“Night Terror” – Helms Alee

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Helms Alee is a band from Seattle, WA. Night Terror is their first studio album and is very unique.

Helms Alee don’t seem to fit into one particular genre of music, but Night Terror sounds like grungy-shoegaze.

“New Roll” is my favorite track on the album; it has an uneasy feeling to it at some points during the song, but during other parts, it’s very calm. This contradiction gives the song a lot of emotion. “Rogue’s Yarn” is another good track. It has a definite Seattle grunge sound to it. The interlude in the middle is my favorite part of the song, because it becomes more melodic and changes the direction of the song. I love the softer sound of “Wild Notes.” It’s a really good contrast to the rest of the album, and one of my favorites.

I don’t really like “A Weirding Away.” The vocals are chanted, while the instruments drone in the background. I don’t find it very interesting to listen to.

I don’t like the first half of “Betwixt” either, but when the vocals finally come in toward the middle, it gets a little better, because it becomes more melodic and has less of a drone sound.

I like the instrumental parts of “Big Spider,” but I’m not a fan of the vocals toward the beginning. The crunchy, heavy guitar along with the steady bass drum give way to a really heavy sound, but when the vocals come in, they feel distracting and out of place. An instrumental solo would have been a better choice. “Paraphrase” does this well.

The melodic vocals during the end of “Big Spider” are alright, but I’m just not a big fan of the distorted screaming vocal style that this band does.

I’ll give this album three out of five stars. Some parts are good, other parts I don’t like so much. Helms Alee can definitely play, but I think I’d like them more if they stuck with melodic vocals, rather than screaming vocals.
 

Key Tracks: “New Roll” “Rogue’s Yarn” “Wild Notes”