The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

Helve – To Be Forgotten

My first taste of Helve came about last January at an event hosted by Celestial Diadem Promotions, a half-dayer, to be precise. Six fully loaded bands absolutely annihilated it that night. It was more a coming together of all that is good about our music scene rather than just six bands playing together on any given night. The music was dark, emotive, hugely atmospheric and laced with immense fire and fury. Something special was in the air that night, where friendships were forged and memories were carved.

Speaking of memories, Helve’s performance that night was spine tingling, drifting from soft forlorn passages to blistering, sludge-soaked tirades. It was colossal. Well, I am absolutely delighted to see the guys release an album that shows the bands positive progression and talent ignite and combust, setting fire to the post music scene.

To Be Forgotten is four tracks of dense and often dirty post metal that gnaws at your flesh while at the same time comforting you through its spirited and soul-stirring breakdowns. The opening track, Dark clouds, comes rolling in slow and slumbrous with an air of unexpected calm and serenity. It reminds me so much of my favourite Fourteen Nights At Sea’s track, The Dead House. Patience combined with a underlying sense of fear and unease. It’s almost nearly six minutes into the track before your hypnotic state is broken by a beautiful vocal that floats and travels slowly above your head. Coarse, harsh vocals slice the atmosphere asunder along with a riff that bleeds pain and melody in equal measure, dragging the track by the throat and carrying it, kicking, and screaming to its end.

Woe and despair bleed out on the second track, Guns Heal The Sick, with its wretched vocal delivery bellowing high above a filthy riff. It’s harsh and its melancholic and it’s bloody brilliant. Funeral paced, and aching in an ever so subtle melody, you can feel and sympathise with Helve, as the noise washes over you with some glorious tremolo guitars that echo some of Interpol’s finer moments.

The final two tracks on offer here, Bones Of Giants and Teeth are absolute beasts, weighing in at 12 and 20 minutes respectively. Both these tracks are epic and could do with a review of their own, such is the sonic diversity on display. The range of emotions that Helve pendulate through on each of these tracks is what makes this album huge. It’s a roller-coaster of raw emotion and unconstrained sentiments. Helve have truly found their sound, and I believe the magic lies in their ability to bring that live passion and spirit into the studio and replicate every feeling that is strewn across the stage when they play to a wanting crowd. To Be Forgotten isn’t over produced and it isn’t mixed to within an inch of its life. It sounds how it should, packed with a potency and an intensity that will see these guys take the next big step.

Be sure to grab their album on preorder through the mighty Ripcord Records while you wait for the full release to grace your Bandcamp page. If there’s one thing you can be certain of, it’s that Charlene, of Ripcord Records has impeccable taste and a finely tuned ear for damn fine music! Release Date, September 29th.