(7/10) I have to admit it right in the begining that Helmet always belonged to my favorite bands in alternative metal. Records such as "Meantime" and "Aftertaste" include milestones in alternative metal that are build on walls of riffs and the typical aggressive vocallines. Page Hamilton created a sound that was intense, brutal and powerful. It was music that added a new aspect to metal.
Then it became silent around the band before Hamilton returned with Helmet back in 2004 when "Size Matters" was released. In the meantime Helmet published two more longplayers with "Dead to the World" becoming the newest chapter.
Unfortunately I have to say that the new album comes not only with good songs. There's pretty good stuff on the album. "Red Scare" features the bands trademarks and also "Die Alone" lives from a brutal riff and Hamilton's aggressive vocals. The mixture of noise rock and riff power works perfect here.
But there are also some 'inbetween' sogs on the album. The opener "Life or Death" belongs to them, a tune that features the wild guitars by losing a bit on the punch of the earlier Helmet. The same goes for "Drunk in the Afternoon". It's more a move towards alternative rock, a direction that gets confirmed by tunes like "Bad News" which is a kind of what the title says. It's a more than average alternative rock track that doesn't lead to excitiment at all. The same goes for "Green Shirt", a track that is a strange mixture of punk, alternative rock and hardrock. What ever it exactly is, it's far away from smashers like "In the Meantime".
As said, there are some songs on this album that prove Helmet still being able to write raging riff attacks. But there is also too much music on this album that sounds average and almost boring. In case your Helmet reference album is called "Meantime" or the "Betty" EP you should go for some pre-listening. In case you're looking for some alternative rock the Samshing Pumkins style I guess this is your album.
- Life Or Death
- I ♥ My Guru
- Bad News
- Red Scare
- Dead To The World
- Green Shirt
- Expect The World
- Die Alone
- Drunk In The Afternoon
- Look Alive
- Life Or Death (Slow)
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: October 28th, 2016