Watching Helms Alee drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis do her thing is hypnotizing. Sitting behind a late-‘60s black Rogers kit—the same one her dad bought her when she was 15 years old—Matheson-Margullis covered lead and backing locals while playing over rapidly shifting arrangements. Positioned center-stage at Great American Music Hall, an awestruck crowd stared as she ruthlessly beat the hell out of her drums.
It looked and felt so natural. Her hands led the way; everything else just followed suit. Matheson-Margullis’ thundering tom-tom work (a tom-tom drum is a cylindrical drum with no snares) is inspired by Melvins’ drummer Dale Crover. But when you watch her play, it’s obvious that she’s also deeply inspired by her Native American heritage. Matheson-Margullis is Puyallup (a tribe from Washington) and grew up going to powwows and learning native drumming styles.
It’s also no surprise that her favorite record is Melvins’ Gluey Porch Treatments (1987). Black Sabbath’s 1970 self-titled album and Botch’s Faction (1995) also made her Top 3. Her unique style blends perfectly with the guitarwork of vocalist Ben Verellen (brother of Dave Verellen, member of Botch, Roy, and Narrows). With the uber-talented Dana James on bass, they create some drool-worthy sludge-metal, post-hardcore, melodic rock. Whatever you call it, it’s demanding, forceful, and mesmerizing.
The Seattle band has released five studio albums—Night Terror (2008), Weatherhead (2011), Sleepwalking Sailors (2014), Stillicide (2016), and, most recently, Noctiluca (2019). All three members contribute to the writing process, which allows different dynamics to influence their heaviness.
The trio opened the night with some new material—Noctiluca tracks “Interachnid” and “Beat Up.” Then it was time for one of their most notable songs, “Pleasure Center” off Sleepwalking Sailors. Verellen’s soothing voice quickly shifted into a resounding roar. It’s what the crowd was waiting for.
Helms Alee touched upon most records in their catalog. Playing Tumescence (Sleeping Sailors), Matheson-Margullis backed up Verellen’s deep, Maynard-like screams. Next, the slow atmospheric guitar intro of “Pretty as Pie” (Weatherhead) gently teased the crowd before tossing them down a rabbit hole of doom. Helms Alee navigates unprecedented waters — sometimes calm, sometimes chaotic. It’s the reason they close each gig with more fans that they started with.
After playing “Andromenous” (Stillicide), they dipped back into new stuff, like “Play Dead,” “Lay Waste, Child,” and “Spider Jar.” The crowd hung their heads or stared wide-eyed as the night went on. James flipped her curly hair and slid her fingers down the neck of her bass. Verellen’s long curls covered his face as his screamed into his mic. A sweaty Matheson-Margullis smiled at the crowd as she gripped her drumsticks, ready to end the night on a high note. They closed with Galloping Mind Fuk (Stillicide), which showcased Verellen’s relentless riffs, James weird bass lines, and Matheson-Margullis drumming annihaltion.
full article here
Helms Alee will be joining Jawbox for a couple shows after touring with Earth.
Full tour itinerary HERE
Noctiluca is out today! Available for streaming or purchase here smarturl.it/Noctiluca
tickets available at helmsalee.net for upcoming tour with EARTH
Helms Alee w/ Melvins
MAY 02 Vancouver, BC @ The Venue
MAY 03 Tacoma, WA @ The Spanish Ballroom
at the Elks Temple
Helms Alee w/ Earth
MAY 24 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
MAY 25 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge (SOLD OUT)
MAY 26 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
May 28 San Francisco, CA @ Great American
MAY 29 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
MAY 30 San Diego, CA @ Casbah *
MAY 31 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
JUN 01 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
JUN 02 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
JUN 04 Austin, TX @ Barracuda
JUN 05 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
JUN 06 San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger *
JUN 07 Houston, TX @ The Secret Group
JUN 08 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
JUN 10 Orlando, FL @ Wills Pub
JUN 11 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
JUN 12 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
JUN 14 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
JUN 15 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
JUN 16 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
JUN 18 Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom
JUN 19 New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
JUN 21 Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit Hall
JUN 22 Detroit, MI @ El Club
JUN 23 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle
JUN 24 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
JUN 25 Omaha, NE @ O'Leaver's *
JUN 27 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
JUN 28 SLC, UT @ Urban Lounge
JUN 29 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Helms Alee only *
Five Heavy Albums that Changed My Life with Hozoji Matheson-Margullis and Ben Verellen of Helms Alee // Decibel
Feature via Decibel
Helms Alee are nothing if not mysterious, the Seattle-based trio laying down a sound somewhere between atmospheric sludge, post-hardcore and post-metal throughout their catalog, which now includes fifth album Noctiluca, out tomorrow on Sargent House.
To celebrate the release of the album, and to try to understand the minds that create the band’s unique sound a bit more, we caught up with drummer/vocalist Hozoji Matheson-Margullis and guitarist/vocalist Ben Verellen to find out what five heavy albums changed their lives.Read more
HELMS ALEE Premieres The Appropriately Titled Track “Beat Up”
Sludge metal trio, Helms Alee, are back at it with a brand new album titled Noctiluca, and if you’re looking something heartwarmingly crude and groovy, then you owe it to yourself to check this out!
Today we’re excited to bring you the track “Beat Up” off the album, a quick number that is disgustingly raw and catchy at the same time, leaving you to smash that repeat button more than you’d like to admit.
Pre-order the new album, Noctiluca , to be released on April 26th via Sargent House.Read more
Where would we be without Helms Alee?
The melodic trio from the Pacific Northwest boast some killer songwriting skills and understand the value of both melody and the riff, which makes for a lethal combination of might and mind. In advance of their new album, Noctiluca, which is out April 26th on Sargent House, the band has shared the fly-on-the-wall practice-space video for their new melodic banger “Spider Jar.”
The intimacy of their performance highlights the track’s heavy melodic sensibilities and hints at the band’s live firepower. Make no mistake — when they unleash “Spider Jar” onstage it will hit like a 10,000-watt stereo blasting out Pet Sounds.
Check out the video for the beautifully brutal “Spider Jar” above, pre-order your copy of Noctiluca here and catch them on tour this summer alongside legendary duo Earth — a full itinerary can be found below. Oh, and one more thing: bring earplugs.Read more
full article via MetalSucks
Until some band (probably Metallica) actually records an album underwater, Dethklok-style, it’s a safe bet that Helms Alee’s forthcoming Noctiluca will be rock’s heaviest marine-life-themed offering. The record takes its title from a bioluminescent algae sometimes known as the “sea sparkle” because… well… it does this:
“Interachnid,” the first single off of Noctiluca, certainly suggests the album is going to capture that mix of brilliance and murkiness. In fact, the whole song is a study in contradictions: it’s smooth yet jerky, melodious yet discordant, confident yet anxious, inviting yet militaristic. It’s pretty fuckin’ great, and as a bonus, it arrives with a cool, trippy-as-fuqq video created by drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis.
Do yourself a favor and check out “Interachnid” below. Noctiluca comes out April 16 on Sargent House; pre-order it here.