Written by Zax
- Bull Elephant
- Sludge/Prog/Thrash/Heavy Metal
- November 29, 2019
- United Kingdom
I’m going to cut right to the point, this one is odd, like really odd. It’s also one hell of a good time, and it’s extremely interesting. Progressive doom metal isn’t something I usually find myself talking about, but here we are.
There isn’t much information as to the identity or location of Bull Elephant, as they choose to stay anonymous. Their debut record is a concept album, and despite having listened to this record several times I still couldn’t tell you what’s going on in my own words, but their Facebook bio sums it up pretty well, “Bull Elephant is the story of a slain African elephant that occultist Ahnenerbe SS attempted to bring back from the dead as a new form of battle asset. However, before re-animation could be completed it was intercepted by a mysterious witch-shaman, pursuing her own agenda and redirecting the undead creature’s purpose.”
This album is unique in several ways, not just in the wild concept. The album starts out pretty much how you’d expect, with some slow meaty ass riffs and guttural vocals. Then, the music abruptly slows and becomes melodious before we get some husky clean vocals. The cleans are a huge part of what makes the album stand out. When I first heard them I was like, “what in the fuck is this?” but the more I listened, the more I began to enjoy them. Our vocalist here has some outstanding range, from gutturals, to mids, to the aforementioned husky deep clean vocals, and he also hits these incredibly raw high notes with his cleans that morph into these impressively intense screams. Some of the vocal performance seems almost inspired by classic heavy metal, which would typically turn me off, but I really dig it here!
Vocals aside, it’s very impressive Instrumentally as well. The dynamic shifts and on the dime sound changes make sure the album never loses your attention. There are sections of crushing doom metal, with huge riffs and throttling bass lines, and there are also very mellow sections where the guitars are very smooth and seem to have no distortion on them in the slightest. They shift between the two sounds with such ease and finesse. I think the track “Communion” is pretty all encompassing, it shows off almost all of their styles instrumentally and vocally very well, and just happens to be my favorite track on the album. Although, the track “Corrupted Truth” has a ton of straight up death metal influences.
This is a unique one, but if you can get a feel for it like I did, this album is a ton of fun, a blast really. It’s a very striking and attention grabbing mixture of sounds that is bound to grab your attention and not let it go, whether you like it or not.