WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM HELDER ROCK – NOT QUITE DEAD ENOUGH
The new EP casts away any lingering prejudgements about genre complicity and instead bares a range of weird and wonderful tracks for our listening pleasure.
Opening with a relentless drum pattern which is accompanied by a rising guitar riff and gripping static effects, New Prog Metal alerts you instantly to what is in store.
Subtly changing throughout, it is about as minimal as metal can be whilst retaining its power. The riffs rise and fall, as do the synths that peer out from behind them, just enough to keep it intriguing ‘til the end.
Distant Flight is next up. A distinctly more electronic base to this one makes it only more gripping. It’s got a wonderful psychedelic base that contrasts so profoundly with the aggressiveness which at times tries to peak through, leaving you both confused and mesmerised.
Back to a more guitar-driven track next as the terrific name My Grandmother Was A Metalhead roars in. It’s at this point of the EP it really starts to hit home how impressive it is that they have such a weirdly unique sound, and yet still manage to give every track a completely different feel from the one that it follows. Whereas its predecessor has a more floaty feeling running through it, this tune pierces you with each chord, instantly snapping you out of the daze it may have left you in.
A slightly more conventional track follows in Hammered. A lovely melodic guitar riff is at the forefront of this one again, backed up with swirling harmonies that give it track an angelic vibe. There’s much more space in this track, a certain emptiness that can feel slightly haunting as it progresses, but again, it really does keep you gripped.
There’s A Party At The Graveyard takes a move back to the more mind-bending side of their music, and for me provides the high point of the EP. Ghoulish effects run through it constantly, leaving you wondering what exactly it is you are hearing at times, but making it instantly memorable. It conjures up all sorts of strange imagery, perhaps as the name should suggest, and has such a brilliantly theatrical aura to it.
We finish with We Will Meet Again. As previously in the EP we burst straight from a very atmospheric track into one which grabs you from the off with a much bigger sound, probably the fullest sounding of any of these tracks. Acting as a final clearout, they seem to throw everything into this last track, with all the elements they have explored in the last five all finally clashing together, with frenetic but pulsating results.
If you’re looking for something completely different to listen to, this EP will come as a blessing. You can feel the heavy influences that flow through it, but the completely contrasting sounds which have snook in there too make it something without comparison. They have found the complexity of simplicity, putting few elements together, but ending up with something which really leaves an impression on you. Take a listen below.