Review: Elm Street – Knock Em Out…With a Metal Fist
Written by Elliot John Doe
Elm Street hails from Melbourne, Australia, and has been active since 2003. After years of hard work they signed with Massacre Records and released their debut ‘Barbed Wire Metal’ in 2011. Since then they have toured heavily throughout Europe, USA, and their home country, with fans getting a taste of their second offering when Elm Street took their ‘Heart Racer’ EP out on the road. This built up such a hype that the band renewed their contract with Massacre Records to record and release the new album ‘Knock ‘Em Out… With a Metal Fist.’
‘Face The Reaper’ leads us into some classical guitar that is soon backed up with heavy riffing, rolling bass and assault ready drums. Gnarly vocals take us on a heavy metal journey, just like something Iron Maiden could of put out in the days of the 80’s, but with a refreshing modern sound.
Wasting no time Elm Street turn it up to 11 with ‘Kiss The Canvas.’ Simply put, this track is punchy with great guitar and bass leads, and a sing along anthem in the outro.
‘Will It Take A Lifetime?’ is a song that is sure to become a modern metal classic. With an infectious chorus full of hook laden vocals, well placed stop-start drumming, and more power chords and accentuated leads than the mind can handle, this track is a winner all around.
‘Sabbath’ will get you swinging your hair whether you like it or not. Packed with galloping double kick pedal and harmonized guitars, this tune hits hard with a well meditated middle section with astounding reverb leads. Perhaps the vocals could have been placed a bit better, although you get a great sense of a tale being told in the delivery.
Get ready to raise your horns and bang your head along to ‘Heavy Mental.’ Beefy bass and drums, solid guitar riffs and a kick ass solo, the track title says it all. No further words are necessary.
‘Next In Line’ smacks you in the face from the first note. A heavy groove carries the verses to the clever bridge bass lines and into the master crafted chorus, completed by a breakdown outro.
‘Heart Racer’ is smothered in Heavy Metal of the days of old, but with enough of a twist to bring it up to date. This is another fine example of how Elm Street blends the old with the new, and they do it well.
‘S.T.W.A’ keeps the thunder rolling on this number with fantastic chugging riffs and squealing leads. Disappointingly, this is an interim track that could have become an interesting full song. Regardless, this was a great piece that blends in perfectly with the penultimate ‘Blood Diamond’.
Bursting at the seams with powerful screams and intriguing tempo changes make for the most modern song on this metal mayhem offering. This track is undoubtedly about to become a great live piece in their repertoire, especially with that crowd rousing drum and bass middle. A key change towards the end and topping the time length at 11 minutes and 54 seconds, I dub this track an epic. More linking from one song to another with the ever prominent acoustic guitar we come to the final chapter that is ‘Leave It All Behind’.
Putting on a slower show for the last piece, meshing classic rock ballads with heavy metal and punk rock like vocals, swooning us out with twin harmonized guitars and sandwiching the album from start to finish on classical guitars it really does feel like you’ve been knocked out…with a metal fist.
Simplistic, sturdy, and smart bass lines really carry the songs along when locked in with classic thrash/rock & roll drumming, gritty sing along vocals, and powerful shredding guitars, this is Elm Street at their best. It’s obvious that years of dedication have shaped this band into a leading force in heavy metal of recent times. I can’t wait to see these songs out on the road! 7/10