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Brocas Helm

Even though they came into existence at around the same time and place (1982, the Bay Area) as the speed metal movement, San Francisco originals Brocas Helm shared only a few thrash-like tendencies with neighbors Exodus, Metallica, et al. Instead, like similarly overlooked contemporaries such as Manilla Road and Warlord, Brocas Helm members Bobbie Wright (guitars/vocals), Jim Schumacher (bass), and Jack Hays (drums) blazed a less popular trail closer to traditional metal powers like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and, of course, Black Sabbath, before them. This purist's philosophy quickly translated into a contract with Germany's Steamhammer label, which released Brocas Helm's medieval-minded debut album, Into Battle, in 1984, but to little critical acclaim. Fact is, band and label were separated by too great a distance to work together effectively, and the demos that would become Brocas Helm's second album, Black Death, would languish unreleased for nearly four years before finally coming to light in 1989, and then via the band's own Gargoyle imprint. By then, the group (now augmented by second guitarist Tom "T-Bone" Behney) had become a truly underground enterprise, and would issue nothing but demos (1994's "Ghost Story," 1997's "Time of the Dark") until giving up their battle at last in the late ‘90's. Brocas Helm's retirement was short-lived, however, and when Greek promoters invited them to tour that metal-mad country, they eagerly re-formed and issued a single entitled "Blood Machine" to coincide with their live dates. Perhaps even more surprisingly, 2004 finally saw the release of a third Brocas Helm LP entitled Defender of the Crown.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo


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