Fresh off a summer-long tour opening for metal giants Big Business and Torche, Helms Alee are back to change the world’s mind about post-metal.
Formed in Tacoma in 2007, Helms Alee rose from the pits of their sludge-metal forefathers armed with the force of restitution. A re-imagined art form was under way in their early releases, drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis blending her voice with co-founder and guitarist Ben Verellen and bassist Dana James in a most intriguing way.
Three part harmonies in metal? Complete and total sonic breakdowns, epically crafted soundscapes, and brutally rough riffs coupled with a thunderous backbeat? This was a new path and continues to be a guiding force in melodic post-metal.
Helms Alee are able to incorporate a musicality that goes beyond hard, loud and brash that enters into a realm a lot of bands shy away from, perhaps due to the fear it would add a lightness to the overall product. Not the case with their latest release, Weatherhead (Hydrahead). All the typical elements are present. Sludge, doom, gloom, weight, noise and movement all present and accounted for. But add in the melodic elements, the harmonies, the gently layered guitars, soloed and soloing, the crafted production (provided by Matt Bayles of Minus the Bear) and personally, Weatherhead has become the metal album I have been searching for since 1986.
The fact that this awesome train is driven by the ball-busting roar of an all-female rhythm section is not lost on me. To this I say, Fuck Yes. And to you I say, check Helms Alee out this Sunday. Support the new wave.
Helms Alee play The New Parish October 16th. Doors are at 8pm and tickets are $8. The Narrows headline.