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Review: Brocas Helm - Defender of the Crown
Brocas Helm
Defender of the Crown

Label: Independent
Year released: 2004
Duration: 54:47
Tracks: 15
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 6, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Defender of the Crown

Rated 4.37/5 (87.37%) (38 Votes)

It's been a while since I heard something like this. I heard one song off this album a little while ago and didn't like it much - it turns out it sounds much better in an album setting than just by itself. Anyway, I knew this band by name only and figured I'd check this one out to see what all the fuss was about.

The band was formed in 1981 and I think time was frozen on that date in their part of the world. This album is very chaotic, disorderly and unpolished, a lot like many metal bands of the second half of the 70s. There's a very noticeable 70s punk influence, a bit of NWOBHM sound (at times the guitars remind me a bit of early Maiden) and the thing as a whole is kind of messy, but in a good way. I've heard a number of obscure NWOBHM bands that sounded a bit like this, in fact I was surprised to see they are from the US and not from England. This is really crude, dirty metal, the kind you can imagine hearing in a dark English pub filled with some tough fuckers. Not that I've ever been in an English pub, but that's beside the point. :) Amazingly, many parts of this little musical disorder have a very epic feel to them ("Drink the Blood of the Priest" comes to mind here.) I wouldn't call this "party metal", but maybe just "beer metal", the kind that works fine in the ambience of a pub. I'm at a loss for words here, it's really something you have to hear for yourself.

The vocals are a bit of an acquired taste since, just like the music, they're on the unpolished side. Sometimes a bit annoying, sometimes right on target. But in the end, it just fits well with the music. Production? Pretty damn messy too.

I dig this. It's a refresher from the overpolished metal we are often served with nowadays (nothing wrong with that, but I like some variety.) This is definitely not for everyone, especially if your thing is the more modern sound or technical playing - this album here is the antithesis of overpolished technical metal. Now excuse me while I go grab a beer and press Play again.

Track Listing:
  1. Cry of the Banshee
  2. Defender of the Crown
  3. Skullfucker
  4. Drink and Drive
  5. Blood Machine
  6. Preludious
  7. Ghost Story
  8. Helms Deep
  9. Juggernaut
  10. Time of the Dark
  11. Never Kissed Goodbye
  12. War Toons
  13. Persian Gulf
  14. Children of the Nova Dawn
  15. Drink the blood of the Priest (Bonus)
Other related information on the site
Review: Defender of the Crown (reviewed by Ulysses)
Review: Into Battle! (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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