Thought to be lost forever, hellmets legendary 1970 lp is the proto metal find of the century. long rumoured to exist amongst hardcore prog collectors, it used to be considered as the missing VO5 Vertigo catalogue number. in 1970 two acetates were cut at Oak studios (a 12” and a 7”) and then promptly lost, and those who knew of its rumoured existence decided it was mere myth or permanently lost or destroyed. but in 2021 this doom laden metal psych masterpiece finally emerges from the stygian depths of prog legend. hellmets sole lp is the ultimate incarnation of leviathan and the mike stuart span, and on this lp they hit a peak, almost like a raw undergound Led Zep 1 with elements of Cream.
Hellmet’s sound is characterised by a howling lead guitar tonally similar to High Tide but played in a heavy blues psych style, at times Steve Day appears to be wrestling a demonically possessed lead into submission. 3 tracks are classic Heavy Prog Proto Metal, then Trust gets into Dazed and Confused territory with its violent tale of resisting torture under the Inquisition and choosing to die rather than betray the protagonists people, then the dark epic Judgement Day closes side 1, a doom laden tale of heroin addiction and facing ones maker in an inevitable slide towards alienation and death, the song has astonishingly ornate and complex guitar playing, almost baroque, with exquisite and beautiful passages, and treads a mournful path with an atmosphere akin to ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica.
The lp benefits from repeat playing, its heavy, but also its deep, and has a vibe that combines anger with melancholia. we can hardly believe we found this LP afer half a century of oblivion. gatefold sleeve illustrations of Lucifer by Gustave Dore and Cabanel. A significant and historic find. If you ache for more true vintage Heavy Prog, here is a blessing from the Dark Lord.