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Review: Brocas Helm - Defender of the Crown
Brocas Helm
Defender of the Crown

Label: Independent
Year released: 2004
Duration: 54:47
Tracks: 15
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 6, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Defender of the Crown

Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (50 Votes)

It's been a while since I heard something like this. I heard one song off this album a little while ago and didn't like it much - it turns out it sounds much better in an album setting than just by itself. Anyway, I knew this band by name only and figured I'd check this one out to see what all the fuss was about.

The band was formed in 1981 and I think time was frozen on that date in their part of the world. This album is very chaotic, disorderly and unpolished, a lot like many metal bands of the second half of the 70s. There's a very noticeable 70s punk influence, a bit of NWOBHM sound (at times the guitars remind me a bit of early Maiden) and the thing as a whole is kind of messy, but in a good way. I've heard a number of obscure NWOBHM bands that sounded a bit like this, in fact I was surprised to see they are from the US and not from England. This is really crude, dirty metal, the kind you can imagine hearing in a dark English pub filled with some tough fuckers. Not that I've ever been in an English pub, but that's beside the point. :) Amazingly, many parts of this little musical disorder have a very epic feel to them ("Drink the Blood of the Priest" comes to mind here.) I wouldn't call this "party metal", but maybe just "beer metal", the kind that works fine in the ambience of a pub. I'm at a loss for words here, it's really something you have to hear for yourself.

The vocals are a bit of an acquired taste since, just like the music, they're on the unpolished side. Sometimes a bit annoying, sometimes right on target. But in the end, it just fits well with the music. Production? Pretty damn messy too.

I dig this. It's a refresher from the overpolished metal we are often served with nowadays (nothing wrong with that, but I like some variety.) This is definitely not for everyone, especially if your thing is the more modern sound or technical playing - this album here is the antithesis of overpolished technical metal. Now excuse me while I go grab a beer and press Play again.

Other related information on the site
Review: Defender of the Crown (reviewed by Ulysses)
Review: Into Battle! (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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