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Elm Street – Barbed Wire Metal Award winner

Elm Street
Barbed Wire Metal
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 January 2012, 1:23 PM

The real Freddy Kruger of the 80s, and I am not talking about the newer version of the 90s or 00s, is sadly long gone. His legacy paved the road to many squeaky horror movies that ended up with nothing special or spectacular. It was pretty much the same with traditional Metal. Born in the 80s and sadly nearly died out in the 90s. Nonetheless, the first decade of the new millennium was its life saving anchor. Some Metalheads call it the New Wave Of Traditional Metal, and I find this name rather appealing, especially as a diehard fan of the subgenre. The Aussie youth group of ELM STREET are certainly not the first members of this new wave as you can pretty much summon up its branches from Western and Northern Europe and lest we forget that there are also Americans involved in the equation. Nonetheless, there is something different in ELM STREET that may not be so crucial but it is made me like them.

Newly signed to Massacre Records, ELM STREET has just released their debut Heavy Metal salute of “Barbed Wire Metal”. Generally, this album is a massive ovation and respect for the gods of Heavy Metal such as IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, HELLOWEEN and MOTORHEAD. No matter what happens, new wave or not, old British Metal will always stand as the main pillar of light for these kind of bands and ELM STREET is not different in their admiration. Following their young at heart spirit and reverence for the roots of the music, they wrote some great piece of material, which was well arranged and executed in order to keep your head banging while offering you the role to join in and sing along some of the Metal anthems.

Unlike some releases that I need to taste a bit before inserting myself into a full listening mode, I didn’t let it go down here. When started listening to “Barbed Wire Metal”, which eventually turned out to be no more than an adequate song but still pleasing, I found myself thrown back to the mid 80s. Speed, Heavy, Power and even a slight dosage of old school Thrash Metal hammering my mind relentlessly with tons of melodic ventures, harmonic guitars thundering with intense soloing, awesome beats and… Wait a minute… raspy mid to low tones vocals.

Over the years I stumbled upon many traditional releases that ended up with a high-pitched, or at least another high register, type of vocalist in the front. Well, not here on ELM STREET. Ben Batres, behind the mic and rhythm guitars, is our little Dave Mustaine meets Andy Deris (but without the high ends). It might look kind of awkward to you but he is one of the reasons, aside from their energetic sprit and great musicianship, why ELM STREET made me smile even more and I am a more of a high register fan.  It is not only the voice but its synchronization with the music that makes a wonderful contrast. Such contrast also existed in early melodic Death Metal, where the vocals weren’t generating any sort of melodies so the music had the main function on that matter.

As for the tracklist, I hope you got your necks messaged because those will hurt once again after you would listen to some of the babies in here. “Metal Is The Way” is why there is no other way to point it, there is nothing better than Metal. Metal is the way, it is life with fists in the air. At first I thought that it will come to be a MANOWARish kind of banality, yet these guys, as they did on the prior tracks, made me glitter once again. “Heavy Metal Power” is one of the best melodic Speed Metal onslaughts I heard in a while with a tough chorus and massive amounts of energies. “The Devil's Servants” didn’t show signs of darkness, only the burning flame of true Metal with great guitar work and wonderful vocal production. Without discouraging the other tracks, that also left me quite crazed, I would suggest that you go and fetch this album fast because this wave is going to be long and hard. I can’t wait for album number two, the only way from here is up.

4 Star Rating

1. Barbed Wire Metal
2. The Devil's Servants
3. Elm St's Children
4. Heavy Metal Power
5. King of Kings
6. Leatherface
7. Merciless Soldier
8. Metal is the Way 
Ben Batres- Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Aaron Adie- Lead Guitar
Tomislav Perkovic- Drums
Brendan Farrugia- Bass Guitar
Record Label: Massacre Records


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