Helgrind Fallen Prophet EP

It’s happened. England’s Helgrind have finally returned with an effusive four-song tribute to palm-muting, attacks on God and 4/4 time. They’re calling this offender Fallen Prophet, a title complemented by cover art that features your usual underfed Christ figure in agony. The songs are like a drive around your old neighbourhood: conventional, familiar and happy to see you too. In a bizarre coincidence, the record’s 20 minutes actually seem to chronicle metal’s development throughout the ’80s: the first song sounds like by-the-numbers early speed metal and the last features a clean guitar intro coupled with sincere attempts at thrash. Most any metal fan at odds with religion will be somewhat satisfied with Helgrind; you’ll headbang to the riffs and agree with the lyrics. In effect, you will be nodding from start to finish. People looking for something less accommodating should try elsewhere. (Independent)