suggest that “A Dormant Energy” might be a slower track but it sure as hell ain’t. Instead it’s another blistering affair that uses some layering to give the impression that there is a twin guitar attack when Cirelli is playing both parts. The leads are epic and bright while the furious vocals are poisonous and demonic, with this mid album rager being arguably the finest vocal performance on the record. Some Flamenco acoustic guitar for the final minute of the track acts as a nice Interlude and a breathing space before “Taurdian” brings back the aggressive tendencies. Another one front loaded with blast beats at a furious tempo, this one climbs as high as the closing of the previous track soared with a single verse and some pulsating riffs. Now here’s where things change again with the title track “The Great Fall” described as a nine minute Opera in three acts by Helion themselves. The first third “I. Alpha Draconis” is some Progressive Old World lute music which evokes thoughts of Castles and Kings of foreign lands with Knights of the Round table. The second “II. The Decree of the Seven Sages” returns us to the higher tempo Melodic Death Metal sounds of the earlier tracks while the third “III. Younger Dryas” builds on that thrill ride with some huge sounding bright lead guitar work and some orchestral touches. Both epic and Mesmerising, it’s a full on opus that Iron Maiden would be proud of. Cividini has thunderous bass parts on “Heliopolis – Dawn of the New Age” which features Fabio Bartoletti from Fleshgod Apocalypse and closes the album out with solo trade offs of gargantuan proportions. As Death Metal Instruments go, this is a prime example of how the finest ones are made [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Legacy of the Serpent
  2. Tales of the Skytower
  3. The Aten Rises
  4. A Dormant Energy
  5. Tauridian
  6. The Great Fall (I. Alpha Draconis; II. The Decree of the Seven Sages; III. Younger Dryas)
  7. Heliopolis – Dawn of the New Age (ft. Fabio Bartoletti from Fleshgod Apocalypse) (Instrumental)

The Great Fall” by Helion is out now via Revalve Records and available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *