Brocas Helm - Into Battle
First Strike
Heavy Metal
10 songs (36:!3)
Release year: 1984
Brocas Helm
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

Eager followers of heavy metal and early power metal take heed; this is yet another one of those cult bands that never got the attention they deserved. Brocas Helm started out back in 1981, and this was their first record to be released upon the unsuspecting crowd back in the heyday of the NWOBHM. After some arguments back and forth with both labels surrounding subjects as the cover art, they finally had this released in 1984. Into Battle is everything you wish for if you think a mix of Di’Anno era Iron Maiden and Cirith Ungol with a hint of the incredible riffing of Mercyful Fate sounds exciting. Very dirty heavy metal, or in other words this is something you should get your filthy hands on. Named after a piece of armor placed in the tower bridge in London, they explain their quest for fire as a fight against trendy music, surging into battle with their songs as their weapons, their fans as their blood and the force of right in their veins. Brocas Helm rides onto the battle-field with their weapons drawn, ready to unleash a thunderstorm of riffs, pounding drums and tormented war-cries.

If I was to describe this with only one word it would be dirty. ‘Cause this isn’t pretty at all, as bad production, sloppy production, and far from perfect vocals dominates here. That is on the other hand, the beauty of old school heavy metal. Brocas Helm manage to produce the violent atmosphere of the dark medieval times with an album chock full of rattling old-school heavy metal riffs, unleashing a raging hurricane of Metallic Fury from the first crack of the sky. With a rough yet charismatic voice, `The Dark Rider` Bobbie Wright leads the way through clashing swords and shields, while Jack Hays and James Schumacer represents the highly energetic rhythm section. Drummer Hays can easily be described as a little more playful Clive Burr, as he keeps on providing beats that’s bound to hook alongside the catchy riffs. Rushing into the title-track with full intensity Brocas Helm pulls out some of the finest heavy metal moments there ever was. Into Battle is such a glorious song with riffs that resemble Mercyful Fate’s unbeatable brilliance when it comes to composing songs scaled by solid steel. The fact that Brocas Helm never stops what they started but continues churning out fantastic riffs that’ll cut through you flesh like a hot knife through butter. Whether it’s the slightly chaotic 70’s-rockish Here to Rock, the Motorhead-like Warriors of the Dark, the straight-forward metal anthem Night Siege or the somewhat doom-y and bizarre Into the Ithilstone. The songs are filled to the brink with riffs that builds towards climax after climax resulting in sloppy yet great solos and moments that can be best described as powerful. They have an added atmosphere to them that few other bands had/have which is perfectly admirable. A faint yet rough heroic touch is layered over every song, never showing signs of cracking. This mixed with the NWOBHM-like outbursts and the overall overwhelming quality of the seemingly sloppy work makes for an amazing listen, and definitely something a dedicated metal-head should look into and deliberately enjoy.

As surprising as it may sound Brocas Helm are, despite their likeness to Cirith Ungol not very hard to get into. The only thing that may take some time to completely `get` is the production although I don’t believe that many of you will find that a particularly big problem. The songs are catchy, the riffs are many, the energy level is constantly on the rise, the vocals are not too outlandish, and the rhythm work is as lively as it should be. Fans of early Iron Maiden, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Manilla Road and newer stuff like The Lord Weird Slough Feg, are in for a very pleasant surprise if able to get a hold of this well hidden heavy metal gem. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
All slay, but INTO BATTLE is completely awesome
Thomas quoted 92 / 100
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