Though much has been said about Helmet's founding member and principle songwriter Page Hamilton and his influence on nü-metal, his real impact has been way more far-reaching -- remember, when Helmet first appeared, it didn't fall neatly into metal or hardcore, and acts as distinctive as Primus, Tool, Failure, Barkmarket, Prong, and Skeleton Key were considered contemporaries. Hamilton isn't likely to arouse technophiles who might dismiss him as too primitive, single-minded, or even gimmicky, but he's heavy music's Keith Richards -- no one on earth can copy his phrasing, which you can recognize within seconds, and his riffs stick to your mind like THC-soaked gum.

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