Personnel: Denny Balicki, Daryl Gray, Paul Hackman, Greg "Fritz" Hinz, Brian Vollmer.
Following the same setup as the classic ZZ Top release Fandango!, Helix's 1998 effort, Half Alive, is comprised of half all-new studio tracks and half live material. Helix have always reflected the lighter side of metal (three minute melodic metal anthems are their forte -- not extended suites), and that approach continues on Half Alive. Despite '80s-era heavy metal being pretty much dead as a doornail by the late '90s (although a renaissance was fast approaching), such new studio tracks as "Wrecking Ball" bring to mind the days when Quiet Riot and Ratt reigned supreme. And the group can still handle its vintage material, as evidenced by rockin' renditions of "When the Hammer Falls" and "Heavy Metal Love." Not the most spine-tingling hard rock act of all time, but Half Alive shows that the boys from up north continue to enjoy whooping it up on-stage. ~ Greg Prato