Helsott Release Their Cure for the Metal Head in Need
The name Helsott should be extremely familiar by now especially if you keep up with us. If this is your first time, however, the Klown shall indulge you just a tad but will highly encourage you to really check out their previous appearances. The pagan metal quartet from Menifee, CA has released their latest album The Healer EP through M-Theory Audio. Allow the Klown to state that it’s a bit refreshing hearing these songs once again. However, unlike the last times, the Klown is now hearing them as professionally recorded songs. Anyway, “The Healer” begins the EP epically with Dave Waltson playing some hard rock guitar riffs which build up and are mixed with some sounds of blustering bugles and features some powerful beast-like howls and growls from Eric Dow.
“Tavern’s Tale” is a song that not only sounds like something from a medieval tale but also takes you back and has you wondering if the song was originally Blind Guardian’s but only speedier, rougher and with harsher vocals. For those who are fans of the classics, Helsott covers Iron Butterfly’s “Unconscious Power.” Lastly, for the LARPers who need a song to make their battles heroic, “Epic Battle” is exactly what it sounds like, epic. The song has a bit of everything such as female operatic vocals, synths, Cooper Dustman’s drumming likened to that of a galloping horse and Dow’s growling with the occasional pauses to let it all soak in. Truth be told, if you truly love pagan metal and power metal, this is definitely something you really want to check out. As luck would have it, you can through Helsott’s bandcamp.
6 out of 6, This EP Will Cure You
All That Remains Descend In To ‘Madness’
The quintet have released Madness through Razor & Tie Records. The Klown was surprised with the opening song “Safe House.” Why might you ask? Simply put, it sounded very metal. Phil Labonte shows off his harsh vocals, has some heavy and fast drumming by Jason Costa and features a sweet solo from Oli Herbert. “Madness,” “Nothing I Can Do” and “Halo” are the brand of metalcore that the band is primarily known for. However, for those who stopped listening after “Six” from the Guitar Hero 3 exposure, this time Labonte struts another kind of talent by including his piano skills onto these songs.
Assuming you want a similar song to that of “Six,” “Open Grave” and “Trust and Believe” settle that itch that you have. This album also features two ballads in the form of “Far From Home” and “Back To You.” Lastly, the band covers Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls.” The Klown hasn’t indulged in the original version but will admit that it did sound pretty good as a metalcore song. No matter what your feelings are on All That Remains, if you are really into metalcore or a super ear friendly rock then this is definitely something you might want to check. The Klown, however, would have appreciated this album had it been released 10 years earlier; he would have been all over it even though it’s not his shot of tequila.
3 out of 6, Not the Klown’s shot of tequila.
Ayreon Will Take You to A Night at the Opera
Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s ambitious rock opera known as Ayreon has returned with a ninth installment titled The Source via Mascot Label Group. This album not only revisits their 2008 album 01011001 and plays with its Science Fiction theme, but it also serves as its prequel. Just like the previous albums, an array of metal musicians are featured giving us some harmonic prog metal euphoria. For those not familiar with “The Chronicle” it is about an advanced alien race known as the Forever, which were introduced in 0101101, and takes place in their home planet Y and they discovered the secret to *spoiler alert* longevity. The Forever plant their DNA on an asteroid that is on a collision course with planet Earth so that their line may live on in the new planet. The Source takes you back to the events, characters, the demise of their planet and the evolution of the Alphas A.K.A. humans.
Remember the Klown stating the array of metal musicians? The vocalists have roles in this opera such as Tommy Rodgers (Between the Buried and Me) who plays The Chemist, Tommy Karevik ( Kamelot) is the Opposition Leader, and Simone Simons (Epica) is the Counselor, Floor Jensen of Nightwish reprises her role as the Biologist and Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian as the Astronomer just to name a few. Lastly, this album also features guitarist Paul Gilbert of Racer X and former After Forever Joost van den Broek on the grand and electric piano. The Klown recommends this if you’re big on rock operas, Sci-Fi or Prog metal.
5 out of 6, To Infinity and Beyond!