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Helion Prime – Interview with Mary Zimmer & ‘Question Everything’ Album Review
Jad | September 21, 2020
Helion Prime is a Sacramento Power Metal band, with a sci-fi orientation in their music. On October 5th, the band, now fronted by Mary Zimmer, will release their third studio album, ‘Question Everything’. Fans have already got to hear few songs from the upcoming album released as singles, such as The Gadfly and and Madame Mercury, plus a demo of the leading track, The Forbidden Zone, which is touching 300 thousand plays on Spotify.
We had the chance to listen to the upcoming album and write a review about it. We also had the chance to chat with vocalist Mary Zimmer and talk about the new album and a few other things. Jump straight to the interview by clicking here.
‘Question Everything’ is an 11-tracks concept album. Each song on the album is about someone in history who played a major role in the progress of mankind’s thinking. For instance, the single The Gadfly is about Socrates, while Madame Mercury is about Katherine Johnson. We’ll talk below about the unique and remarkable concept of the album, along with another three things we loved about ‘Question Everything’.
1. Lively Lyrics
Words are a powerful weapon that can be used to inform or persuade, or simply to entertain as in literature. Helion Prime made sure to make their words on the songs do all of the above. Their lyrics, although sometimes giving out information as the concept of the album requires, were not like a boring history class. They were made in a way that people listening to the songs can feel related. And more importantly, the lyrics on most songs urges listeners to think or do something. Highly motivational messages can be obtained from each and every song. We loved the lyrics especially on songs like The Final Theory, Madame Mercury, and Words of the Abbot.
2. Richness and Variety in Music
The music in ‘Question Everything’ and the band’s general sound is Power Metal, with many elements and variants throughout the album. Songs vary in heaviness and speed with a great depth regarding instruments and melodies. We hear sensational guitar solos in songs like The Final Theory, Madame Mercury, and Forbidden Zone. We also hear a time-stopping bridge in the song The Gadfly, and some anthematic choruses in songs like Prof and Words of the Abbot. The transition between songs is also very well achieved. For example, after Prof, a fast and heavy song, we head into The Gadfly, which begins in a soft guitar tune. Great work from the songwriters and producers to make this rich and variant music in ‘Question Everything’.
3. Great Concept
I have to say, I am personally biased with concept music. When I want to listen to a full album, from beginning to end, I always pick Rock and Metal Opera or Concept Rock and Metal. The idea of having your mind taken away into another fictional world, or having it revolving around a certain focal point, as in ‘Question Everything’, is something that I love. And Helion Prime’s newest album certainly does that at a great level. The idea of visiting the memories of these different people in history and channeling their ideas and challenges, was though of and executed in a wonderful way in ‘Question Everything’.
4. Favourite song: “The Gadfly“
It was very hard to pick one favourite song in the record. The Gadfly, however, certainly wins. The soft guitar tune at the beginning and how it grows into an epic Metal song with a compelling bridge and electrifying vocals and music all through is what made us fall in love with that song.
And here’s our interview with Mary Zimmer. We hope you enjoy reading it.
Hello Mary! It’s a pleasure to chat with you. How are you and the other members of Helion Prime?
We are all doing well, thank you! It’s great to chat with you as well.
We’re going to talk about your upcoming album, ‘Question Everything’. But first, for our readers who are hearing about your band for the first time, how would you introduce Helion Prime?
Helion Prime is a science and sci-fi themed melodic/power metal band from the United States
‘Question Everything’ will be your third full album and it’s due October 5th. How is the new album different from your previous releases?
Question Everything is different from the first two releases in that this is the first full-length with me as the vocalist. Also, it has a cohesive album concept and theme that applies to every song, which I don’t think is something the band has done so intentionally in the past.
So far you released two singles from the upcoming album, Forbidden Zone and Madame Mercury. How do you feel about the reception these two singles got from the fans so far?
So far, we’ve been blown away by the positive reception! The new album material is proving to be our most popular songs out of the entire Helion Prime catalog. We are receiving a huge reaction to it and it’s even exceeded my own expectations. Reviews are coming back very positively as well in regard to the entire album which only reviewers have currently heard.
Your second single is in honor of mathematician Katherine Johnson. When people think of space missions they often remember names like Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin mostly. Few people think of ladies like Katherine Johnson and Margaret Hamilton. Do you feel that women in 2020 are getting more or less credit for the accomplishments they make, or are they still overshadowed by any “male” accomplishment due to society’s way of thinking?
I think that with a lot of movies and movements the historical past accomplishments of female scientists and engineers are starting to be acknowledged. I genuinely feel that society as a whole is becoming very accepting of acknowledging women and highlighting their achievements. Most people are quite happy to do so and we’ve featured Katherine on this record but also some other women like Rosalind Franklin and it’s been a great opportunity to highlight their achievements in science.
Did the pandemic the world is currently going through have any influences on the album, whether on the process of creating it or on some of its concepts?
The concepts were planned by band leader/songwriter Jason Ashcraft a long time before the pandemic, however, the pandemic made it so that we had to record our parts entirely at home and send them out for mixing and editing which makes it a little bit harder, but not too bad considering technology is quite up to par with that these days. We also got together for just a few days to film a batch of videos and we were still able to do that even with the pandemic.
We at FemMetal love playing games! And to get our readers more excited about the upcoming album, how about we play a little game. I’ll give you a scenario or a task and you would have to pick one song from ‘Question Everything’ that best fits what I am talking about.
If all the songs on ‘Question Everything’ came to life and became humans, which one would you be best friends with?
Which song on ‘Question Everything’ would you use to cheer up a friend going through something?
Which song on ‘Question Everything’ would you use to introduce someone who never listened to your band before to your music?
An archeologist discovers a ‘Question Everything’ CD 1000 years from now. He manages to play the CD. Which song would impress him most?
Thank you for playing Mary! If you had the power to remove one problem our world is going through from existence, what problem would that be?
I would definitely remove Covid-19!
Thank you for the interview, Mary. Good luck to you and Helion Prime in all your future projects.
Thanks so much for reaching out and doing this interview! I really appreciate your support of our new album and look forward to sharing with everyone 10/5