HELMET
Alternative Metal • United States

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Helmet is an alternative metal band formed in New York City in 1989. Originally coming from the post-hardcore scene Helmet has been said to be the "thinking man's metal band" with their syncopated often dissonant riffs in irregular time signatures. The band dissolved in the late 90s after releasing four full length albums, but in 2003 vocalist/guitarist/main songwriter Page Hamilton reformed the band with a new line-up.

(Biography written by Pekka)
Thanks to Pekka for the addition and graphix, tupan, Unitron for the updates

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Dead to the WorldDead to the World
EARMUSIC 2017
Audio CD$5.57
$5.56 (used)
MeantimeMeantime
Interscope 1992
Audio CD$4.99
$3.38 (used)
Unsung: The Best Of Helmet (1991-1997)Unsung: The Best Of Helmet (1991-1997)
Import
INgrooves Fontana/Interscope 2004
Audio CD$13.98
$4.99 (used)
BettyBetty
INgrooves Fontana/Interscope 1994
Audio CD$7.98
$4.89 (used)
Size MattersSize Matters
Interscope Records 2004
Audio CD$11.67
$1.60 (used)
Strap It OnStrap It On
Import
Interscope 1992
Audio CD$11.83
$5.99 (used)
Helmet: Meantime (Colored Vinyl) Vinyl LPHelmet: Meantime (Colored Vinyl) Vinyl LP
Interscope Records
Vinyl$28.95
AftertasteAftertaste
Fontana Interscope 1997
Audio CD$11.99
$0.33 (used)
MonochromeMonochrome
Warcon 2006
Audio CD$15.69
$1.95 (used)
Born AnnoyingBorn Annoying
Amphetamine Reptile 1995
Audio CD$5.90 (used)
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Unsung: The Best of Helmet 1991-1997 by Helmet (CD, Jan-2004, Interscope (USA)) Unsung: The Best of Helmet 1991-1997 by Helmet (CD, Jan-2004, Interscope (USA)) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1h 37m
"7"-Big Chief-Blowout Kit/Chrome Helmet '90 punk sub pop kbd USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 16m
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Aftertaste by Helmet (CD, Apr-1997, Interscope (USA) Aftertaste by Helmet (CD, Apr-1997, Interscope (USA) USD $8.09 Buy It Now 3h
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Strap It On by Helmet (CD, Interscope) Free Shipping!!! 1992 INTD 92235 Strap It On by Helmet (CD, Interscope) Free Shipping!!! 1992 INTD 92235 USD $7.60 Buy It Now 7h
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Helmet/Aftertaste (Interscope / MCA Ind 90073) CD Album Helmet/Aftertaste (Interscope / MCA Ind 90073) CD Album USD $15.45 Buy It Now 11h
Born Annoying 1994 by Helmet CD Born Annoying 1994 by Helmet CD USD $7.49 Buy It Now 11h
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In a Word by Fudge Tunnel (Cassette,1995, Earache) Melvins Helmet Prong Crowbar In a Word by Fudge Tunnel (Cassette,1995, Earache) Melvins Helmet Prong Crowbar USD $5.99 Buy It Now 14h
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HELMET Strap It On LP VINYL German Glitterhouse 1990 9 Track (Arr15118) HELMET Strap It On LP VINYL German Glitterhouse 1990 9 Track (Arr15118) USD $34.80 Buy It Now 1 day
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USD $125.00 Buy It Now
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Melvins 1983 Gaylord Am Rep Vinyl Nirvana Tad Tool Helmet Unsane Melvins 1983 Gaylord Am Rep Vinyl Nirvana Tad Tool Helmet Unsane USD $45.00 (0 bids)
USD $90.00 Buy It Now
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HELMET BOY S/T LP VINYL US Asylum 1980 10 Track With Inner Stain And Deletion HELMET BOY S/T LP VINYL US Asylum 1980 10 Track With Inner Stain And Deletion USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Seeing Eye Dog DOUBLE CD European Work Song 2010 10 Track Double CD In HELMET Seeing Eye Dog DOUBLE CD European Work Song 2010 10 Track Double CD In USD $13.67 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Unsung 12 HELMET Unsung 12" VINYL UK Interscope 1992 4 Track B/W Better, Bad Mood Live USD $13.46 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET BOY Hurts Like Love 7 HELMET BOY Hurts Like Love 7" VINYL UK Asylum 1980 B/w I'm Not So Sure (k12475) USD $5.68 Buy It Now 1 day
WISDOM OF HARRY Crash Helmet 7 WISDOM OF HARRY Crash Helmet 7" VINYL UK Matador 2003 (Ole597-7) USD $1.63 Buy It Now 1 day
SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet 7 SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet 7" VINYL UK Virgin 2005 One Sided Etched Disc With USD $5.68 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Unsung CD German East West 1992 4 Track B/W Better, Fbla Live And Fbla 2 HELMET Unsung CD German East West 1992 4 Track B/W Better, Fbla Live And Fbla 2 USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Biscuits For Smut CD German Interscope 1994 4 Track B/W Mutt Mix HELMET Biscuits For Smut CD German Interscope 1994 4 Track B/W Mutt Mix USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Betty CD German Interscope 1994 14 Track Pic Disc In Special Case HELMET Betty CD German Interscope 1994 14 Track Pic Disc In Special Case USD $10.62 Buy It Now 1 day
HELMET Seeing Eye Dog DOUBLE CD European Work Song 2010 19 Track Double CD In HELMET Seeing Eye Dog DOUBLE CD European Work Song 2010 19 Track Double CD In USD $9.20 Buy It Now 1 day
SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet CD UK Virgin 2006 1 Track Promo In Card Sleeve SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet CD UK Virgin 2006 1 Track Promo In Card Sleeve USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet CD UK Radiate 2006 1 Track Promo With Info SPINTO BAND Direct To Helmet CD UK Radiate 2006 1 Track Promo With Info USD $2.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet : Betty CD (1999) Helmet : Betty CD (1999) USD $9.37 Buy It Now 1 day
Witchypoo Everybody Looks Good In A Helmet Kill Rock Stars Steve Fisk 1995 CD Witchypoo Everybody Looks Good In A Helmet Kill Rock Stars Steve Fisk 1995 CD USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet Meantime Japanese CD album (CDLP) promo AMCY-442 ATLANTIC 1992 Helmet Meantime Japanese CD album (CDLP) promo AMCY-442 ATLANTIC 1992 USD $37.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Biscuits for Smut, Helmet, Very Good Biscuits for Smut, Helmet, Very Good USD $4.51 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet Aftertaste CD album (CDLP) Japanese promo MVCP-29 INTERSCOPE 1997 Helmet Aftertaste CD album (CDLP) Japanese promo MVCP-29 INTERSCOPE 1997 USD $23.70 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet Aftertaste EU Limited Orange Vinyl LP Signed Copy Page Hamilton Helmet Aftertaste EU Limited Orange Vinyl LP Signed Copy Page Hamilton USD $99.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Betty [Limited Edition Collectors] by Helmet (CD, 1994, Warner) MADE IN GERMANY Betty [Limited Edition Collectors] by Helmet (CD, 1994, Warner) MADE IN GERMANY USD $37.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Jellyfish Brigade - Gills & a Helmet [New CD] Jellyfish Brigade - Gills & a Helmet [New CD] USD $11.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet - 20th anniversary tour - Glasgow oct.2014 concert gig poster Helmet - 20th anniversary tour - Glasgow oct.2014 concert gig poster USD $9.47 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BOTTLES        CRASH HELMET           RARE     7 THE BOTTLES CRASH HELMET RARE 7" SINGLE USD $9.78 Buy It Now 1 day
EX !! Pallas/Arrive Alive/1982 Granite Wax 7 EX !! Pallas/Arrive Alive/1982 Granite Wax 7" Single/Helmet Off Sleeve USD $40.62 Buy It Now 1 day
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USD $2.78 Buy It Now
1 day
Helmet: Born Annoying (Amphetamine Reptile Records) Punk/Hardcore Page Hamilton Helmet: Born Annoying (Amphetamine Reptile Records) Punk/Hardcore Page Hamilton USD $5.40 Buy It Now 1 day
MOTORHEAD & SEPULTURA Kerrang! Mag 25/1/92 Europe Helmet MOTORHEAD & SEPULTURA Kerrang! Mag 25/1/92 Europe Helmet USD $4.05 Buy It Now 1 day
Helmet. Meantime Helmet. Meantime USD $4.00 (0 bids)
1 day
Jellyfish Brigade - Gills & a Helmet [New CD] Jellyfish Brigade - Gills & a Helmet [New CD] USD $13.07 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet Aftertaste 1997 (SEALED) Helmet Aftertaste 1997 (SEALED) USD $35.00 (0 bids)
USD $55.00 Buy It Now
2 days
Helmet - Unsung 7 Helmet - Unsung 7" Single Red Vinyl Amphetamine Reptile Scale 41 USD $12.50 (0 bids)
USD $20.00 Buy It Now
2 days
rare/1000 HELMET primitive+born annoying live 1993 AmRep 45 melvins killing joke rare/1000 HELMET primitive+born annoying live 1993 AmRep 45 melvins killing joke USD $10.95 (0 bids)
USD $14.95 Buy It Now
2 days
Black Keys, Billy Bragg, Dr. Dog, Helmet, Longwave, Sia  U.S. promo 2 cd Black Keys, Billy Bragg, Dr. Dog, Helmet, Longwave, Sia U.S. promo 2 cd USD $11.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Meantime by Helmet CD Meantime by Helmet CD USD $8.69 Buy It Now 2 days
Black Trojan Helmet Ska Reggae Soul Enamel  Pin Badge Black Trojan Helmet Ska Reggae Soul Enamel Pin Badge USD $2.42 Buy It Now 2 days
THERAPY? - Troublegum EX COND 2002 CD Jesus Lizard/Helmet/Terrorvision/Pet Lamb THERAPY? - Troublegum EX COND 2002 CD Jesus Lizard/Helmet/Terrorvision/Pet Lamb USD $1.34 (0 bids)
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Helmet - Meantime CD - 1992, Interscope, USA  -  $1.99 SALE! Helmet - Meantime CD - 1992, Interscope, USA - $1.99 SALE! USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Trojan Helmet Target Ska/Mod/Soul Enamel Pin Badge Trojan Helmet Target Ska/Mod/Soul Enamel Pin Badge USD $2.70 Buy It Now 2 days
Meantime (Redux) 2xLP Tri Color Vinyl Ltd 75 Helmet Kings Destroy Blackwolfgoat Meantime (Redux) 2xLP Tri Color Vinyl Ltd 75 Helmet Kings Destroy Blackwolfgoat USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet - Size Matters - CD - VG+ Helmet - Size Matters - CD - VG+ USD $2.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Floor-Oblation CD New Torche Melvins Helmet Kylesa Harvey Milk Yob Goatsnake Floor-Oblation CD New Torche Melvins Helmet Kylesa Harvey Milk Yob Goatsnake USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
KEN mode-Entrench CD New Helmet Unsane Melvins Botch 16 Shellac Albini Nirvana KEN mode-Entrench CD New Helmet Unsane Melvins Botch 16 Shellac Albini Nirvana USD $11.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Jesus Lizard - S/T 10 Jesus Lizard - S/T 10" EP 1998 ORIG JetSet Helmet Melvins Nirvana Unsane LP USD $18.50 Buy It Now 2 days
HELMET PROMO PIC CLASSIC LINE UP LOT . interscope records alt rock punk metal HELMET PROMO PIC CLASSIC LINE UP LOT . interscope records alt rock punk metal USD $16.93 (0 bids)
2 days
Wisdom Of Harry-Crash Helmet CD Single Very Good Wisdom Of Harry-Crash Helmet CD Single Very Good USD $4.05 Buy It Now 2 days
SURGERY Nationwide vinyl LP Melvins Cows Shellac Helmet Mudhoney Chokebore Amrep SURGERY Nationwide vinyl LP Melvins Cows Shellac Helmet Mudhoney Chokebore Amrep USD $7.99 (0 bids)
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HELMET Meantime CASSETTE TAPE 90's ALT GRUNGE METAL 1992 HELMET Meantime CASSETTE TAPE 90's ALT GRUNGE METAL 1992 USD $5.00 (0 bids)
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CHOKEBORE Motionless vinyl LP Melvins Cows Helmet Shellac Jesus Lizard Mudhoney CHOKEBORE Motionless vinyl LP Melvins Cows Helmet Shellac Jesus Lizard Mudhoney USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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Unknown Artist : Put A Helmet On! CD Unknown Artist : Put A Helmet On! CD USD $4.07 Buy It Now 2 days
Rock the Vote pas's Hammer, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Helmet, Kiss -U.S. promo cd Rock the Vote pas's Hammer, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Helmet, Kiss -U.S. promo cd USD $14.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet-Seeing Eye Dog CD Double CD New Helmet-Seeing Eye Dog CD Double CD New USD $12.54 Buy It Now 2 days
HELMET OF GNATS - Self-Titled (2004) - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** HELMET OF GNATS - Self-Titled (2004) - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** USD $21.75 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet Cole Live Ann Arbor 1991 CD RARE! Helmet Cole Live Ann Arbor 1991 CD RARE! USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet - Dead To The World [LP] 2016 sealed vinyl Helmet - Dead To The World [LP] 2016 sealed vinyl USD $28.00 Buy It Now 2 days
DAFT PUNK POSTER DAFT PUNK POSTER "HELMET" LICENSED "BRAND NEW" USD $15.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet - Meantime LP 2017 Reissue SEALED new copy Steve Albini Unsung - CLASSIC Helmet - Meantime LP 2017 Reissue SEALED new copy Steve Albini Unsung - CLASSIC USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Monochrome Helmet USA CD album (CDLP) promo WRCNPR1 WARCON 2006 Monochrome Helmet USA CD album (CDLP) promo WRCNPR1 WARCON 2006 USD $20.71 Buy It Now 2 days
Meantime [Audio CD] Helmet Meantime [Audio CD] Helmet USD $10.89 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet Size Matters CD album (CDLP) USA promo INTF-11179-2 INTERSCOPE 2004 Helmet Size Matters CD album (CDLP) USA promo INTF-11179-2 INTERSCOPE 2004 USD $20.71 Buy It Now 2 days
Monochrome by Helmet Monochrome by Helmet USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Helmet - Meantime [New Vinyl LP] Blue, Colored Vinyl, Red Helmet - Meantime [New Vinyl LP] Blue, Colored Vinyl, Red USD $25.17 Buy It Now 2 days
HELMET BETTY MVCP-27 CD JAPAN 1998 OBI HELMET BETTY MVCP-27 CD JAPAN 1998 OBI USD $94.68 Buy It Now 2 days
TRIPLE J-ELEVEN-2xCD-SILVERCHAIR-GREEN DAY-TOOL-HELMET-THE MEANIES-TUMBLEWEED TRIPLE J-ELEVEN-2xCD-SILVERCHAIR-GREEN DAY-TOOL-HELMET-THE MEANIES-TUMBLEWEED USD $9.52 Buy It Now 2 days
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HELMET Discography

