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Pulver - Pulver Award winner

by Chris Hawkins at 03 June 2018, 5:43 PM

While some of us have become accustomed to the sounds of Death and Black Metal, classic Heavy Metal could appear boring.  If one were to ask any of the members of any of the heavier subgenres of Metal, though, they would all most likely declare their love or at least respect for the early sounds of Heavy Metal and even Classic/Hard Rock.  The extreme sides to the genre all came from the same source after all.  Bands like IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, and JUDAS PRIEST are timeless and their brand will forever be stamped upon our beloved Heavy Metal.  With all of the goings on lately with the resurfacing of traditional Metal and NWOBHM style bands, PULVER fits right in.  Theirs is a sound, though, that is clever, energetic, and inspired but not derivative.  The German band formed in 2016, and this self-titled EP is their first release.

The album opens with a track entitled "Howl," and one immediately notices the vintage guitar tone that is reminiscent of classic AC/DC and perhaps even early DEF LEPPARD (High and Dry and before, not the over-processed dribble of the later material).  The song is constructed upon a straight-forward 4/4 Hard Rock template, and the real treat is at the 2:25 mark when it all slows down for a wah-pedal dripping guitar riff.  The original groove is returned to only after an interesting guitar line that mimics the vocals.  The second track, "Salvation," starts with a simple twelve bar blues line which is then developed and opened up into a monstrous instrumental.  This track is much more adventurous than the previous, and though the same tone is maintained, the more Progressive ideas visited upon echo more IRON MAIDEN than the previous song.  The album wraps up with a track called "Twilight Magic," which could best be described as a hybrid of the ideas presented in the two previous tracks, and it gives one the feeling of being on an epic journey.

One simply cannot help but like this band.  Theirs is a form of Teutonic Metal that glorifies the late 1970s and early 1980s, but still retains a vision of the road ahead.  The two guitarists play well off of each other and have enough difference in tone to yield a mammoth-sized overall guitar sound.  They must be having fun because the songs are straight-forward guitar-centric Heavy Metal.  The bass player has his own form of background boogie that is quite active though low-key in tone.  Lastly, the subject of the vocals must be addressed.  In this genre, the vocals can certainly make or break a band, and in this case, it is the former.  The singer has a sound that is half Bon Scott and half Udo Dirkschneider, and that is certainly advantageous to the sound the band is going for.

When listening to the band, one envisions a live act with a fifth of Jack Daniels on stage and beers lining the tops of the amplifiers.  This is the music for the daring and the mischievous.  PULVER could be am ample soundtrack for skipping school, smoking, drinking, fighting, etc.  In other words, PULVER is a band that plays music that is rooted in the classics but still relevant, edgy, and dangerous.  I could not recommend them more.

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Howl
2. Salvation
3. Twilight Magic
Dave Fröhlich  – Vocals
Lukas Kunkel – Guitars
Alex Oster – Guitars
Gabor Eichstätter - Bass
Danny Oster - Drums
Record Label: Gates of Hell Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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