Helmet
Dead To The World


4.0
excellent

Review

by Deadwing42 USER (25 Reviews)
October 29th, 2016 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Helmet's best album in 20 years, but not for the reasons you'd expect

With this year’s Dead to the World, Page Hamilton’s decision to trade the visceral sonic squalor of classics like Strap it on and Meantime for a more straightforward engagement with vocal melodies finally makes sense. While none of Helmet’s post Aftertaste records have been bad, per se, it has always been confounding that Page made the decision to consistently play against his band’s strengths; Hamilton’s pummeling, precise staccato riffing and squealing, unhinged guitar solos will always pair better with the militant bark that marked the band’s 90s output than they will with the uncomfortable, nasally croon that has dominated, and, in some eyes, ruined, recent records. But Dead to the World offers a collection of concise, well-written and often vocally-driven songs that never veer into the awkward territory that allowed Monochrome to taper off as it reached its conclusion or caused the otherwise good Seeing Eye Dog feel like such an unbalanced affair. This isn’t to say that Page turns in some kind of masterful vocal performance (he doesn’t), but rather that he seems to have found the formula for making his weathered voice an asset rather than a hindrance.

For an example of this improved approach to vocals, Dead to the World’s early stand out, “I Love my Guru”, features a wailing riff that feels at home in the background, juxtaposed with Page’s most scathing, convincing vocal performance in well over a decade. His declaration of "tried to meditate / but I don't wanna clean up" is one of many lines in the track that feel forceful rather than forced, which would't have been the case on some previous records. The track is part of a punchy, punky three song suite that finds its strengths in never treading water for too long, quickly developing one idea and then fluidly moving on to the next. The teeming energy from these early tracks carries over to a middle section that’s dominated by Helmet’s more standard, mid-tempo brand of alternative metal. Rather the riffs lumber (“Drunk in the Afternoon”) or scorch (“Die Alone”) is besides the point; they are finally tolerably complemented by Page’s voice, which, despite its marked aging, manages to be adequately mean, varied, and melodic. And when Helmet does strive to soar (“Look Alive”), thinking of the band as arena-sized feels plausible, for perhaps the first time in the group's history. Dead to the World isn’t the best Helmet record in almost 20 years because it returns to the sound of old, but rather because it employs their more melodic style with tact, confidence, and most of all, conviction.



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user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
grannypantys
October 29th 2016


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

paragraphs r hard



good review otherwise

Deadwing42
October 29th 2016


224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess it did get a little too long for the paragraph "blurb" style I was originally going for.

BeerKhan
October 29th 2016


78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice little write up here.



Pos



spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


excited to hear this

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this is actually so fucking terrible lol

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


=p

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

damn so reactionary

are you okay

this is out of character

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


q=

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


all news is bad news haha

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

news: you're still alive

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

have you had a bad day?

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


this is pretty lulz actually, dude sounds like weird al impersonating james hetfield

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i wasn't bullshitting you when i said this is fucking terrible.

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


hey, that's one of my 5s youre talking about!

dimeadozenmetalhead6
October 30th 2016


285 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

ahahaahhhaahh

cheque jutetesque hhhheihhaheiahe

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


green shirt is the worst song ive heard in a long while

Davil667
October 30th 2016


3666 Comments


Good review for sure, but I doubt this will be anything near a 4. Really scared to check this out tbh...

Deadwing42
October 30th 2016


224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I started writing it as a 3.5 but felt my opinion of it getting a bit better as I kept writing. It's really somewhere between the two scores, but I think it deserves a little hyping, so I erred toward the more favorable score.

spookynewghostfriend
October 30th 2016


730 Comments


when in doubt, hype it up for sure

Davil667
October 30th 2016


3666 Comments


@Deadwing: Pos for that comment alone dude :] Helmet needs more recognition around here. Killer band.



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