|Review: Helms Deep - Treacherous Ways|
Label: Nameless Grave Records
Year released: 2023
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 26, 2023
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (12 Votes)
This came out of fucking nowhere. What we have here is Golden Age-inspired U.S. Power Metal started by vocalist/guitarist Alex Sciortino, who doesn’t appear to have any other credits to his name yet seems to be oddly well connected, at least enough to have Mike Heller and John Gallagher of Raven fame on his rhythm section. There are plenty of bands mining this vein out there, and most of them are competent and nothing more, but if Treacherous Ways is anything to go off of, Helms Deep decided to step in and show them all how it’s fucking done.
For a debut, this is an incredibly professional release, which is immediately evident thanks to a sharp production that doesn’t sacrifice grit for clarity in the slightest. The rhythm section is as tight as you’d expect from the likes of Mike and John, but the real highlight is Alex’s first-rate guitar work, which comes blazing out of the speakers with hard-hitting riffs and wailing leads that simply never stop. Mixed with his gruff, energized vocals and strong bass and drum work, we’re given a feast of old-school glory with enough swagger and muscle to have the kind of aggressive edge and momentum you’d find from the likes of Griffin and maybe even Nasty Savage in their oooollllllddddd demo days.
I’d sing the praises of this all day if I could, but this is the kind of music that rejects frills and gimmicks and just hammers your face in with killer tracks like the pounding "Medusa’s Requiem," "Breaking the Seal," the creepy "Headless Horseman" "Sorcery," the awesome highlight "Mountains of the Scorpion".... Fuck, I named about half the track list, didn’t I? Treacherous Ways is simply a stellar beginning for what I hope is a long-lived love letter to the glory days of metal, and it’s very comfortably taken its place among the year’s best. Essential.
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|Review: Treacherous Ways (reviewed by MetalMike)|
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