Helion Prime’s ‘Question Everything’ Re-Issue Builds On The Success Of Its Predecessor

Courtesy: Sailboat Reigns

A little more than a year after the release of its album, Question Everything, Helion Prime has re-visited that album with a re-issue of the record.  Released Oct. 8, the album’s re-issue is highlighted by its bonus content.  The album’s bonus content consists of seven songs that did not make the final cut for the album’s original 2020 release.  One of the most notable of the previously released originals is the single, ‘Wash Away.’  It will be discussed shortly.  Also of note is the band’s cover of Children of Bodom’s ‘Angels Don’t Kill.’  It will be discussed a little later.  The band’s re-worked version of its original song, ‘The Human Condition’ is yet another example of what makes the album’s bonus content stand out.  When it is considered along with the other bonus songs examined here and with the rest of the bonus tracks, the whole of the bonus content lives up to its title and makes Question Everything’s re-issue another successful offering from Helion Prime.

Helion Prime’s recently release re-issue of Question Everything takes the success of that album and builds on it even more.  That is due to its bonus content.  One of the most notable bonus tracks featured in the album’s re-issue comes in the form of ‘Wash Away.’  The song’s musical arrangement fits well with so much of the content featured in the album’s original body.  The big, over the top guitar solo in the bridge, the richness in the drums and bass, the operatic vocals of front woman Mary Zimmer and the general guitar line gives the arrangement the sound of those vintage power metal ballads that were made so popular way back in the late 80s and early 90s.  No, this song is not a power ballad, but it has that stylistic approach but thankfully avoids the cheese of those songs.  It has more of the confidence of Helion Prime’s own works and those of the band’s fellow power metal counterparts, Unleash The Archers.

Making the song stand out even more is its lyrical theme.  The lyrical theme featured in this song follows those of the songs featured in the album in its original release.  It pays tribute to so many well-known scientists and great minds in general across history.  In the case of this song, it pays homage to Ignaz Sammelweis, who discovered the health benefits of hand-washing in 1847.  Considering everything going on in the world today, this is a fitting inclusion in the album’s re-issue.  Even more important to note is that at no point does the band try to get preachy about it, trying to connect the song to the COVID-19 pandemic.  If anything, it just comes across as being connected to the album’s overall theme of celebrating those noted great minds.  This makes the song all the more appealing and just one example of what makes this re-issue successful.  Also of note among the bonus tracks is the band’s cover of Children of Bodom’s ‘Angels Don’t Kill.’

Helion Prime’s cover of ‘Angels Don’t Kill’ The band’s take on this song stays true to its source material.  There is no doubt about that.  At the same time though, the band puts its own touch to the song with its power metal approach.  The use of the keyboards alongside the guitars actually works surprisingly well throughout.  On the other hand though, Simmer’s vocals just do not sound good here.  She comes across as sounding like she was straining way too hard with the screams.  It sadly does not match up to the vocals of the late great Alexi Laiho.  That is not to say that her vocals were a failure, but it just sounds like she was trying too hard to deliver the same style vocals as Laiho.  Odds are she has talent with more guttural vocals, but it just simply did not work here.  That aside, the song still mostly works, and is a still positive addition to the re-issue’s bonus content.  It is just one more of the notable bonus tracks featured in the re-issue, too.  The re-worked take of the band’s original, ‘The Human Condition’ is yet another notable entry in the re-issue’s bonus content.

Helion Prime’s re-worked take of ‘The Human Condition’ stands out because of its production.  Originally featured in the band’s 2018 album, Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster, the re-recorded (IE remastered) take on the song stays fully true to the original work.  Nothing was added to or taken from the original.other than the vocals.  Songwriter Jason Ashcraft and former vocalist Sozos Michael handled vocal duties on the original song.  Zimmer and Ashcraft pair up in the new rendition, which also sounds fuller through the remastering.  The impact is just as powerful here as in the original composition.  When this song is considered along with the other remastered songs featured in the record, the covers and the one previously unreleased new song, the whole of the bonus content more than makes the re-issue successful.  They make the presentation one that audiences will enjoy just as much as the album’s original presentation if not more so.

