HELGRIND – Insurrection

HELGRIND - Insurrection
  • 6.5/10
    HELGRIND - Insurrection - 6.5/10


Label: 3ms Music Ltd
Release date: October 22, 2021

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Regardless of who actually laid the very first foundations for Thrash Metal – some say it was Motörhead, others think it’s all about Venom and there are also some who believe it’s “Stone Cold Crazy” off Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack that deserves the credit – the genre evolved and exploded properly in the States. Although some iconic bands came about on the East Coast, it is California that is normally considered the birthplace of Thrash Metal. There are other places on Earth – see Germany – where Thrash Metal has been doing well for decades. And what about England, which is the birthplace of Metal in general? All of the aforementioned bands may be English, yet despite having delivered such acts as Venom or Onslaught England has never really been associated with the fast, violent type of Metal the Bay Area is famous for. That does not mean the Thrash scene in England is dead. One of the bands that can be used as an evidence that the English scene is still there is called Helgrind. Their new release titled Insurrection is about to see the daylight. Everybody push the stereotypes aside and give this record a listen.

The album starts off with an intro that may bring songs off Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction or Risk to mindSome talking over music can add up a lot of suspense to the song which proves to be the case here. About a minute through the song – titled “Dead Shall Rise” – the intro fades away and the composition kicks in properly, a bit like in “Hell Awaits” by Slayer. It has a lot of fast, dark brutality to it, although there’s no guttural heaviness to be heard here, so the verses are not all about Slayer. Shortly thereafter comes a really melodic bridge, which sounds more Power Metal rather than typical Thrash, to be frank. But that’s the only Power Metal bit of this song. Fans of Thrash, fear not – it is still Thrash. It is easy to tell that the guys at Helgrind must love Slayer, although Insurrection sounds quite anything but Bay Area. If someone however needs a comparison to another legendary band, it might remind the listener of Force of Habit by Exodus.

Next songs follow and not a lot changes – everything is fast, dark and heavy, although it somehow is missing some of that Thrash kick. What makes it fairly unique, though, is the fact that the lyrics are very easy to make out, which is nothing to be taken for granted as far as quite a few Thrash albums go. The guys at Helgrind sure like to experiment – for instance, the fifth track titled “Not My Enemy” has a lot more modern sound to it. Die hard fans of pure Thrash Metal may be disappointed, but those open to new experiences may like this album a lot.

They say 6 is the perfect number and that is for a reason – because “Breeding Hate”, being the 6th track is where the album starts properly. Full Metal speed coming right at you! Be ready for that vicious ballistic heaviness one could expect from the post-Tempo of the Damned Exodus. Also some really good solos can be heard in that song. Yes, this is where the album starts properly. The following song, “Harvest” is the one to sound like it’s inspired by more underground bands such as Sadus or Vektor. These guitar harmonies are brutally beautiful and some of those riffs is what Death wouldn’t have been embarrassed to have in one of their songs… or maybe they already have, who knows. It’s funny how this track is not even four minutes long – it seems a lot longer. And it is anything but boring; just has a lot going on. Yes, the further you go, the better the songs get. It was definitely worth it sticking around with Helgrind and discover some new quality music.

To sum things up, those who dig all things war-related and dark might fall in love with Insurrection. That very much sounds like one of the main target groups. As for those who like their Thrash with a lot of that sinister Bay Area kick to it… they may be better off checking different bands. Insurrection is definitely an album that needs to be listened to all way through to be appreciated fully, and possibly it needs way more than just one listen to it. After all, that concerns quite a few albums out there. It’s all down to everyone’s personal taste, but going to a festival to see Helgrind play does sound like a fair dose of fun.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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