Helms Alee have an entirely blasted sound, as though every part of their heavy mathy rock has been cleansed with a highly-pressurised jet of sand. After that process, the songs on fourth album Stillicide come out taut and wiry and powerful, though still with some hard-won anthemic climaxes. Out on Sargent House.
Vinyl LP £19.49 SH165LP
LP on Sargent House in embossed gatefold sleeve.
- Includes download code
CD £11.49 SH164CD
Digipak CD on Sargent House.
7/10 gbar 6th March 2017
Helms Alee are such a damn creative band. Like 2014's Sleepwalking Sailors, Stillicide possesses a core of sludge metal but is sold very short if only described as such. There are a lot of ideas at work here, but never in a disordered or haphazard way. The twists and turns can surprise, but also make sense and provide rewards for your attention. And if Helms Alee's instrumental heaviness and inventiveness is not enough to mark them out, then the vocal ranges of Matheson-Margullis and Verellen sure are. There are hardcore screams, throaty growls, eerie distortions, and passionate clean vocals. You can never accuse Helms Alee of getting stuck in a rut. There's always something new happening on Stillicide, a new direction to be explored that adds to the depth of the album as a whole.
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