Helms Alee 

The unholy rock and roll trinity that is the "power trio" is gloriously represented via Seattle's Helms Alee, a band whose colossal sound can either summon an army of wood nymphs or stir the type of frenzy that comes with fisting a hornet's nest. After recording an album that was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, the band recently signed to Sargent House Records, a label that boasts other heavy hitters such as Boris, Russian Circles and Red Fang. We'll have to wait until next year for that release to drop. In the meantime, Pitchfork is currently streaming a new track, "Not Dot," from the upcoming Brutal Panda Records 7" split with Philadelphia's Ladder Devils.

"Not Dot" sounds like Helms Alee in all ways, quietly opening with weaving, shimmering guitar before bringing on three layers of vocal harmonies, male and female voices soaring and peaceful. The army of nymphs hears the call to arms and with nary a warning the band bursts into blast beats. You can imagine the disturbed hornets buzz as filthy distorted guitars and bass meld with guitarist Ben Verellen's harsh wails. The crescendo crashes and all is once again as it was: wood nymphs weaving dreams that become nightmares.

Helms Alee plays Total Fest Fri., Aug. 16, at the Badlander/Palace complex. See our festival coverage for more info or go to totalfest.org.

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