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Parade of the undeserving

Walkin' the Razor's Edge
Walkin' the Razor's Edge
By Helix

Capitol Records: 1984

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This review first appeared in the September 26, 1984 issue of The Daily Aztec.

One of the more unfortunate aspects of the current wave of popularity for heavy metal is that as the labels jump on the bandwagon, a lot of undeserving bands are being signed with visions of platinum sales.

One of these undeserving bands is Helix, a Canadian quintet that hit the airwaves last year with "No Rest for the Wicked." The latest album, "Walkin' the Razor's Edge," is a mundane, run-of-the-mill metal album that, like its predecessor, is uninspired and lacking in energy.

The album starts out with a weak attempt at an anthem. "Rock You" is composed like a high school cheer, with lead vocalist Brian Vollmer leading the band in a call and response spelling out the song's title. And even when the band does somehow generate a good melody, they then ruin it with lame lyrics, as on "Animal House":

This place is an animal house
One you're in you never get out

The musicianship is as empty as the lyrics. Drummer Greg Hinz never really asserts himself, so the beat isn't defined. Guitarists Brent Doerner and Paul Hackman seem unwilling to take any chances during their solos, and instead stick to simple chord riffs. And bassist Daryl Gray is so unobtrusive as to be practically unheard.

The two songs that work best are "Feel the Fire," on which the band actually wakes up for awhile and turns in a nice adrenalin-pumping rocker, and "Anything You Want," a ballad with a nice melody.

But Helix's dreams of platinum sales should be forgotten as quickly as most of the music found here.