Influential sludge metal band Helms Alee, have dropped a new single entitled “Beat Up,” today, which is set to be released on their next upcoming studio album Noctiluca. This upcoming album is set to be released on April 26 off Sargent House Records, which released their 2014 album Sleepwalking Sailors and Stillicide respectively.
“Beat Up,” blends heavy hard hitting bass and drums with melodic guitars, on top of vocal harmonies that provide an anthem-like atmosphere for the song. As the band’s press release states: “Oscillating between knuckle-dragging force and transcendental beauty, the trio bisect driving riffs and war machine drums with haunting vocal harmonies that have become synonymous with the Helms Alee paradigm.”
Earlier this year the band released a music video for their track “Spider Jar,” which showed the band performing the song in a music studio. Their previous single “Interachnid,” was released alongside an announcement for the new studio album earlier this year.
Helms Alee are based out of Seattle, Washington, and formed in 2007 with guitarist Ben Verellen, bassist Dana James and drummer Hozoji Margullis. Much of the band’s music, album covers and themes revolve around the concept of water, with the name “Helms Alee” being a nautical theme for tacking a sailboat.
“The first thing that comes to mind (regarding the band’s water themes) is just where we live. Seattle/Tacoma is surrounded by the Puget Sound and the ocean and all that, so it’s in our face every day. At some point, you get a little older and you start to appreciate it and get inspired by it,” Verellen explained for Music and Riots Magazine. “All of the stuff that doesn’t matter when you’re a kid. Then at some point it’s like, this is actually incredible and it’s right here and it’s been here the whole time and has probably had something to do with your outlook, your perception of things.”
The band’s last effort Stillicide, saw the group venturing into many different territories, pushing the limits of sludge rock, and making an effort that is uniquely their own. This causes the album to venture into many different territories, with each track having its own unique feel.
“With their ambitious songwriting, twin dynamic vocalists and refusal to gaze endlessly into the idealized past through rose-colored glasses, Helms Alee are one of the few bands pushing metal in a direction it needs to go: forward,” Conor Fagan, a mxdwn music reviewer, explained regarding Stillicide.
While recording Stillicide, the band did not go in with a straightforward cohesive idea for the record in it entirety, however, they did focus on curating a unique sound for every track. This caused each track to sound wildly unique from the other on the finished album.
“The songs don’t have any sort of preconceived idea about a composition for a record,” Verellen further elaborated during the interview. “We just spit out whatever comes and, at some point, compile what we have and try to piece something together that makes sense. Inherently, the songs are probably all different from each other because it’s that sort of band.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat