Best Metal Band

Helms Alee

Full disclosure: Helms Alee frontman Ben Verellen has become a dear friend over the years since his band first came on my radar with the release of Night Terror in 2008. However, Verellen, silver-throated bassist Dana James, and punishing drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margulis don't need an ounce of nepotism to make their mark as the city's most forward-thinking and disarmingly beautiful metal band. By taking the dizzying thrill that comes from their loud/soft dynamic to even more dramatic extremes on their sophomore release, Weatherhead, Helms Alee now can claim an extraordinarily diverse fan base that appreciates the band's mix of honey-sweet melodies and pulverizing riffage. Helms Alee make metal for die-hards and for people who didn't even know they liked metal. HANNAH LEVIN

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