Helmet
Aftertaste


4.0
excellent

Review

by profoundword USER (15 Reviews)
June 5th, 2011 | 25 replies | 8,409 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Helmet… that’s the band that plays “In the Meantime” right?

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Having come to Helmet long after their heyday in the first half of the ‘90s, the above statement is typical of many people’s early impressions (including my own) of this important band.

The first Helmet album I heard was unsurprisingly Meantime, and it made a big impression on my young ears. The thunderous backbeats and driving dropped D riffs led me to convulsively stomp my feet and bang my head around, and how could you not? The raw power of this band captivated me and I immediately needed more. I dutifully bought Betty, Strap It On, Monochrome and eventually got my hands on Aftertaste, and I’m glad I did.

Aftertaste is in my opinion the last of a streak of four great albums by Helmet that also included Strap It On, Meantime and Betty. These four albums established their huge sound and progressed the sound slightly each time, developing the initially simple Helmet formula of heavy backbeat + driving riff + big bass line + aggressive vocal = song. Strap It On and Meantime were monstrous, dirty and powerful records and Betty added just a touch of production value and clarity to the dark and heavy Helmet mix. This very slight change on Betty was refreshing and actually complimented their heavy sections by giving them a bit of context.

Aftertaste is essentially a culmination of these development stages for Helmet. The songs on Aftertaste are typically heavy, though without the relentless, surging power of Meantime and with yet more production value than Betty. Whilst “production value” has immediately negative connotations, it was a positive step for Helmet because instead of simply making Meantime 2, they took all those endearing Helmet traits of heavy backbeats and big riffs and developed and added to them to make a new reincarnation of their sound.

Aftertaste has much cleaner vocals that often form a large part of songs’ overall melody, and along with more frequent clean guitar solos and interludes, we have a more evolved being than the fearsome, dirty Neanderthal that was Meantime.

But fear not Helmet fans, Aftertaste is still a beast of a record. Despite the changes, it stays true to the brutal and ferocious aesthetic that has defined Helmet’s long career. This ferocity is what made Helmet successful in the first place, and by incorporating more melody and cleaner sounds into their music, Aftertaste sees Helmet pushing themselves forward and not wallowing in mediocrity following their early success. Helmet will probably always be remembered best as the band that plays “In The Meantime” but the quality of their later records, particularly Aftertaste and Betty, prove they had much more to offer to the rock world than one album or one song.



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user ratings (173)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
June 5th 2011



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally! Great review.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2011



17195 Comments


This album brings back such good memories

profoundword
June 5th 2011



239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I'm seeing them for the first time in a couple of weeks, can't wait!

accompliceofmydeath
June 5th 2011



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of my fav bands, but this is one of my least favorite releases by them. Seeing them live should be sick. Saw 'em about 5 or 6 years ago at Warped, good times.

KILL
June 6th 2011



70435 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its good but has nothing on the first 3

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

porch
June 7th 2011



8441 Comments


agreed, still probably their last decent album though



omnipanzer
June 7th 2011



21418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It IS they're last decent album. I agree with your assessments sir. Have a POS and go listen to some
Clutch now.

Digging: Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy

profoundword
June 8th 2011



239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Clutch I will check out.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2011



17195 Comments


Pure is easily my favorite Helmet song.

Wizard
September 7th 2011



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of mine too. This is my favourite Helmet album tbqh.

SteelErectedb4you8er
September 7th 2011



2613 Comments


Fantastic record. It is good to see this record get some love.

Lukeuta
November 10th 2012



25 Comments


Been listening to this and betty a lot lately

Killswitch96
November 16th 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



15752 Comments


the words helmet and aftertaste together are disturbing me

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

breakingthefragile
November 17th 2012



2943 Comments


Wow, I had no idea people liked this album.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

profoundword
November 27th 2012



239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's pretty good, way better than Monochrome and more imaginative than Size Matters. Seeing Eye Dog is pretty sweet though.

MrDoe
December 4th 2012



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea, Seeing eye dog was actually a pleasant surprise after the dreaded Monochrome.

Sikofitall
January 18th 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My absolute Fav Helmet record under Meantime, of course...I've been a Helmet fan for 20 yrs...and am not a fan of anything after Size Matters,which I really like half of that album,theother half not at all...

ezzomania
June 15th 2013



383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is some good shit


ezzomania
June 15th 2013



383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

reallyyyy good shit



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