I’ve always been partial to the albums with good, thoughtful concept, to tell the truth, when there is also an interesting story behind the music. It’s a hard work and not everyone can cope with this but if the band did – their album become great at least or a real masterpiece like Nightfall In Middle-Earth, for example. UK band Bull Elephant took it further and release their second concept album in a row, named Created From Death, which continues to tell the story from their previous one.
Bull Elephant is an anonymous band. Anonymous so much, they blurring their faces on photos and the only thing that is known about the band is their location – London, UK. But here I’m full of skepticism because such “anonymous” bands like Ghost and Batushka used to open their faces and tell their names in court, both of them. Hope that Bull Elephant will not face such unpleasantness.
The album’s concept is too good to be re-telled so I’ll quote the press-release: “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. It was reconstructed into human form and then placed into the care of a renegade ape. The child’s witch-mother sacrifices herself so the duo can escape and they live in exile for several years, attempting to remain hidden from the enemy.” “Think of the background concept as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” set to a progressive doom soundtrack where Judeo-Christian mythology is replaced by the even more sinister universe hinted at in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft with Nazi assault wolves and a battle armored whale!” – states the band. I have nothing to say about it so allow me to go to the music.
The music in the album is quite matches the concept. There is a lot of Doom and Sludge in Created From Death but there are plenty of Death Metal elements as well and everything between them. The opening “Created From Death” actually starts in a Doom Metal – heavy and slow – but in a minute it rapidly changes with Death Metal and goes back to Doom; these changes last until the end of the song. The next one, “Oneiromantic Rites” is much more consistent and melodic against the previous one: deliberate clean guitar finger-picking and good bass changed with heavy sound and extreme vocals, keeping the same pace. In the middle of the song music gets back to the clean sound and increases tempo gradually to the end.
“Lebensraum” is a slow-paced Death Metal with solid riffs and croaking vocal but in some moment the heaviness is cut of and some clean guitar leads the music into some Heavy territory with some almost bluesy solo in the end. “Cult Of The Black Sun Nemesis” is similar to “Lebensraum” by the structure: started fast and brutal, it slowly decreases tempo, changes a main theme and then goes to the beginning with impressive vocal line, where growls and clean vocals resonate.
“Perverted Science”, in its turn starts as Heavy Metal but in chorus it turns to Death with extreme vocals, brutal guitar riffs and blast beats, keeping some melody though. And the chorus in “Last Defilement” is a pure Melodic Death, while the song itself starts as atmospheric Doom with some weird sounds. “Escape To The Arctic” is also a very atmospheric track with the sound of the sea and wind blowing. The song itself is tough Doom with deep bass; the vocals here change from growls to high-pitched screams and gruff whispering.
Created From Death ends with deliberate “Wayfarer”, a song with good riffs, clean vocals and interesting guitar solo. As for me this song is somehow close to Progressive.
What is really weird in this album is a mixing: drums and vocals sounds muffled from time to time or at the same volume as guitars. Maybe it’s the band’s schtick or I don’t get something but it really impedes me. Furthermore, drums’ patterns are quite interesting in this album and successive clean and extreme vocals should be really turned up in the mix.
All in all, Created From Death became a very inconsistent album with sharp changes of elements but that’s what makes it good: it’s unpredictable and surprising. Maybe you’ll not get it from the first listening, like I am but it obviously worth a second chance. And there’s one more thing: the band’s previous album, self-titled Bull Elephant was released in 2019 – a great productivity though – so I really hope that the ending part of this weird story will be released soon because I already wait for it.
Created From Death will be released on August, 14th via Eat Lead and Die Music.
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