Bull Elephant – Created From Death Review

London-based anonymous prog-doom-death collective Bull Elephant are back with Created From Death, the follow-up to last year’s self-titled (and thoroughly enjoyed) debut. That debut introduced us to the story of the Bull Elephant, an undead Nazi-killing beast led by a shaman witch. It was gloriously over the top, musically, vocally, and thematically, and I wasn’t expecting this fast of a turnaround on episode 2. Yet here we go! On Created From Death, our protagonist has been reconstructed in human form, and is in the care of an enormous orangutan. They must now thwart Nazi zombies and escape from assault wolves. All in a day’s work.

I’m happy to say that Bull Elephant have returned in dementedly fine form. The eight songs on Created From Deathcould have come straight from the same sessions as the debut album, as we are met with forty-one more minutes of doomy, deathy progressive metal. The songs are just as varied musically as before, and the vocals are equally demented. The title track gives us a taste of everything the band is about. The ponderous opening, with growled vocals, slowly gives way to a cleanly yelled verse before blasting us away with lightning fast thrashy death and a clean, classic-sounding lead break. The ups and downs packed into the first five minutes of the album show that Bull Elephant are continuing on the same track as before, which is awesome.

“Cult of the Black Sun Nemesis” has me thinking of Boss Keloid, another Good Thing, with its complex riffing, Sure, the vocals are far crazier, but the feel is the same on this short and sweet rocker of a song. Song lengths are key here. Nothing really extends much past the six-minute mark, and no song or moment overstays its welcome. A song like the awesome “Last Defilement” would be far less effective if it was more than five minutes long. Instead, after a brief and ominous intro, it launches into the most towering of riffs followed by chugging verses and the usual mix of death and thrash vocals. Blast beats? Sure, why not. They make their way into a few songs, never for too long, and always as the arrangement transitions from doom to something even heavier.

Once again we are treated to aggressive production and mixing. The guitars may have gone through a slight buffering of their edges, but to strong effect, allowing the rest of the band a bit more room to show off. They also have a greater sense of melody about them, with more clean playing, tasty but short solos, and harmonies. The two guitarists, often hard-panned left and right, complement each other nicely on every song. Often one plays a more complex variant of the riff than the other. And again, the mix of death growls and madcap screaming is in top form, but a close listen reveals occasional harmony vocals; another slight evolution. Strong performances all around combined with catchy songwriting and ballsy production gives us another record worthy of the Bull Elephant moniker.

Who knows how long Bull Elephant will stay anonymous. In fact, some not-so-amazing sleuthing by the Huckster leads me to believe that the band is comprised of one or more members of prog metal group Monsterworks. If so, this is the project the guys should focus their energy on. Created From Death sees the band maintain high levels of hilarity, songwriting, and enthusiasm, delivering another off-kilter breath of rancidly fresh air that brought more than one grin to my face over the last few weeks. At this pace, we can all look forward to the final chapter of this trilogy next year: let’s hope so.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Eat Lead and Die Music
Websites: bullelephant.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/bullelephant
Releases Worldwide: August 14th, 2020

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