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How Metal Can You Get? - 85%

brocashelm, December 31st, 2008

A cult band to be sure, Brocas Helm hailed from San Francisco, and did things in their own cryptically inclined manner. This manner meant composing battle ready battleaxe anthems in a style very much their own. Shades of Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol appear, but that’s more due the similarity Brocas Helm shares with other US bands doggedly insistent on forging their own style. This releases followed up the band’s hopelessly rare debut Into Battle, and was recorded on an 8 track machine, giving the prospective listener the heads up that this isn’t going to sound like a big budget deal. But that’s irrelevant, because what the Helm craft here is nothing less than some of the most unique US metal ever forged. Just dig the medieval melodies and proud structures that highlight the title cut and “Prepare For Battle,” the creepy vibe of “Hell’s Whip” and the Motorhead rythym of “Satan’s Prophets.” The regal “Fly High” is a power metal anthem brimming with excellence, while “The Chemist” is a queer and dark medieval jig of great atmosphere and feel. All of this is presented in a tough but melodic style led by guitarist and singer Bobbie Wright and armed with the voltage of a band loaded with enthusiasm and skill. A classic disc, this one was lost in the winds of time for ages but is now re-issued and ready for action. By the way, the band called their low-budget studio facility “The Caverns Of Thunder,” and “recorded under a haunted moon.” How metal can you get, man?