Helion Prime’s recently released re-issue of its 2020 album, Question Everything is a positive new presentation that audiences across the board will enjoy.  The record’s success is due primarily to its bonus content.  From a previously unreleased original to a series of remastered originals from a past album, to a pair of covers, the bonus content featured here does well to build on the success of the album from its original release.  All things considered, that blend of content – as evidenced through the examination presented here – makes the re-issue of Question Everything just as enjoyable as the original work if not more so.

Helion Prime’s re-issue of Question Everything is available now. More information on the band’s Question Everything re-issue is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://helionprimemetal.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/helionprimemetal

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wodpress.com.

Helion Prime Announces Details for ‘Question Everything’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Sailboat Reigns

Helion Prime will re-issue its latest album next month.

The band is scheduled to re-issue its 2020 album, Question Everything Oct. 8 on vinyl and through all digital outlets The re-issue is to mark the one year anniversary of the album’s original release and will feature a handful of bonuses. Pre-orders are open now.

Among the bonuses are covers of Children of Bodom’s ‘Angels Don’t Kill’ and Nightwish’s ‘The Pharaoh Sails to Orion.’ Guitarist and YouTube star Garrett Peters will make a guest appearance on both tracks. Immortal Guardian vocalist Carlos Zema will join Peters on the band’s cover of The Pharaoh Sails to Orion.’

Additionally, the new re-issue will feature the previously unreleased original ‘Wash Away.’ The song celebrates Ignaz Sammelweis, who discovered the health benefits of hand-washing in 1847. If that is not enough, it will also feature a re-worked take of ‘Reawakening,’ which is streaming here. The original song is featured in Question Everything.

The band talked about the forthcoming re-issue in a prepared statement.

“We are so thrilled to announce this special edition release of Question Everything to help celebrate the album’s one year of life!,” the statement reads. “This was such a fun album to work on and to get to relive it with you all is something we are very excited about. We are also excited to finally be coming to vinyl. It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time and we know a lot of you have asked for it. So now is the time to get your hands on this special and limited run of Question Everything.”

The full track listing for the album’s re-issue is noted below.

Track Listing – Helion Prime – Question Everything (Special Edition):
Album Disc/Vinyl:
1. Wash Away*
2. The Final Theory
3. Madame Mercury
4. Prof
5. The Gadfly
6. Photo 51
7. E Pur Si Muove
8. Words of the Abbot ft. guest vocals John Yelland (Judicator, Dire Peril)
9. The Forbidden Zone
10. Question Everything ft. Heather Michele (ex-Graveshadow, ex-Helion Prime) and Sozos Michael (ex-Helion Prime, Planeswalker)
11. Reawakening

Bonus Material:

1. The Drake Equation (Re-Recording)

2. Moon – Watcher (Re-Recording)

3. Atlas Obscura (Re-Recording)

4. The Human Condition (Re-Recording)

5. Question Everything (Mary Zimmer vocals Only)

6. Angel’s Don’t Kill (Children of Bodom Cover)**

7. The Pharaoh Sails to Orion (Nightwish Cover)***

**Guest guitar solo by Garrett Peters

***Features guest vocals by Carlos Zema (Immortal Guardian) and guest solo by Garrett Peters

More information on the band’s Question Everything re-issue and single is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://helionprimemetal.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/helionprimemetal

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wodpress.com.

Ragnarok Juletide Not Just Another Cookie Cutter Christmas Album

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records/Carolina Records/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Caroline Records/Universal Music Group

