Time to be floored by the metal fist of metal!
In the ring since 24 June 2016 through Massacre Records and taken on the chin by Stephen Brophy
Aussie old school metallers Elm Street are ready to kick some more ass with their second full length album, Knock Em Out… With A Metal Fist about to be unleashed. Hard to believe it’s five years since the debut Barbed Wire Metal. It’s no surprise that everything sounds so tight as the guts of this band have been together for thirteen years, first in their previous incarnation Raid with bassist Nick Ivkovic joining this very year. This band is all about catchy riffs and classic old school sounds, but with maybe a bit more punch than a lot of bands from back in the day, there’s the added mix of slightly heavier riffs and a lovely slice of power that just makes you want to scream along.
The ten tracks on offer here give you a lot to take in. ‘Kiss The Canvas’, for example, pushes along on the back of a nice riff and then throws in some pretty cool bass runs which you don’t get too much of these days, and there’s thunderous drumming backing everything up. If I still had hair it would be flying everywhere at this stage. As with the first album there’s definitely a hint of thrash in the mix here. The band are very much on the same wavelength as the surge of 80’s style Metal bands that have been emerging in recent years, the likes of Enforcer, Skull Fist and Stallion, but a little heavier. It’s a really great movement and as with anything else when it’s done properly, like here, it sounds great.
Other highlights include ‘It Will Take A Lifetime’, a bit of a flag-bearing chanting anthem of a song which should be a good addition to their live set; the excellent ‘Next In Line’ rumbles along with an almost Pantera undertone in the main riff, but it’s a slamming type of track that should be let rip with the volume up to 10; and ‘Heavy Mental’ is a gut-wrenching, balls-out rocker. A heavy song that lays into their thrash edge, there’s some lovely harmony in the guitar work and as with a lot of the tracks present here, there’s an anthemic fist pumping part in there too.
Ben Batres’ rasping and venom-spitting vocals work so well throughout, a perfect fit for the infectious grooves the rest of the band are creating, all of which wouldn’t work without the twin guitar assault from Atres and Aaron Adie. Crunching and grinding their way through with just the right amount of melody, harmony and lightness when required, it’s an impressive and massive sound.
Elm Street are on to a winner here. A hard-hitting Metal onslaught, it’s hard not to get caught up in the fun. This album grows on you the more you play it – so play it, enjoy it and hope these guys make it back to Europe soon. Knock Em Out… With A Metal Fist is a rabble-rousing album filled with all that’s good in metal. Reach high and raise your fist in the air. Elm Street demand it.
8 out of 10
- Face The Reaper
- Kiss The Canvas
- Will It Take A Lifetime
- Heavy Mental
- Next In Line
- Heart Racer
- Blood Diamond
- Leave It All Behind