Helmet was hardly a typical metal band (and in fact the band
themselves probably didn't consider their music as metal), signing
to a non-metal record label in Amphetamine Reptile and adopting
a musical style that relied little on flashy guitarwork but instead
focus on wall-of-sound riffing, undeniably hard and heavy but not
quite the typical metal style.
Moreover, their visual image of regular short-haired guys was far
from the accepted norm of flamboyant metal showmen.
Nonetheless, the band's second album, 1992's Meantime, was a
tremendous hit among metal audiences and is by far the band's
best-known work, as well as an influence on many a late-90's band.
Two more albums were released after Meantime, but by 1998 the
band decided to break up, with frontman Page Hamilton
to pursue a solo career and the others possibly continuing in other
projects as well.
But by 2004 Hamilton had put together a new version of Helmet,
and two albums have since been released (Size Matters in 2004,
Monochrome in 2006).
A new lineup is in place for 2008, though recording plans are not
settled at the time of this writing.