HELMET albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.86 | 4 ratings
Strap It On
Alternative Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.13 | 6 ratings
Meantime
Alternative Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Betty
Alternative Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.23 | 3 ratings
Aftertaste
Alternative Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Size Matters
Alternative Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 4 ratings
Monochrome
Alternative Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.24 | 3 ratings
Seeing Eye Dog
Alternative Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dead to the World
Alternative Metal 2016

HELMET EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dope-Guns-'N-Fucking in the Streets (Volume Five)
Alternative Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wilma's Rainbow EP
Alternative Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wilma's Rainbow: Australian Tour Collectors Edition
Alternative Metal 1994

HELMET live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Warped Tour San Francisco: July 8, 2006
Alternative Metal 2012

HELMET demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

HELMET re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Born Annoying
Alternative Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unsung: The Best of Helmet (1991-1997)
Alternative Metal 2004

HELMET singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Born Annoying
Alternative Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unsung
Alternative Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Biscuits for Smut
Alternative Metal 1994

HELMET movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

HELMET Reviews

HELMET Strap It On

Album · 1990 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Necrotica
Imagine being crushed by a bunch of bricks. Imagine slamming headfirst into solid concrete. All while either of these events are happening, imagine you are also wading through a thick river of mud at the same time. Better yet, listen to Helmet's debut because it's the audio equivalent of having all that happen to you. It's a brutal, unpleasant experience; it's one that doesn't try to paint a pretty picture or have any polish from the production studio. But at the end of the day, that's exactly what makes Strap It On such a powerful gem of an album. It bridged alternative rock and metal, alternative metal with hardcore punk, and brought in some noise rock to tie it all together. It's still an uncompromising experience to this day and hasn't lost its punch over the years.

