Few bands understand deathly beauty better than Helms Alee. The trio may hail from the birthplace of grunge, but their seven-year career shows few signs of the gritty crucible that fostered their rise (thunderous drum beats and quaking, crunchy guitar riffs notwithstanding). Helms Alee don't need all the usual trappings of sonic heaviness, you see — the bulk of their frisson stems from its expansive feel, captured in haunting choral melodies, tightly churning tempos and expansive arrangements. For a party of three, Helms Alee sound like a doom orchestra dredged up from some dark sea. (Appropriately, the band's moniker is derived from a sailors' expression that loosely translates to "I'm turning this boat around!")

Hark! There's new storm on the horizon: Stillicide, Helms Alee's heaviest, best effort to date. Produced by Converge guitarist and esteemed board wizard Kurt Ballou, the follow-up to 2014's Sleepwalking Sailors sees the Washingtonians broadening — and intensifying — their sprawling palette. Whereas ragers like "More Weight" and "Galloping Mind Fuk" evoke Bullhead-era Melvins, the album's most compelling tracks skew sinister post-rock à la Russian Circles, especially the knotty, eccentric "Bullygoat." As it turns out, Helms Alee will tour with both bands this fall; find a full list of dates below, along with a full stream of the album. Happy diving.


Sept. 2 — Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Sept. 5 — Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club w/ Melvins
Sept. 6 — Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend w/ Melvins
Sept. 7 — Charleston, SC @ Music Farm w/ Melvins
Sept. 8 — Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits w/ Melvins
Sept. 10 — Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon w/ Melvins
Sept. 11 — Jackson, MS @ Duling Hall w/ Melvins
Sept. 12 — Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone w/ Melvins
Sept. 13 — Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex w/ Melvins
Sept. 14 — Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom w/ Melvins
Sept. 15 — Oklahoma City, OK @ The ACM @ UCO Performance Lab w/ Melvins
Sept. 16 — Norman, OK @ Opolis w/ Melvins
Sept. 17 — Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder w/ Melvins
Sept. 18 — San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger w/ Melvins
Sept. 20 — El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace w/ Melvins
Sept. 21 — Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress w/ Melvins
Sept. 23-24 — Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Fest w/ Russian Circles
Sept. 25 — Detroit, MI @ El Club w/ Russian Circles
Sept. 26 — Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace w/ Russian Circles
Sept. 28 — Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair w/ Russian Circles
Sept. 29 — Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Russian Circles
Sept. 30 — Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 1 — Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 2 — Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 4 — Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 5 — Birmingham, AL @ Saturn w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 6 — Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 7 — Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 8 — Austin, TX @ Barracuda w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 9 — Dallas, TX @ RBC w/ Russian Circles
Oct. 11 — Phoenix, AZ @ Last Exit
Oct. 12 — Los Angeles, CA @ Complex
Oct. 13 — San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Nov. 22 — Portland, OR @ Lola’s
Nov. 23 — Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile