With Page Hamilton as the only constant factor, the former hardcore rockers of Helmet made a new start in 2004 Size Matters. Page Hamilton still has a story to tell, although the seven-year hiatus has reduced its relevance somewhat. As overwhelming as a breakthrough album Meantime and the widely accepted Betty it doesn’t sound anywhere anymore. Even the clearly Helmet-influenced nu metal scene with their low-tuned guitar and bass is slowly dying to death. The dramatic demise with a riled up childish Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit during Woodstock ’99 puts the genre in a bad light and seriously damages its credibility. People are done with it.
But Page Hamilton thinks differently about that. After the failed reunion of which Size Matters the misplaced feat, he more or less disbands Helmet again to gradually work on a different basis together with drummer Kyle Stevenson. It comes with guitarist Dan Beeman and bassist Dave Case. It is clear that the upward trajectory is a long one Monochrome is even less well received. Gradually they take revenge with the lukewarm Seeing Eye Dog and the more layered Dead to the World. It is certainly not the fault of Page Hamilton’s complex guitar structures, they remain brilliant and a nice soloing Dave Case has also found his niche in the meantime. It is especially painfully audible that Page Hamilton has wasted his verbal powers in the past to such an extent that he now comes across as somewhat forced.
For the past four years, the band has been isolating itself in the studio to work on new material. My expectations have been somewhat leveled, which makes it surprising that they performed strongly last summer Holiday single knockback. The text is in line with the popular Netflix documentaries about unsolved murders and the glorification of serial killers. So Helmet packs a punch with solos that Metallica can be jealous of and uses the recent hiatus to place itself musically very much in the present. The world continues to turn and in Ghost’s society other heroes are developing at the front. These melodic poppy singing techniques also have an impact on Page Hamilton, who has clearly become more rounded in his singing.
You can clearly hear the influence of Tobias Forge from Ghost Give Fluf back, and that is definitely an added value. Yet it is mainly master drummer Kyle Stevenson who appropriates the intro, with which Helmet proves that a well-oiled machine has been resurrected. Give Fluf places the war madness and the very poorly established right-wing gun legal system in the foreground and the lyrics clearly date from the presidential Donald Trump era. And also the following NYC Tough Guy emphasizes once again that nothing has changed in the violent, hopeless streets of New York City. Despite his move to Los Angeles, the Page Hamilton hardcore heart is still in New York.
Due to the many studio hours, the album sometimes comes across as an outdated indictment. The sheer necessity lies more in the out-of-control malicious Capitol storming of almost three years ago. Also Makeup more or less refers to this black history page. Page Hamilton lacks the ability of former Sugar frontman Bob Mold to respond directly to that dissatisfaction and immediately bring disturbingly good material to the market. Of course the Big Shot anger sincere and sincere, I believe Page Hamilton at his word, there is nothing wrong with that, but it no longer has that essential impact.
The aversion to delusions of grandeur goes into the catchy Bombastic down. Helmet pours their crossover legacy into a neatly placed museum showpiece. And also the psychedelic hallucinating Reprise is a stray intermezzo, which damages their credibility. This is why Dislocated just a bit stronger, although it is actually only a poor copy of their previous groundbreaking work. Page Hamilton has wasted his energy and the sentences come across as somewhat powerless. He lacks the ability to do that Left so strong with tracks like Holiday, Give Fluf and, go on then, NYC Tough Guy opens. I don’t need a vocalist who squirms sexily through the melodic sentences.
That slide guitar country extravaganza layered with strings Tell Me Again comes into its own more. In this campfire track the sacred fire still smoulders, almost extinguished. A personal cynical heroic ode without a name, with which everyone can identify. The closer you get to your idols, the more you become disturbed by the human traits present there. So it’s fine if Helmet looks for other perspectives, here they testify that it can indeed work. Powder Puff has a high Alice In Chains feel with its guitar excesses Jar of Flies degree. The jazzy instrumental reminiscent of Santana Resolution Freak is a somewhat cursory piece. Exceeds due to the qualitative, well-developed arrangements Left the middle bracket, but I actually have to conclude that the album is only half interesting.