EL-THULE (Zenit) CD

EL-THULE is based in Italy and yes, they are even singing in their native language, which is still a seldom fact in the heavy rock scene. On the other side it means I can’t have a closer look at their lyrics, but by checking the titles of the album like 'Pulsar', 'Quaoar', 'Phobos' or 'Deimos' I assume that their favorite theme regarding the lyrics is… space! But don’t nail me down on that statement. So unable to check out their textual abilities, I will focus on the musical aspect. The first song 'Pulsar' starts with a very metal style intro, before the absolutely awesome vocals kick in, and they definitely have an impact from the first second. Loud and clear, with great melody, the Italian words only add to the quality of the fast-paced heavy rock the band presents here.

That is even excelled with the next song 'Omega Centauri', which has a slowly stomping chorus with a vocal melody that is catchy to the max, nicely countering the quieter verses to great effect. I had very little info on the band from the promo CD but some research on the internet reveals that the driving force behind EL-THULE are the brothers Andrea (guitar/vocals) and Matteo Brioschi (bass). And what that band of brothers (ha!) create here is really entertaining heavy rock, with some nice slabs of punk ’n’ roll and stoner rock and complemented by a great sound and a good production. After the great one-two-punch of the first songs, the quality of the tracks levels a bit, but it is still way beyond average. 'Phobos' with its double vocal onslaught is another standout track on the album.

The second half of 'Sedna' serves as a quiet interlude with a flute while 'La Nube Di Oort' shows EL-THULE's darker side, creating a more sinister vibe with slow, relaxed parts countered by real heavy riffing and more gruff vocals. 'Sul Onte Maat' is again a lively, up-beat rocker in the vein of the first songs before 'Titano' takes all of the bands trademarks packed into a five-and-half-minute trip of heavy riffing, atmospheric build-ups, catchy vocals and cool guitar lines. The album is nicely closed by an untitled acoustic number. 'Zenit' is actually EL-THULE's third album already, I have to admit I never heard of them before but what they deliver here is definitely wetting the appetite. Don’t be driven off by the Italian words, music and vocals really speak for themselves. Great job done, amicos!

(Steve Albino)

www.myspace.com/elthule 

www.godownrecords.com