HELMET – Left
BAND URL: https://www.helmetmusic.com/
Noise rock pioneers Helmet surely need no introduction as their impact on fans, critics, and other artists has been (and is) rather significant, and their influence on genres such as nu metal and alternative rock is undeniable. It is as simple as that, really. Page Hamilton (vocals, guitars) may be the only original member left but the New York City-based group’s musical identity and unique sound remain intact in 2023 as evidenced by their new album.
Left is their latest full-length onslaught of dissonant riffs and edgy arrangements, and it definitely feels like a Helmet record. In fact, there is no doubt in the mind of this writer that it marks their best and most interesting output in what feels like ages and even decades but considering how patchy Dead to the World (2016) was you should probably take what I just said with a grain of salt. The thing is that Left is a frustratingly uneven piece of work and one that loses its momentum way too often, which entails that there is a wide gap between its highs and lows. There are some proper killers and fierce cuts to be reveled in with the hard-hitting ‘Powder Puff’, the sludgy ‘Dislocated’, the jazz-tinged ‘Resolution’, and the moody ‘Tell Me Again’ being the best of the of the bunch, and the LP does conjure up some riveting moments, but at the end of the day the disc comes across as an anticlimactic experience. Its potential is never fully realized or fulfilled, and too often you find yourself losing interest in its content. Helmet were originators and they can still churn out a great tune, but a little more quality control and cohesion would not have gone amiss here, and the first half of the album is just too unremarkable.