It’s been a while since I’ve been blown away by a metal record, but when Steve, bassist of Helpless, asked if I wanted to have a sneaky peak at their new album, how could I say no?
I listened, quietly, trying to take in each track, finding myself genuinely in awe and a little dumbfounded by the incredibly high standard of music coming so ferociously at me from the speakers. It could be easy to say I’m biased, I’ve known the band and its members for some time now, but coming from a place of a musician myself and as a big fan of hardcore, metal and grindcore, I reckon the Helpless boys are sitting on a gold mine.
Rusty, previously guitarist in Plymouth hardcore band Brotherhood of the Lake (RIP) now dons the drums, Dan shreds away on guitar and Steve, who also plays in local metal outfit Carcinoma, churns out bass lines. Despite their small line up, this solid three piece produce music that is huge, live and on record. Expect two sets of vicious vocals, guitar riffs that audibly assaults you, a bass tone that you feel in your chest and seamless drumming maintaining pace whether it’s blast beats or slowed right down into sludge metal tempo territory.
Their first self titled EP set the standard for their furious and bleak back catalog of tracks, with the single ‘False Hope’ delivering two and a half minutes of pure disdain with seemingly effortless musical prowess. They combined this release with a self made music video, that captures the haunting nature of their sound. By pairing the desolate scenes of Dartmoor clay mines and a dystopian narrative that brings chills down your spine, Helpless continue to deliver their own twisted take on things, whether you like it or not.
Due to be released through Holy Roar Records, their debut album ‘Debt’ continues this theme, proving that their capabilities as a band are far reaching, ever growing and quite honestly, a little unnerving. With track names such as ‘Manufactured Consent’ and ‘Denied Sale’, these boys write their own social commentary with this well thought out release. From start to finish, the sonic intensity of the album throws you hard into your seat, and you’re taken on a dark journey as you’re dragged through sounds from grindcore and noise rock to death and black metal. Recorded at Titan Studios in Watford, the quality of the engineering and the tonality of the instruments is incredible, a fitting snapshot of how monstrous this band sound.
Now, I understand, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re still reading by now, I imagine this is a bit of a case of preaching to the converted. You need to go find and listen to their EP now, because as soon as you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about. These guys are fucking great at what they do. I’m envisaging big things for Helpless, I believe they’ve got the attitude, the approach and of course, the material to go far within the scene, appealing to every type of metal head from the thrashers to the black metallers. Their debut album ‘Debt’ is due out this summer, keep up to date with the release by following Helpless and Holy Roar on Facebook and Instagram.