Helmet spawned from the NYC hardcore scene back in the early 1990, and instantly stood out from the rest of the metal bands of their day. They were often regarded as the "thinking person's heavy metal band" during their heyday due to their penchant for precise staccato riffing, unorthodox time signatures, and experimenting with jazz and noise rock. They also stood out from an image perspective, having a more earnest and "down-to-earth" look with t-shirts and jeans; there was no theatricality or grandiosity, nor were there any wankish or ridiculously flashy solos either. Now, I should mention that Helmet didn't hit their commercial stride until their second effort Meantime, which had their signature song "Unsung." But Strap It On definitely provided the building blocks of what would become the band's sound, while also being their rawest and most relentless piece of work. Much of what made Helmet so fresh came from frontman Page Hamilton, who still leads the charge today as the band's leader and figurehead. Also, if you're wondering where the jazz and blues influences come from, Hamilton actually studied jazz guitar in the Manhattan School of Music prior to forming Helmet. In any case, his guitar work is simply insane on Strap It On. His solos can range from showing off his technical skills ("FBLA") to becoming utterly incomprehensible nonsense at times to fit the song's mood ("Murder"), or be a mixture of both ("Bad Mood"), but his guitar skills allow him to bend a song to his will just by the way he plays and experiments with his instrument.

Strap It On may be a short affair (only thirty minutes), but just like Reign in Blood, it packs such a punch in that time that it warrants several replays. Right from the percussive bass/drum-centric intro of "Repetition," the album's production is instantly catches the ear with it mixes rawness and instrumental clarity. There's a thick wall of sound coming from the guitars during the more textural moments, such as the solo section of the slowly crawling "Sinatra" and the lengthy intro of the midtempo alt-metal number "Rude," but it's always punctuated by a punchy drum performance and tone courtesy of the legendary John Stanier. Then there are songs like "Bad Mood" or "Repetition," which are basically straight-up hardcore punk songs without any of the alternative metal elements the band is usually known for. But those are some of the best tracks on Strap it On as they're the best displays of a group who was young, pissed off, and (as I stated) uncompromising as hell. Perhaps the best thing about this album is that it mixes intelligence and strong talents with brutality in one fell swoop, something that would be lost in future records as Helmet would eventually get cleaner and more melodic. There are melodic flourishes here and there, as the guitar textures of "FBLA" and "Repetition" prove, but there's always something propulsive going on in the backing instrumentation so Helmet don't really linger on them for too long. But whenever the more emotive moments are on display, they're often incredibly gloomy or depressing; the bridge of "Sinatra" in particular is pretty hard to listen to for this reason, as the lead guitar work just makes it sound defeated... until the chorus kicks back in, that is.

Helmet made a number of brilliant records during their 90s heyday, but Strap It On is the one that just sticks with me the most. This just seems like the most impressive document of their sound, creating a perfect balance of alternative metal, hardcore punk, and noise rock in one complete package. It's short, but to the point. It's brutal, but coherent and melodic enough that it never seems too abrasive. Plus, it's still one of the most headbangable (is that even a word?) albums I've ever heard to this day. And on top of all that, there's not a bad song to be found here. If you're into punk, metal, alternative rock/metal, noise rock, or just 90s rock/metal in general, this (along with Meantime and Betty) is simply essential.

HELMET Meantime

Album · 1992 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
Due to the booming success of Grunge in the 90's, record labels were hungry fora new cash cow band to sign on. Out from the darkness emerged Helmet, a band who seemed perfectly fit to take Nirvana's place for the next big band. Helmet was very distinguished from Nirvana when the time came around, however, bringing a slamming rage to their music when 1992 rolled in with Meantime. Hailed as an extremely influential album to others of it's genre that came in the late 90's and 00's, and critics absolutely loved it. Meantime sold relatively well in the years after it's release, and was certified gold with two million copies sold in 1994.

Meantime is a very well-structured album, and utilizes the 90's grunge/hard rock mix to a stretched out limit. The bad thing here is that with so much fury and pure noise blaring from every track, it's very hard not to get burned out, which sometimes they did. Many of the songs sound similar at first but do tend to become more diverse with multiple spins. It's a unique yet comfortable album that earns the top spot as one of the most influential alternative metal albums of all time.

HELMET Strap It On

Album · 1990 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
alice-in-chains4lyfe
"Strap it on" is the debut album from the legendary alternative metal band Helmet. Helmet are one of those bands who simply don't ever get enough credit. Many often credit band's like Faith no More and Rage Against the Machine for starting the so called nu metal genre, however Helmet are definitely a band who had a large impact on the genre, with their use of drop d tuning influencing everyone from Korn, to Tool, to Marilyn Manson.

