Sunday, March 30, 2008

Safety First

Helmet is one of the first Hardcore/Alternative metal bands I listened to. They are not in the same category as Korn, Slipknot or Soulfly, but I still consider them as one the earlier nu-metal bands. Helmet is also one of the only alternative metal bands listed on Encyclopaedia Metallum
who can be particular about nu-metal bands. It is in my opinion that if the Administrators like a nu-metal album then it's okay to post the band, but if they don't then it's NOT metal. That's just what I think.

Anywho, today I'll be looking at Helmet's sophomore album "Meantime". This is the only Helmet album I own (though I did have "Aftertaste" for a while,but decided I didn't care for it and sold it. I do like the song "Like I care" from "Aftertaste" but that was all). "Meantime" is a solid slab of chunky melodic metal with a hardcore edge. This album could almost be considered an early form of metalcore.

The album kicks off with the title-ish track "In The Meantime" which is a mid-paced cruncher with Page Hamilton's hardcore like growl which is used with his most conviction on this song. The riffs are off-timed and grooved oriented. "Turned Out" and "Better" are similar in style, though not as convincing whereas the album closer "Role Model" is a fine example of gritty groove-like noise.

"Ironhead", "He Feels Bad" and "FBLA II" use the off-timed crushing riffs, but with Page's clean vocals the songs feel more melodic. "Give It" is like a hardcore ballad whose soothing groovy riffs beat you over the head pleasantly.

My favourite tracks are "You Borrowed" which is crunchy with clean vocals and a nice melodic edge to the groove-oriented riffs. However, "Unsung" is the topper. It has a darker edge, but super hooky guitar riff. It's simple yet complex in its structure and seemingly comes noisily untangled in a control chaos. A truly fun and memorable song.

Helmet's "Meantime" is heavy and memorable as well as wonderfully laid out. I've thought about getting more of their albums, but I think I'll settle with this gem and stay comfortably in what I know I like with this band.


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