BY Stuart GreenPublished Jul 1, 2006

When Page Hamilton reformed his vanguard gut-rock combo Helmet a couple of years back and released the decent but unremarkable Size Matters disc, one of the common criticisms was that the bands Helmet had influenced and inspired were now doing things better than the originals. It’s unlikely those same snots will be able to make the same comments after surviving the pummelling sonic onslaught that is Monochrome. Returning to his roots, Hamilton has enlisted the production help of Wharton Tiers, the man behind the board for the band’s first two albums including the groundbreaking Meantime, which blurred lines between grunge, punk and metal and set the stage for a host of bands to do the same. While Monochrome doesn’t break new ground, it re-establishes Helmet as the band that did it first and can still do it best. Hamilton largely disposes of the melodic frills that were really a hindrance to the band and dispenses the throat-shredding, pin-you-to-the-back-of-the-chair, drop-D chug and wallop that he does best. Play louder than anything else you own.

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