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I’ve always been interested in all that Helmet accomplished. I remember albums like Meantime and Betty as one the best metal albums I've ever heard. In 1997, the Helmet sound changed a lot with their fourth album, Aftertaste. Aftertaste sounded somehow commercial in its own way but was pretty enjoyable! Sad news, short after, Helmet disbanded... Two years ago, Page Hamilton came back with new musicians, John Tempesta on drums and Frank Bello, one of my favourite bassist, for Size Matters. This comeback record was a good follow-up to Aftertaste with even catchier songs such as "Smart" and "See You Dead". They toured and then no more news.
But this year, Page managed to release another album, Monochrome and I had the chance to hear it! On his official website it’s mentioned that the album should sound like the good old Helmet. Good news, you must have told yourself... But that was not exactly it... No, the songs wouldn't really fit with Size Matters but they wouldn't fit with Meantime either.
Let's start with "Swallowing Everything". Hmmm, what is wrong with Page Hamilton? What is so funny about dicks? Size Matters, Swallowing... And It's not just me, go ahead and listen to it; "Hanging out with all these dicks (...) Swallowing everything". But he has one good point, people sometimes seems like dicks, it's true. Musically, we'll talk like Page would talk, it sucks. The riff is quite boring and the vocals are horrible. Some high pitch raucous voice that's doesn't fit Page at all. We all know he's not an incredible singer but this doesn't even sound like him!
Those complaints pretty much describe the entire album, but nonetheless there is some true good songs on here, "Brand New" and "Gone" especially. They would have been even better without this new way of singing Page is experimenting! In overall, pretty much all the songs could have been shorter to make them more enjoyable because they're pretty repetitive.
Well, that was a quick review but that's what this album worth. So may enjoy it, but I didn't, aside from two or three songs... It sure worth a listen if you're a fan but please don't listen to this first if you never heard Helmet before! Everything they did previously is way better!
So let's conclude by giving the album a disappointing 60%. It could have been worst but the song "Brand New" saved the day.