Thursday, 15 December 2016

Helmet "Dead To The World" (2016)


Helmet are an Alternative Metal band who had their moment of success in the early 90s among the grunge hype. They have been cited as a part of Nu-Metals development through their influence on bands like Korn with their dropped guitar tuning for accessible power chords. Essentially they are tinged with a grungy sound that is partly Alternative Rock and has a metallic overtone. After four records the group split before front man Hamilton reformed with a new line up 2004, releasing "Size Matters", my favorite of their releases. Six years since their last they are back with "Dead To The World", the bands eighth.

Its no grand ambition of creative endeavor. Unsurprisingly the band return with their usual sound for a collection of tracks to pass the album mark at thirty six minutes. The songs stroll through simple structures and enjoyable riffs that focus on chunky drop d grooves and chord progression riffs that derive from power chords too. At times it can get a touch atmospheric, in others its heavy, crunchy and a little mesmerizing with the way some riffs are strummed over and over as the get lost in the dense sound. The occasional simplistic solo might drop in over a riff to fire a bit of color into the music.

Unfortunately its all a bit to mediocre, unspectacular and forgettable. As pleasant and listenable the record is, it does very little beyond appease the appetite for their sound and with better records in their discography its not going to make much of an impression. One thing that dawned on me is a similarity between Hamilton's vocals and that of Billy Corgan. Not a mirror but there are moments where he sounds alike. "Dead To The World" is passable with a couple of good songs in the first half of the record but overall is just lackluster after six years.

Favorite Tracks: Life Or Death, I Love My Guru
Rating: 4/10

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