Helmet – ‘Dead To The World’ [Review]
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There are bands who play by the rules.
There are bands who push the boundaries.
And then there’s Helmet.
If you’re a fan of unorthodox rock and mind-bending metal, Helmet will undoubtedly be found somewhere in your favourite band’s family tree of influences. From globe-straddling titans like Nine Inch Nails to kings of the UK underground such as Reuben, Helmet’s influence is in there somewhere. Even now, Helmet define the alternative.
Listening to Dead To The World in the year of its emergence throws an immediate spotlight on the mainstream’s present status. There’s been too much stagnation in 2016, too much copycat bullshit – and it’s telling that for all the sludgy downtuned riffs contained within, Dead To The World still feels undeniably alive. This is not music to silently rot to; it’s a straight-to-the-point cry of existential anguish that demands and holds attention in a vice-like grip.
We could do with more of this, frankly.
On Dead To The World, the riffs and grooves just keep coming, one after the other. And for me, they’re all winners. This album should come with a neck brace; the only time you’re going to stop headbanging is when you press pause, having realised your significant other needed picking up from work three hours ago.
If there’s anything I could imagine a serious rock fan scratching their head over, it’s Dead To The World’s 36-minute running time. Sure, it’s short for an album – but then again, it means Dead To The World doesn’t outstay its welcome. Then you also have the fact that it’s endlessly repeatable – and a possible allowance for the fact that humanity’s collective attention span was significantly shortened the moment smartphones leapt over the horizon.
Overall, then: Fuck it. This is a damn near perfect not-exactly-rock-or-metal-or-grunge-or-post-whatever album. It’s Helmet, doing what they do best.
What more could you ask for?
TMMP RATING: 98% (Essential Listening!)
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