Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Helhorse - S/T

Those in the know have been familiar with sludge metallers Helhorse's exploits for years now, and the bands latest offering on Spinefarm, Helhorse stands as a fitting testament to all that they have been able to create over the years. There is something magical about the way that they have been able to cultivate a sound that is wholly their own that simultaneously borrows from the best parts of stoner metal and gives the sound their own unique spin. The sense of powerful humanity that defines this record will have you coming back again and again, because unlike so many of their peers, Helhorse get it.

I think one of the things that makes this band so charming to me is the powerful vocal lines, which can move from anything from a fun falsetto to a wonderful stoner rock rumble, often settling somewhere in between - proudly representing all that Helhorse have been able to conjure up over the past few years. Meanwhile, the bands driving, spiraling riff style contributes to their wonderfully iconoclastic sound. Their ability to infuse what is normally a rather drab genre with their own brand of bombast is wonderfully exciting and the pulsing joy that comes through in tracks like Among The Wolves reminds you what it's all about.

Helhorse is great, not just because the band is unafraid to bring in wonderfully weird elements (Hell, the album closer, No Fucks Given features gospel elements) but because they are clearly having fun. It's impossible to not feel the breakneck rock and roll energy that so evidently has come to help define what Helhorse are all about. Their compositions are tight and their attitude is right, and this is exactly why Helhorse is more than just a strong artistic statement. It is a look at our own humanity, reminding us there is hope at the end of all things.

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