"Storms of Genocide"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Helmsplitter is another addition to the burgeoning metal scene in the Central Illinois/Iowa area. The band's great resemblance to Goatwhore and Soilent Green can be forgiven, as Helmsplitter guitarist Ross Mallie was the guitar roadie for Goatwhore and a lot of that style obviously rubbed off.

Damn, this is a great sounding and looking independent release! The production is outstanding and absolutely worthy of big shots like Relapse and Metal Blade, the cover and packaging are very professional. As for the sound of Helmsplitter, you get a little bit of everything, but all of it is HEAVY.  A lot of the fast blasting riffing is definitely in the Goatwhore/Soilent Green tradition, with even the way the music transitions from one section to another being remniscent of the way those guys do it. There's also a very sizable amount of Southern-fried sludge ala bands like Sourvein, Rwake and Weedeater injected into Helmsplitter as well as some out and out majestic power riffs. Vocalist Blakk, late of Angelkill, practices the same demented shift between black metal raven rasps and cavernous growls as Ben clean singing here. Hard to believe the same guy is doing both styles, but there you go.

Plenty of killer riffs both fast and slow on "Storms of Genocide", with "Damnation's Children" and "Warchrist" being prime examples. I can't really bitch about anything here...even the live track "Days of Loathing" sounds potent despite the naff recording. Only caveat I would have for Helmsplitter is that sometimes things sound a little sounds like they occasionally shove in a sludgy boogie riff or a blastbeat section for no other reason than to show they can do it. The Goatwhore resemblance is a little overwhelming at times, but hell, this is a debut and they can certain develop their own sound in the future. This is just heavy skull-splitting metal perfectly made for beer and bullet belts.