It’s been 24 years since Helmet’s sophomore album, Meantime, took the metal and alternative worlds by storm. Anchored by the jazz-like precision riffage from guitarist and singer Page Hamilton, it was dissonant and aggressive enough to appeal to metal fans, yet melodic and underground enough for their first album to have come out on Amphetamine Reptile. Their rumored $1 million signing to Interscope for Meantime caused waves in the music community, but MTV embraced the band, making “Unsung” an alternative hit. The album was influential enough in the metal and hardcore community that just last month, an all-star tribute to it was released. It’s been six years since the band’s last album, Seeing Eye Dog, and now they’ve returned with Dead to the World.
The first taste we’re getting to hear of the album is a song called “Bad News,” which they released a lyric video for today. On first listen, it’s even more melodic than the band’s previous output. The chord progression and the vocal harmonies almost sound Beatle-esque. In fact, if played this song and asked if it was Helmet or their current tourmates, fellow ’90s alt-rockers Local H, we’d probably have said it was Local H. It’s damned good, though. Give it a listen below, and preorder Dead to the World, which is out on October 28th, here.