It’s that time of year again, everybody.  The turkey’s been devoured.  The leftovers have been turned into every possible concoction possible.  The in-laws are (hopefully) gone.  The Christmas tree and decorations are set up.  The annual deluge of Christmas movies is running across the networks.  And the overwhelming surge of cookie cutter Christmas albums is in every store shelf and on every store radio.  The movies are bearable.  The decorations and tree are no problem.  The problem is the cookie cutter Christmas albums.  Save for Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, every other Christmas album from every major artist and band sounds the same.  And making it worse, it’s the same albums on shelves and radios every year.  Thankfully this year, Spinefarm Records and Caroline Records have given audiences quite a welcome breath of fresh air from all of those albums with the new “Christmas Metal” album Ragnarok Juletide.  The latest release from the ever-evolving metal super group, it was recorded this year by members of Amaranthe, Nightwish, and Sonata Arctica.  For those that don’t know, Raskasta Joulua translates to “Christmas Love.”  And heavy is just what audiences get in this mixed collection of holiday standards and original Finnish holiday material.  Raskasta Joulua celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.  While it obviously hasn’t been around nearly as long as Mannheim Steamroller or Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Raskasta Joulua’s new album will entertain the metal legions and lovers of Christmas music alike from start to finish.  From the very TSO-esque take on ‘The First Noel’ to the James Bond-style sound of ‘The Elf’ to the absolutely stunning closer that is ‘Ave Maria,’ Ragnarok Juletide offers audiences so much to like.  That includes the songs not noted here, too.  Collectively, the songs included on this record make it a holiday record that every lover of Christmas music should hear at least once this holiday season.

It goes without saying after hearing Ragnarok Juletide that this compilation is one that every lover of Christmas music should hear at least once this holiday season.  It is a breath of fresh air from all of the cookie cutter Christmas albums churned out year after year by all of the mainstream acts out there.  One example of what makes this album so enjoyable for audiences is the band’s take on the holiday standard ‘The First Noel.’  While it does boast a sound similar to that of TSO, it still maintains its own identity.  It isn’t just ‘The First Noel.’  It mixes that song together with elements of ‘Carol of the Bells’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ to make a song that will have every headbanger putting their horns high this holiday season.  Even more interesting to note are the guitar solos.  Audiences will hear in the guitar solos elements of not only TSO but of Dream Theater, and certain well-known 80s hair metal bands.  Throughout it all, the performers tapped for this performance exhibit great talent and respect for the original songs on which the song is based.  Needless to say it is one of the highest of points on this record although not the album’s only high point.

Raskasta Joulua offers plenty of high points from start to finish throughout the course of the dozen total tracks that make up the body of Ragnarok Juletide.  The group’s take on ‘The First Noel’ is one example of just how much this album has to offer audiences.  American audiences likely aren’t so familiar with ‘The Elf.’  But the group’s take on this song will entertain listeners in its own way.  The song follows a little elf that is hard at work at night.  The song sounds foreboding.  But it really isn’t that dark of a song.  The use of the James Bond style guitar riff adds to the song’s impact, enhancing the visual imagery of the elf working in secret.  And the vocalist’s deep, baritone makes for even more impact.  It is the polar opposite of ‘The First Noel.’  But it is still such a great addition to this compilation.  It is just one more example of what makes Ragnarok Juletide such a great listen for any lover of Christmas music and any metal head around the world this holiday season.

Ragnarok Juletide has so much to offer audiences on its latest full-length release as has been noted here already. The metal legions around the world will appreciate the album’s heavier side exemplified by the likes of the album’s opener ‘We Celebrate at Christmas’ and its take on ‘The First Noel.’ There is also the lesser known ‘The Elf’ that will impress those looking for something a little less heavy but still with a certain edge. On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, there is the absolutely stunning rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ that closes out the compilation. This song is the single most powerful and moving piece on the entire record. So it makes sense that it would be saved for last. Whether for its solo vocal parts, the ever-so-subtle dual harmony in the song’s closing moments, or its gentle fade out at the end, there is so much to admire about this piece. Anyone not moved at least to some point in listening to this song is either not listening closely enough or simply is not human. It is a wonderful, final moment and one that along with those other songs noted here (and those not noted) makes this record a memorable anniversary celebration for Raskasta Joulua. It makes it just as memorable for anyone looking to escape from the cookie cutter holiday albums that populate most store shelves and radio systems.

Ten years in, Raskasta Joulua has shown yet again that even while it may not have the popularity of Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller, it still impresses just as much today as in its earliest days. From the group’s renditions of more well-known and beloved holiday classics to those that might be more familiar to only certain audiences, Ragnarok Juletide, this record proves in the end to be the best new holiday record of 2014, hands down. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from the Raskasta Joulua website at http://www.raskastajoulua.com. More information on this and other releases from Raskasta Joulua is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.raskastajoulua.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/raskastajoulua

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.