Artist Profile and Review: Helgrind – Inquisition
Comin’ atcha out of London, 11 year veterans Helgrind play a tight, fast amalgam of Thrash, Death Metal, with some mild influence from modern traditional metal à la BLS. I’ve been following these guys for a couple months now and they’re a pretty unique bunch. While there isn’t much within there sound that is strictly speaking “all-original” the way in which they combine all of the elements present is unique and makes them something new and fresh for an audience with heavy metal ears.
The band formed in 2000, taking influence from Sepultura, Overkill, and points Bay Area. Their first full-length, Denial, was self-released in 2005 after which they went on their first UK tour. They then moved on to Casket Music where they released an EP in 2007, and their second full-length album, Religious Persecution, in 2008.
These days, Helgrind finds themselves signed to American label Digital Media Records, who’ve released their third full-length, entitled Inquisition. Not much has changed sound-wise for the boys, except a new affinity for the occasional Pantera/Devildriver style groove mixed into their Overkill/Sepultura love child sound. Inquisition is a truly solid album. The riffs put down by guitarist James Hunt (Second guitar player Miklos Takacs did not play on the album) are truly fantastic, and I particularly enjoy the flow come solo time: there’s no stop-start to the riffs, nor does it sound like unused space underneath those precedings. The drumming and bass playing are more than adequate at holding down the fort, with drummer Andrew Keel having a few moments of brilliance. Even vocalist Paul Nelson brings a uniqueness to the table with a style that’s not entirely reminiscent of anyone else out their.
This isn’t to say that the band is entirely without fail: At times the drumming does become slightly monotonous. Paul’s vocals sometimes lose some of their verve and groove and become a little too samey for sections of a song, effecting their brutality. This is just nitpicking however, because there’s always something interesting going on in one area of the band’s sonic assault.
Overall, it has to be said, Helgrind are up their in quality with fellow Brit-Thrashers Sabbat and Xentrix, infact sounding to this writer as if they’re a juiced up version of the latter. In a scene that hasn’t had many true luminaries to speak of (infact throw in Evile and Onslaught with the two previously mentioned bands, and you’ve basically covered most of the great British Thrash.) Helgrind really amp things up and do some effective, modern touches, without sounding “revivalist”. Check-out Inquisition and see for yourself.
Rating: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ (8 out of 10)