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on 8 December 2004
It's strange how time seems to exaggerate the reputation of some bands, whilst diminishing the reputation of others. Helmet seem to be very much in the latter camp, which is a shame. Too heavy (and too late) for grunge, and, frankly, too grown up for Nu-metal, Helmet melded the power of thrash with the intelligence of the 80's underground to produce some really thrilling and satisfying music.
From Page Hamilton's drop-tuned guitar (yes, apparently he did invent it so nu-metal is sort of their fault)and post-hardcore shouting to the scouring guitar solos and fantastic rhythm section, this is some of the best alternative metal of the 90's. House of Pain collaboration "Just Another Victim" is probably the best known track here, and while a bit derivative provides nice bit of variety; the strongest material is from the fantastic "Meantime" record. As a compilation, this has most value later in the bands career - the albums got a bit more patchy then, but the highlights here are strong, and actually show some ambition to escape the alt. metal straightjacket.
When I first saw them live I was amazed a band this heavy all had short hair. It was not yesterday Helmet Strapped It On, but their sound echoes around jock-rock hyperdomes to this day...
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