Helmet - Monochrome

an unrelenting punch in the guts

Album Review by Dave Kerr | 14 Aug 2006
  • Monochrome
Album title: Monochrome
Artist: Helmet
Label: Warcon

Reincorporating the production skills of Wharton Tiers ('Meantime'), Helmet have had a rake around the kitchen cupboard to conjure up something of a return to the more lo-fi avant-garde hardcore which paved their way to infamy in the early days. Swallowing Everything seems to tell of an embittered battle with the industry liars and "self-esteem consultants" encountered by a jaded Hamilton during the turbulent distance to here, while the piercing racket of Bury Me and Howl resurrects that "jazz metal" aesthetic to iron out any remaining purist resolve from the uncomfortable bystander. As David Bowie's hired hand Hamilton may have picked up the odd new trick but old habits die hard. The distinct blend of aggression on 'Monochrome' is intoxicating and without respite from the chaos, for better or worse, this is an unrelenting punch in the guts. No Stanier? No Bogdan? It somehow doesn't matter after a few spins. This could be their ugliest hour.

Monochrome' is out on July 24.