Digital Media Records
Helgrind‘s band name almost caused me to mistake the band for a grindcore or death metal band, so little did I expect this 4-piece hailing from UK to be playing some excellent heavy/thrash metal, with Inquisition being their third full length offering.
The Bay Area influence on Helgrind‘s music is immediately apparent as the album begins with the battering Burn, and the fast and aggressive riffing style instantly brings bands like early Metallica and Exodus to mind. The music on Inquisition is intense and fast, and this would certainly get heads banging within a matter of seconds as the record starts playing, further upped by the somewhat catchy style of the band. The melodic side of Helgrind is often displayed through the riffs (like on Break Out) and lead guitar lines that are unleashed by Jim and Mikey, and there are even moments when the band borders on power metal territory with the neo-classical approach that they often take, like on No Tomorrow and its soaring guitar solos, and this serves only to display the catchiness of the band’s music and the versatility of the musicians in the band. The acoustic moments on Black Rain increase that Metallica resemblance and sounds almost like it could have been one of the ballads that the aforementioned wrote, and the aggressive moment and riffing pattern towards the end sounds almost like Metallica‘s Battery.
Despite the seemingly fun music that Helgrind has written, the band has also not forgotten the serious and atmospheric side of the music, with things like making use of the organ to create a haunting effect on songs like Burn, sounding as though one were in a chapel, praying in vain. Paul’s aggressive semi-growls and shouts also help in bringing out the angry side of the band, with the equally spiteful lyrics that are on the album, at times almost sounding like Exodus‘ Rob Dukes, combined with that swagger that James Hetfield has in recent times, such as on songs like Evil Inside, sure to appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands. And of course there is the brilliant drumming of Andy, setting the furious pace of the band throughout the record.
Overall, Inquisition is an extremely fun record to listen to, and the brilliant instrumentation on the album at times make the band sound like Exodus playing with Metallica-inspired riffs, and is sure to appeal to fans of Bay Area thrash.