Arriving at the venue on quite a wet evening, concert goers took a moment to dry off from the rain and grab a refreshing drink at the bar prior to the opening set of Helms Alee. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Helms Alee have been part of the Sargent House label with Russian Circles since 2013 and are currently promoting their fourth studio album, 2016′s Stillicide. A unique batch of musicians, the trio includes Ben Verellen (guitar/vocals), Dana James (bass), as well as Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (drums), and their style is difficult to categorize. No stranger to touring, they recently wrapped up dates with The Melvins before hitting the road again with Russian Circles.Lights, interaction, and explanations were not needed for Helms Alee as they were there for one thing only; to perform music. That in mind, Verellen sliced through his guitar riffs as his hair whip through the air while he howled into the microphone.
Meanwhile, James hid her face in her long dark hair, focused on bringing an abrasive sound with bass lines that rolled throughout the entire set with an unstoppable force. Then there was Matheson-Margullis which led each song with the pounding of the drums completing the ensemble and creating a full, distorted sound.The sound was quite fierce in fact as spectators headbanged throughout songs that included “Ripper No Lube,” “Andromenous,” “Pleasure Center,” “Tumescence,” “Pretty As Pie,” “Stillicide,” and “Fetus. Carcass.” As the tracks moved with ease, James took a surprising moment to interact with the audience, speaking softly and mentioning that they were from Seattle. Also informing the compelled audience they had few more songs left, the band wasted no time to blast out more music with “Paraphrase,” “Untoxicated” and closed with “Galloping Mind Fuk.” There was no goodbye and Helms Alee casually walked off the stage leaving fans hungry for more. Helms Alee are a unique act and fit quite well to open for Russian Circles, putting on a performance one cannot actually classify as just Instrumental, Metal, nor Rock.