Wed 23rd August 2017
There's a hell of a lot of good shit being recorded on our islands currently. Holy Roar can often be found at the centre lending their helping hand, as here, unleashing the uncompromising battering ram that is Helpless' Debt. The perversely haunting artwork suits, the band name truly apt for the barrage of misery put forth.
Helpless have a Converge or Trap Them set up at the base of their sound, but overlayed with a truly misanthropic outlook fuelled by black and death metal influences. It takes next to no time for it to seep under your skin, so that midway through the short opening Worth you know you've found another favourite new band. Like the genre-blend mentality of Unyielding Love on a thoroughly hardcore tip, this is fucking great - music that is already manic, unrelenting and energy sapping, further blackened. There's something of the genius of Hexis in here too.
Tracks are typically short, but there is subtle variance in sound which prevent the album from tiring. Moral Bankruptcy slows to be as bleak as the cover art, or the masterly sludge riffage of Weightless Prayers providing further hooks to tie you down and maintain your attention. The excellent Manufactured Consent has Coalesce reminders, while the only longish (5 minutes) track, the closing Denied Sale is an interesting layered divergence all of its own.
Fierce, blunt and very heavy, Debt is cracking. Helpless are the latest band to sit outside the perimeters of genre Venn diagram mappings, pulling together aspects from several areas, in a gruesomely ugly, yet wildly exciting manner.