You can’t tell me the magnificent album cover doesn’t draw you in - there is literally no way I’ll believe it. The gigantic Cybernetic Space Monster that is Helion Prime's mascot now a titan carrying a world on its back conjures fantastic imagery and epic adventures. The band’s third full length, Question Everything, might not fully embody that, but it’s still a wondrous listen delving deep into the history of some of humanity’s greatest minds. The band is getting into the habit of changing vocalists with each subsequent album, Mary Zimmer being the latest to fill the role – and she proves a perfect fit, the songwriting tailored to her great range and emotive pull. Question Everything opens up on a barrage of power metal goodness, The Final Theory and Madame Mercury both taking the classic genre influences and making them all Helion Prime-y, Jason Ashcraft building thrilling riffage for Chad Anderson’s sweeping leads to soar over, while Zimmer takes charge in some great performances, the chorus of the opener being a big highlight.
From the great opening tracks the album delves further into its subject matters and deeper forays into heavier songwriting. The great interplay between the two guitarists - often interwoven with a very European use of keyboards to add further depth - shining in lengthy instrumental sections found in The Gadfly and E Pur Si Muove. The biggest highlights start flowing toward the second half of the album, in phenomenal, slightly darker Words of the Abbot featuring a guest spot from Judicator vocalist John Yelland and the title track, which though entirely overindulgent and leaning toward the Amaranthe-ine is impossible not to love with the massive chorus and the great performances all-round, including guest spots from previous vocalists Heather Michele and Sozos Michael who sang on the first and second album respectively. Reawakening then is the penultimate track (followed by a skippable Misfits cover), and this is where shit gets real; introspective and deep it shows Zimmer’s greatest performance on the album and the instrumental mid section is just Anderson being a guitar deity in absolute full - pretty sure I’ll get back to that song later.
From start to finish Question Everything remains a well rounded album with plenty of highs and few lows. It’s by no means a groundbreaking album, but it’s certainly a fresh and invigorating listen in that it seems very much a continuation on the Helion Prime formula of the first two albums, and a near perfection of the sound. The songwriting is top notch, the lyrical content interesting and while dealing with stuffy historical figures still exciting. Question Everything manages to fulfill on the premise Helion Prime was founded on, blending accessible soaring power metal with deeper, more introspective cuts, and does so with heaps of charisma and stellar performances, not least in the melodic lead section and Zimmer’s awesome vocals. With this album (easily their greatest yet) Helion Prime have put themselves on a path to further greatness, one that invites lots of interest in future endeavors - if they can keep the momentum going and the passion burning; the passion to question everything.
Standout tracks: Words of the Abbot, Question Everything, Reawakening