Review Summary: Brocas helm reminds us why metal can be ridiculously fun.
This have been a long time coming. Brocas Helm deserved a review, and it is about time they got one. So who is Brocas helm? Well read the band description. No point wasting time in giving a long history here. If you want a short summary then they were formed in 1982 during the ever-growing bay area thrash community. Since then, Brocas Helm went to release three albums: Into Battle
in 1984, Black Death
in 1988, and then 14 years later, this album, Defender of the Crown
in 2004. They never gained mass popularity or acclaim such as other bay area bands. Listening to this album, it is hard to see why. Perhaps they were just the short stick on the draw, or maybe label issues. Enough about the history as to keep it short. Let us dive into the album.
Brocas helm has nothing to prove when it comes to their skill. This album is technically amazing. From the opening bass line in Cry of the Banshee
alone, you know this is going to be a pretty epic album. Every song on this album has very precise musicianship. The member's twenty plus years of playing obviously has been paying off. Cry of the Banshee, Helm's Deep
, and Juggernaut
all showcase Brocas helm at their best. Nearly every track on here does a fine job of that, but those are just some examples to go off of. If anything the album also ends with quite a bang. Children of the Nova Dawn
is just one hell of a way to close. That song just sounds like a epic metal track should.
Defender of the Crown, has a fun "Power-Thrash" feel to it. It is reminiscent of early Iron Maiden. Brocas Helm shows only minor influence, and this album seems to be one of their own. The best way to describe Defender of the Crown
would be that of a cool fun 80's power metal record. The fact being that is how it sounds for most of the album. On another note, the album is very well structured. Every track is consistent and does more than enough to keep the attention of the listener. There are some points it has a noise problem and it can be hard to hear the vocalist. This occurs on one or two tracks, however, other than that the album is well-produced.
Brocas helm are not your role models, or maybe they are. The lyrics for a lot of songs are just out there, though they are humorous. Drink and drive
is one, and Skullf**ker
is another. Blood Machine
has the notion about having you balls chopped off and bleeding to death. This is on the border of hilariously cool and just terrible. This means having a song called SkullF**ker
was not enough . As bad and cheesy as some of the lyrics are, most of the them do kind of work. In a way its just fun to listen too. There might have been some "cheese" moments during certain songs.
Love them or Hate them, Brocas helm reminds us why metal can be ridiculously fun. This album is quite the experience, and it was a fun ride on Defender of the Crown
. So if the time is right, pop in this album. In can bring out a very fun vibe out, as cheesy power-metal always does. Just press play, and ask if you can hear the banshee scream.
-Cry of the Banshee
-Children of the Nova Dawn