Album Review: Bull Elephant - Created From Death
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
The second album from the London anonymous collective Bull Elephant, ‘Created by Death’ is as crushingly heavy as you’d expect from the band’s name. For those who follow the band, then their eponymous debut release last year was 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.
Bull Elephant pick up where they left off in part two of their Lovecraftian ‘nature vs Nazi’ trilogy. Now, I don’t claim to have any real clue what is occurring on this album, but from what I’ve read the heroic creature is reincarnated into a human body, on the run but guarded from afar by a magical ape. The album notes are limited but the lyrics provide sufficient guidance.
Once you’ve navigated the bludgeoning title track which opens this 40 minute opus, you rapidly appreciate the integral weave between light and dark, heavy and gentle, and the fact that melodic elements sit comfortably alongside harsh vocals and pulverising slabs of doom and death metal styles. ‘Oneiromantic Rites’ for example, ebbs and flows, whilst the harrowing ‘Lebensraum’ intersperses savage and calm in equal measure, the gentle passages providing breathing space from the pitiless rage that explodes forth.
Mixed and mastered once more by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Paradise Lost, Cathedral, Ghost) at Orgone Studios, Bedfordshire, UK. This highly creative and infectious slab of metal is a must for anyone who enjoys variation, challenge and thick, heavy riffs laced with ethereal segments. You can marvel at the massive delivery, the sinister yet welcoming stomp of ‘Last Defilement’ and the sharp strike to the back of the neck that is generated in the two-minute ‘Perverted Science’. It’s a rolling juggernaut, a collective of riffs, gruff and clean singing with a power and compulsion that simply demands to be part of your listening pleasure.