Helcaraxë
Broadsword

Hailing from the craggy depths of New Jersey, Helcaraxë are one of the resurgent US bands plying Viking inspired forms of metal (Oakhelm, Hammer Horde, etc) and is one of US metal very best kept secrets.

After their impressive debut, Triumph and Revenge, the trio has tightened up their form of gruff, dense and loose but melodic and rousing death metal with 11 tracks of chunky, slightly Amon Amarth-ish and (very) early Amorphis styled metal. But with some of their jangly solos and loose bass work, Broadsword actually reminded me of Arghoslent’s recent album, Hornets of the Pogrom, but without the weighty backdrop and political/racial issues. Broadsword is simply a fun, direct record that shows as with most things, that when talented. dedicated Americans put their mind into it, they can pretty much do any genre they want.

Owners of 2008s No God to Save You EP will be pleased on two fronts as 10 of the new tracks are brand new, and that EPs best track, “Chainmail” (slightly off clean vocals not withstanding), appears on Broadsword. And for owners of the debut, whereas Triumph & Revenge delivered 16 very short (with the exception of “Mjolnir”) tracks, Broadsword fleshes the tracks out more with more depth and variety. From the rousing opening of “Northmen” and the superbly raucous title track, and other highlight including “The Iron Shield”, “Commander”, lengthy “Eye of Fire” and closer “God Slayer” all deliver a more rusty, rugged and rough version of Viking metal as opposed to their frolicking European brethren despite galloping riffs and solos abound. Only the 2 minute interlude “Götterdämmerung” lets up the rip roaring antics. Vocalist Jesse Traynor aids the whole rough and tumble affair with a throaty gruff roar that’s a perfect compliment to the music by being death metal without over stating it.

Albums don’t get more simple yet enjoyable than Broadsword, and after some of the recent mind fuckery from the likes of Augury and Gorod, it feels good to simply hit ‘play’, drink a beer, bang your head and then rape a nun.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 3rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    hey that nun was my mom you bastard


  2. Commented by: vugelnox

    this album kicks yer face right the fuck in


  3. Commented by: Staylow

    I need to hear this. The songs on their myspace sound pretty damn good. I can’t believe I kept overlooking them because I was under the impression they were black metal.


  4. Commented by: Captain Assfucker

    This is THE best death metal record of the year, hands down. i dunno why this band isn’t better known, because they are basically incredible… i got their cd on their site for like $4 after s/h figures in


  5. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Damn, gotta hear this one too! I wanna rape a nun! :lol:


  6. Commented by: Chris S.

    Thanks Captain, i went and got that deal too. great band too. i picked up this and the EP before it for 12.99PPD @ http://helcaraxe.com/broadsword.htm . I don`t mean to plug these guys but this is a killer deal for some good death metal.


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