St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
BROCAS HELM. BROCAS HELM are the old neighborhood bad seeds who still live in the area, though these days remain largely unseen. You’ve heard whispers and innuendo for years without concrete evidence of any of their true deeds, yet you sense your ignorance is mostly a fault of your own understanding. There’s something inescapably magnetic about the legends of their aloof and out-of-time attitude that compels your respect.
These guys are like driving a Mustang drunk through a castle, or starting a swordfight unsolicited in a biker bar. Have a listen to their second full-length, Black Death, and see if any other absurdist similes spring to mind for you.
And Lemmy smiled. As did many others, perhaps: I’m sure Paul Di’Anno cracked a smirk as the SAXON boys looked on knowingly. Black Death, besides being charmingly messy, finds its feet firmly planted a half-generation or more before its 1988 release date, from Wheels of Steel all the way back to the times of the Iron Maiden (the medieval torture device, that is…bogus). The sound they own is distinctly theirs in any case.
At only 30 minutes, Black Death has a hasty and unfinished feel that is enhanced by the somewhat cheap and uneven production. This doesn’t detract from the musical spirit, but it certainly (and legitimately) has kept the album from being discussed among the genre’s giants. For now, enjoy this stream of cult US epic power heavy blah blah metal, and don’t forget their contemporaries in OMEN or MANILLA ROAD and torch-bearers in SLOUGH FEG for a touch of that same devil-may-care medieval-timey darkness.
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