Batten down the hatches, Helms Alee promise quite the journey at Roadburn 2020

Emma Ruth Rundle has chosen Helms Alee to join the diverse array of artists that make up her curated event at Roadburn. Her fellow labelmates, friends, and a trio of musicians that make an ungodly, dense sound for a group so few in numbers – we’re thrilled to have Helms Alee return to Roadburn! Over the course of twelve years and five albums, Helms Alee have created a back catalogue of modern American rock music with a deep multiplex current of darkness and bubbling intensity.

If you’ve previously skipped over Helms Alee, this year’s Noctiluca deserves a revisit; it’s on this album where the strands of previous releases all come together in one complex knot to form a sound that is – above and beyond anything else – purely Helms Alee. Steeped in melody with just enough abrasive, discordant surfaces to catch and hold the attention of those seeking something darker and rougher around the edges. The overall result sounds like a three-piece who each know their worth and pull their weight; a perfectly balanced vessel, the collective treasure trove’s value adds up to more than the sum of its individual component parts.

Emma comments: “Another of my all time favorites, I first heard Helms Alee when I saw them open for Isis in LA circa 2009 -I was awestruck by their sound. I had never heard anything like it before. Each of the three members has a unique style of playing and together they seamlessly move through riffs and syncopated sections that are almost impossible to count. The three members also sing – sometimes together, sometimes in turns – which adds motion to the churning sound. The power and personality of this band is hard to put into words, which is why you must see them for yourself.”

Batten down the hatches, Helms Alee promise quite the journey.

Helms Alee will perform at Roadburn 2020 as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s curation, The Gilded Cage.

Becky Laverty / November 2016

Date: April 16

Time: TBA

Stage: TBA