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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: 5/5

Review online: June 6, 2006
Reviewed by: Ulysses
Readers Rating
Defender of the Crown

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

Good old Brocas Helm. Is it just me, but has 2004 been the year for reviving classic Heavy Metal bands? First, Thunder Rider release an album after 17 years, Pagan Altar released their "Lords of Hypocrisy" 22 years after their debut full-length and here we have Defender of the Crown which came out 16 years after their excellent "Black Death" which has fallen victim to mixed reviews of zealous praise or utter hatred. I have to say though; this latest offering from Brocas Helm is no different. I've seen it awarded ace reviews, and I've also read rants of how it's absolute crap. My opinion however falls towards the group that thinks this album is a timeless classic.

What makes this album stand out from other Heavy Metal releases is the fact that it's downright muddy. The guitar tone is sharp but also rough, not to mention awfully memorable too. The bass lines are very flexible and aren't completely hidden in the music (which helps add a vast amount of depth in an otherwise filthy production job). The lyrics here don't really follow the whole sorcery and wizards stuff (well, not completely anyways!) since there are lots of songs that have noticeable 70s punk influence in them like "Skull Fucker" and "Drink and Drive". The rest of the album's lyrical themes have a nice mixture of medieval fantasy, science fiction, and also a Lord of the Rings cover too! The lyrics are delivered by Bobbie "Dark Rider" Wright and I don't think there could be a better vocalist to mastermind Brocas Helm. There are however, a few effects used that might cause some listeners to turn away, but I'm fine with them and they are used in appropriate times in the song, so no super-effect-wankery occurs that would make me spring a stiffy in angst. For atmosphere, I think Michael described it the best because if I said anything I'd just be knocking him off. But I guess the best description for this album's atmosphere is summarized in the words "Pub Metal", I can't picture anything less.

In the end, we have nothing short of a great album that is not only catchy and offensive, but also a lot of fun to listen to. Brocas Helm is the type of band that does whatever the hell they want, and if you don't like it you can just piss off.

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