on 4 March 2006
This was Helmet's second release on a big label, and their first big album - it made me an instant fan.
As any other reviewer will say, Helmet were one of the first bands to use drop-D tuning and the stop and go rhythm-based metal that inspired a number of seriously inferior nu-metal bands in the late nineties. It's a shame that this is true, because while Helmet did start that off, there simply isn't any comparison between your typical nu-metal band and Helmet. Intelligent lyrics, a "raw" production sound, aggressive, crunchy riffs, and hoarse screaming from jazz-trained Hamilton make this album a memorable one. If anything, I'd count this as having more to do with Pantera than any mediocre nu-metal group.
It's hard to find this in the UK, but you can get it shipped from the states, and if you like the nu-metal sound but didn't like the dopey lyrics and the turntables, you should check out this album.
on 28 July 2012
For an album of incredible heavy hitting Rock/Metal then 'Meantime', by the shockingly underrated Helmet, is the album you are looking for. It puts basically every 'metal' band out there to shame with the amount crunching riffs and crashing drum rolls. When Page Hamilton screams you can feel your head shaking, none of this screamo rubbish. The admiration goes mostly to the rhythm section of the band, and it has to be said i've never heard a rhythm section as tight as Helmet. Henry Bogdan's bass is as loud as the guitars at times (finally a bassist that stands out). John Stanier is up there with the best of all time for me (mainly Jimmy Chamberlin and John Bonham), the beats are jaw-droppingly complex and amount of power he has is unbelieveable!
There are no standouts because the whole album really is that good. The only album that comes even remotely close for sheer raw power is 'Around The Fur' by Deftones. There is a lot of blaring guitar riffs but it some how fits together thanks to Hamilton's Ozzy Osbourne style vocals and raw howls as well as Stanier's incredible drumming. 'In The Meantime' is as loud an opener as you'll get, with its blistering walls of guitar, Hamilton's unworldly shrieks and relentless drumbeat. Songs like 'Ironhead' (astounding riff), 'Better' and 'Role Model' are pretty much the ultimate head banging songs. 'Unsung' is one of the bands most famous songs and its so synopticated its scary, whilst the soaring ending really shows that Helmet where in a league of their own. I've heard 'Turned Out' described as being hit in the face with a brick in a jazzy time signature, and that sums it up. Its so brutal yet groove ladden with Hamilton's jazz background clear for all to hear. The rest are catchy as hell rockers like the bass heavy 'Give It' and stop-start metal scorchers like 'You Borrowed', 'FBLA II' and 'He Feels Bad'.
If your into Noise Rock, Metal or looking for 'Heavy' music in general then there is no better album. It may be short but its straight to the point and no time is wasted at all. Definately one of the most underrated albums i've ever heard and with some of the best musicians of the 90's Alt Rock scene. If you haven't listen to this then its your missing out.
on 7 December 2003
From the moment 'In the Meantime' comes crashing out of your speakers, it is clear you are onto a winner. To the casual listener, it is a raw, stripped-down slab of root aggression, topped off by unrelenting shouted vocals. Those who listen closely, though, will find that, built around the fantastic staccato guitar work that makes up the framework for the song, is a whole range of underlying noise and riffs that come in from different tangents.
It is not only the opening track where this attention to detail is evident. It is a recurring theme throughout, and is what really elevates Helmet to their near-legendary status as one the pioneers of the hardcore genre. Well, that and the masterful riffs that songwriter and frontman Page Hamilton is able to churn out with such conviction.
The hardcore genre has since reached new heights and extremes, and has spawned many sub-genres. However, Helmet still have so much skill and passion behind their own music that 'Meantime' acts as far more than merely a foundation or stepping stone to modern hardcore, but remains a classic in its own right. The band have now split, but 'Meantime' catches them at their very best.
on 7 April 2014
Seems to be overlooked but an incredible album. Not sure much of what they did lived up to it afterwards. There are some great moments on Betty, but Meantime start to finish is an unflinching statement of a band single-mindedness that set the bar high for any band that may try to follow. Excellent timeless lyrics, sound and song writing.
on 12 March 2013
This album for me is worth 5 stars. Helmet's 2nd album and only 2nd best to the wonderful 3rd album betty.Never does this album at any stage fail to give the nu metal/rock listener 100% entertainment and satisfaction, start to finish.The opening track meantime really does rock and ironhead next up is a cracker.The rest of the 8 songs are up to the mark. Buy meantime, you won't be disappointed.
on 9 December 2002
At the start of the nineties with the breakthrough of alternative bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Helmet were tipped by many as the next big thing. Unfortunately, they never achieved the success they deserved, but listening to "Meantime" ten years after it's release, it's impact on today's rock scene is both astonishing and undeniable. Not convinced? Ok, read this: without Helmet - "Meantime", there would be no System Of A Down, no Tool, no Therapy?, no Glassjaw, and no Deftones. In short, the past decade would have been a very dull time for rock music. Awesome tracks such as "In the Meantime", "Role Model", and the classic "Unsung" deserve to be heard by every self-respecting rock/punk/metal fan. It's a shame that like most classic bands (Kyuss, Soundgarden, Far, etc.) Helmet are no more. "Meantime" only sold a few thousand copies, but you can bet your life that everyone who bought one went and formed a band straight afterwards.
on 12 March 2004
I first heard this album shortly after it's release in 1992, and to be honest had never heard of the band. I had heard recordings from other early Amphetamine Reptile based bands before this and had not thought much of them. However on purchasing this and listening for the first time, it was no wonder they were given a contract by US giants Interscope records. The Album contains 10 3min tracks of what i like to call 'clinical' rock/metal - and could be called the grandfather of numetal. The tracks are very tight with the guitars & drums playing off each other all the way. Singer / guitarist Page Hamilton being jazz trained, he uses this to the max with some crunching riffs and even weirder lyrics - but it all seems to fit. The follow up Betty, played on the weird card even more - for the genuine Helmet experience buy this album. A true classic.
on 3 January 2014
Bloody love it. Awesome music if you love some heavy...
Really tight playing and full of energy.
Can't recommend enough
on 13 February 2013
Saw them at Reading in, I think 1994 and they were at the height of their "first period". It helped that it was a sunny day, but they were unfussy,machine-like in their tightness with great songs. If it had been raining it still would have been great.Fine, uncompromising band, still love meantime even after 20 years.
on 3 October 2016
Powerful band at the top of their career