This album is their most hardcore punk influenced, and sounds very different from the band's later albums which were more straightforward alternative metal/hard rock affairs. The sound of this album is a very unique mix of post-punk, noise rock and metal. The albums production is very raw (like most underground 80s hardcore albums) however this is a good thing as it adds to the whole rough and dirty feel of the album.

All the songs have the same raw anger, but my favourite has got to be "Sinatra" a song with some incredibly heavy riffs, later covered by fellow alternative metal Deftones. "Make Room" is an interesting heavy blues type of song, and features a monster riff/drum outro. Page Hamilton has never been known for his singing ability, and it shows on some songs on this album. Songs like "Rude" could have been much better with a different singer. This problem was especially prevalent on the band's post-90s albums.

Overall a fine album, and a great addition to any hardcore or alternative metal fans collection.

HELMET Seeing Eye Dog

Album · 2010 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Seeing Eye Dog" is the 7th full-length studio album by US hardcore/alternative metal act Helmet. The album was released in September 2010 through Work Song Incorporated. It´s the first album release in four years since the release of "Monochrome (2006)" and the 3rd album release since Helmet´s reformation in 2003.

The music on "Seeing Eye Dog" is unmistakably the sound of Helmet. For better or worse. The combination of raw angular post hardcore riffing, shouting and aggressive vocals and softer and more melodic alternative rock/metal elements is something Helmet have more or less perfected over the years. They´ve carved a niché for themselves and they actually have a rather unique sound. Lead vocalist Page Hamilton is probably an aquired taste with his often monotone and at times almost sedative clean vocal style but this vocal style combined with his more raw and aggressive type vocals have always sounded pretty good to my ears. It´s not completely unlike what Jaz Coleman does in Killing Joke.

While the band have their basic style nailed, it´s unfortunately always been so and so with highlights and "Seeing Eye Dog" is no different in that respect. The quality of all tracks is high, but I´m not able to remember many tracks after the album finishes. With only 10 tracks and a playing time of 37:41 minutes that should have been quite easy. It gets better the more spins you give the album, but the songs never truly stick.

...so in the end "Seeing Eye Dog" is a bit too much of a "by the numbers" Helmet album. It´s enjoyable, professionally produced and performed with conviction, but it doesn´t set standards like their early releases did. A 3 - 3.5 star rating is warranted.

HELMET Strap It On

Album · 1990 · Alternative Metal
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The Angry Scotsman
This is one of those classic albums that is largely unknown yet highly influential. "Strap it On" may have been the first alt metal album, or at least one of the very first.

Released at a time when most metal bands were thrashing and shredding away, this album must've been a shock to those who heard it. This albums moves at a perpetually moderate pace, built on drop tuned, staccato riffs, heavy syncopation, and lots of noise.

The guitars are played in drop D and heavily distorted. The guitar work is much simpler than metal at the time, but may be powerful. Much of the riffing is done in a stop/go fashion. Bursts of riffs that give it a very explosive feel. While this would become THE alt metal standard, it was very new at this time. The staccato bursts of riffs are sometimes juggled with continuous "spidery" segments, (they feel like they are crawling around the fretboard!) and the occasional outright groove.

There are solos, but they are pretty unorthodox usually being more noodly than shred. This would become another heavy music staple of the 90's, the elevated non shred solo. Sometimes the solos on "Strap it On" are simply feedback, or replaced entirely with a wall of noise.

In order to distort the typical song structure there are often segments of feedback and wildly chaotic noise. The drumming is simple and brutal, the bass, (when you can hear it) is low and distorted fuzz and Hamilton's vocals are nails on a chalkboard. Almost purposely dissonant and amelodic yells punctuate the walls of noise.

From start to finish there is little variation on this album. Every song is a sonic pummeling, except for "Sinatra" which gives us a bit of a break. The album also has a VERY low fi production.

"Strap it On" may sound like noise, and it may not sound very groundbreaking, but at the time it was. This album is the definition of alternative metal: Heavy, angular riffs, lots of groove, unusual song writing, a lot of off tempo and the classic "explosive" sound of alt metal.

This album may have also been an influence on post-metal with its heavy use of feedback, repetitive and unorthodox song structures, and eschewing of most metal norms while being savagely heavy and aggressive.

A very challenging album and one not meant for all. But a historical one, and a pretty good if you can stomach it, though certainly it's very nature makes it a bit limiting.

Three Stars

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