Released: October 12th, 2018 / M-Theory Audio
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine
Helsott is one of those bands that those in the metal community need to keep on their radar. Hailing from California, Helsott have just released their 2nd full-length SLAVES AND GODS via M-Theory Audio.
Helsott offers up a blend of death metal infused with folk with a bit of symphonic metal to top it all off. The blend of music is a mix that from some countries makes sense, but California? It is not my first guess, but that in itself is cool to me. These guys gained world-wide recognition after stirring things up on their 2013 trek of the North American Paganfest tour.
What they deliver up is done very well. As a blend of such genres is not unusual by any means, but doing them well is. Helsott deliver on all aspects. Their sound may not be a genre defining style, but as you listen to each track you can pick up on the fact that this is a blend that they are all truly influenced by. That in itself is a trait that earns much respect within any fan base.
Whether it’s the straight on death punch of the title track and opener ‘Slaves and Gods’, the most folk styled ‘Trollskald’ or the slightly lighter symphonic sounds of ‘Eye of the Past’, Helsott merge each genre with each track very well. So well that by the last track, Tom Petty’s cover of ‘Running Down A Dream’ comes as no surprise. It is a heavy, yet folky version that breathes new life into the track.
This is one of those albums that may take a time or two of listens to fully appreciate for some. For others it should come off as an immediate home run. Fans of Amon Amarth, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Arkona, Ensiferium, Tyr and the likes will appreciate what Helsott has to offer.
“The album also features a ton of guest appearances including Masha Scream (Arkona), Lazer (Arkona), Dr. Leif Kjonnsfleis (Trollfest), Trollmannen (Trollfest), Damna (Elvenking), Lethien (Elvenking) and Kevin Storm (Heidevolk), who join vocalist Eric Dow and drummer Cooper Dustman on 10 tracks of blistering battle cries that meld influences of folk metal, death metal, symphonic metal, thrash, classical and rock.”
1. Slaves and Gods
2. The Coward’s Curse
3. Winter Smells like Death
4. Whiskey Breath
5. Eye of the Past
7. Zep Tepi
8. Return Hyperborea
9. Honour Thy Valkyrie
10. Runnin’ Down a Dream
Cooper Dustman – Drums, Vocals
Steph Robinson – Orchestrations, Vocals
Eric Dow – Vocals
Mark Dow – Guitars, Bass