HELMS DEEP – Treacherous Ways

HELMS DEEP - Treacherous Ways cover art
  • 8.2/10
    HELMS DEEP - Treacherous Ways - 8.2/10


Label: Nameless Grave Records
Release date: September 5, 2023

User Review
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Helms Deep are a classic Heavy Metal band that was formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Alex Sciortino. Joining him is Raven bassist John Gallagher and drummer Mike Heller, also from Raven. The band’s debut album, Treacherous Ways, is a throwback to old-school Heavy Metal, but with some progressive elements, as well. The album is filled with blistering guitar riffs, ferocious kick drum work, and shrieking vocals.

When Classic and Modern Elements Collide

Sciortino’s vocal range is quite impressive, reaching heights that Rob Halford and Ian Gillan have gone before. He also channels his inner Klaus Meine on the ripping title track. Helms Deep tackle Speed Metal with tracks like “Fire Rain” and “The Keep.” The latter has strong New Wave of British Heavy Metal vibes, which is not surprising because of Gallagher and Heller’s musical history.

As mentioned before, this album gets progressive in spots, shown through tracks like “Sorcery” and “Serpent’s Eye.” The Progressive Metal elements are similar to what Iron Maiden are doing currently. There’s a lot of experimentation, but it’s all about the feel. A major highlight on Treacherous Ways is “Headless Horseman,” which is a fine blend of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. It’s doomy, yet it’s all over the place with the changing tempos, but it works.

Another thing that strangely works for the album is the production. It’s a modern sounding production, but it’s very raw and organic. It really enhances the old-school vibe of Treacherous Ways, especially for Sciortino’s vocals. The drum sound on the album is terrific too, proving just what a beast Heller is on drums. The bass parts could’ve been louder in the mix, but that’s a slight complaint. Then again, the world has been spoiled with Overkill’s top-notch production, where the bass riffs are loud and proud on their albums, so that’s not entirely Helms Deep’s fault.

Final Assessment

Treacherous Ways is a great debut album from Helms Deep. They’re a group of guys that know their influences and aren’t afraid to show them. Therefore, fans of old-school Heavy Metal, with modern Progressive Metal elements, should give Treacherous Ways a chance.

Album Tracklist

  1. Fire Rain
  2. Treacherous Ways
  3. Fight or Flight
  4. Medusa’s Requiem
  5. Annihilation
  6. Breaking the Seal
  7. The Keep
  8. Sorcery
  9. Mountains of the Scorpion
  10. Headless Horseman
  11. Serpent’s Eye

Band Lineup

Alex Sciortino – lead vocals and guitars
John Gallagher – bass guitar and backing vocals
Mike Heller – drums


  • Lana Teramae

    Lana is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio from Honolulu, Hawaii. She's always had a passion for music, but she didn't get into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music until she discovered Rick Allen's story in the summer of 2019. She was inspired by his determination to play drums for Def Leppard again after losing his left arm in a car accident. From there, her tastes expanded to other bands such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Judas Priest, Saxon, Cinderella, and Overkill. Aside from listening to music, she loves watching YouTube and writing on her personal blog.

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