Helms Alee
Stillicide 
(Sargent House)

Helms Alee have basically mastered the art of kitchen sink modern metal. Their sound takes influence from so many different styles (notably: stoner, shoegaze, prog, math rock, pop, and psych) to create something that shouldn’t sound so cohesive. They continue to get better with each release, and Stillicide is Helms Alee at their most focused (at least as can be expected). The results are their best compositions, alternating between hooky 90s-influenced hard rock and something altogether heavier and more progressive. Unlike a lot of groups under the stoner and prog umbrellas, Helms Alee are much more concerned with rocking out and making you nod along than they are with wowing you with absurd technicality or mind-melting compositions.

While this could fit in with other drug-influenced groups, Helms Alee feel like a product of their city: here is a group of Seattleites who studied up on what they loved about all sorts of styles, and coffee was their fuel to get them through that studying. Well the band have absolutely aced their test. It’s certainly the group’s best work yet, basically turning everything that made them great into a better version of that: better riffs, better hooks, and more impressive songs. Helms Alee are proving to be just as impressive in theory as they are in practice.

Purchase the album here.

4-half-stars

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