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.”
Vahrzaw are one of Australia’s longest running black metal acts having played under various names in the early 90s. While many bands have come and gone, Vahrzaw have marched on unable to be stopped by neither politics nor circumstance, leaving a long trail of releases featuring interesting artwork. Metalheads in need of an audio pummelling look no further. Their sound hasn’t been compromised in the face of an ever changing scene over the decades and after Husk, their ripper of a 2018 album, they are returning with a brand new album slated for 2020. I spoke to Vahrzaw guitarist Scott about it and the bands origin.
Rearranged With A Twelve Gauge was released this year with complete disregard and the current scenes: it’s old school death in an awesome and ignorant way. I enjoy brutal death metal a lot and this has a galloping pace and vocals somewhere between old Cannibal Corpse and Dethklok. B
A solid album of death metal that will please anyone, simple as that. The vocals aren’t too soft or too abrasive and the instrumentation has a moody amount of melody but never dawdles. It’s a tight piece of technically proficient music. It’s an addictive listen and I’m sure backtracking through their discography will be a rewarding task. I hadn’t heard of Memoriam until 2019 and I don’t know how that happened considering all of their stunning covers are from the legendary Dan Seagrave. Just look at this to start sensing his body of work, it’s intense. I adore his focus on buildings and architecture, something I’m personally obsessed with in album artwork.
This is a great example of attention paid to visuals serving the music. It adds a certain sheen. Consistently good use of artwork appears professional or fleshed out as well, it sets the listener up to want to like what they hear. It’s a package that suddenly becomes worth buying on CD or vinyl, or viable to sell these things.
This is how I like my death metal, with a healthy dose of Aussie doom. It’s becoming that kind of place, the kind of country that needs doom to seep through the cracks in the bleach white wall of the Starbucks joined to an Apple store. There’s plenty of pent up rage on this island just waiting for the chance to crush the ‘surface’. This is raw, heavy and real. This is probably one of the filthiest death releases this year. For fans of death like The Chasm and Autopsy and death doom like Swallow The Sun. The balance is really good here, leaning into death heavily.