HELLMET -Judgement Day (legendary 1970 proto metal) CDSEELIE COURT
Thought to be lost forever, Hellmet's 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 cata!ogue 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. Hellmet's sole lp is the ultimate incarnation of Leviathan and the Mike Stuart Span, and on this record, 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. Three 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; the dark epic 'Judgement Day' closes side one, a tale of heroin addiction and facing one's maker in an inevitable slide towards alienation and death. The LP benefits from repeat playing: it is heavy, but also deep, and has a vibe that combines anger with melancholia. A significant and historic find, if you ache for more true vintage Heavy Prog.
Cover reproduces an orig sketch for the planned 1970 lp