Friday 3 July 2020
Sludgy but extremely melodic power trio

Helms Alee is a band who refuses to be pigeonholed, and they don’t feel like sticking to just one genre. They are a Seattle trio who meld jangly shoegaze with noise rock and sludge metal. Soft meets brutal, melodic meets aggressive – and nothing is contradictionary but complement each other, often within the same song.

The three members of band – Dana James (bass), Ben Verellen (guitar) and Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (drums) – take turns at the microphone which allows different dynamics with of male and female vocals (from clarion-clear to bestial might), making the band stand out from the masses of metal bands.

If you google the band’s name you will most likely come across articles about sailing manoeuvres. That’s because it’s a nautical term concerning the tacking of a sailboat. Helms Alee is the sort of band who can go against the stream in stern wind.

The band has been around the 13 years, and in 2019 they released their fifth album, Noctiluca, named after a bioluminescent marine algae that glows when excited. It’s the same with Helms Alee – they are a shining light in the dark.

Live, they are a truly stunning trio with all three members vital to the dreamy swirl of sound – by means of seismic bass drops, a complex web of drum patterns and sci-fi textures and grinding riffs on the guitar. Helms Alee are proof that the trio format is a powerful one. They will have you rocking or staring in awe (perhaps both?) when they play Roskilde Festival 2020.