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With a total of fourteen albums under his belt, veteran singer James Rivera has proudly carried the torch of an accomplished metal front man for the past twenty-four years and counting.
He is well renowned as the voice behind Houston, Texas, based progressive power metal act HELSTAR; a remarkable band established in the early 1980’s that is said to have put the city on the heavy metal map of the world. To this day Rivera is recognized as the sole member who single handedly kept the ensemble alive over the years despite numerous lineup transformations and hardships of the ever changing music industry. and history, please visit www.helstar.com.
DESTINY’S END, a technical, melodic power metal onslaught was a formed in Los Angeles, CA, in1998 at the time when HELSTAR was considered to have disbanded and the power metal genre was experiencing a resurgence. The outfit enjoyed several years of success with the release of two albums, coupled by US and European tours which proved to resurface Rivera’s name strongly. Alas, the band parted ways in 2001.
It was also at this time that the vocalist was recruited to front thrash metal pioneers FLOTSAM & JETSAM on their fall US tour.
The following year Rivera was inducted into the SEVEN WITCHES camp, a four-piece founded by guitarist Jack Frost, which also consisted of bassist Joey Vera (ENGINE, ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING) and drummer Brian Craig (DESTINY’S END).
The singer had also recently relocated from Houston to Tampa, Florida, the death metal capital of the US, where he worked with noteworthy musicians in side-projects and tribute bands, creating an even more superior name for himself.
By 2004, Rivera had returned to his native Houston and constructed a “rebirth” of HELSTAR with his opus, DISTANT THUNDER, also featuring bassist Mike Le Pond (SYMPHONY X). The band saw one album release and a scant amount of live performances, only to discover that many old-school fans preferred HELSTAR over DISTANT THUNDER.
KILLING MACHINE became the next calling for Rivera.
This stellar ensemble included such acclaimed artists as bassist Dave Ellefson (F5, ex-MEGADETH), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, ex-MEGADETH) and guitarist Juan Garcia (AGENT STEEL).
Soon thereafter, Rivera was also asked to join the ranks of long running San Francisco bay area metallers VICIOUS RUMORS, lead by guitarist Geoff Thorpe, which also spotlights guitar icon Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER, OZZY OSBOURNE).
The most highly anticipated news arrived in 2006, when it was announced that HELSTAR would reunite as the classic ‘Remnants of War’ lineup for the 20th Anniversary of the album’s release.