"Corrupt Desires" (Casket Music; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I wouldn't have expected Element's "Corrupt Desires" to sound like it does if I had re-read my review of 2008's "Under the Inflence," below. That may be as much a result of the band growing as artists as it is my selective memory. (I'll have to go back and re-listen to "Under the Influence" again soon).

"Corrupt Desires" is an easy-to-get-into metal record that mixes elements of progressive rock with thrash to create a new and different sound. At times you think youíre listening to Metallica while at others you may hear a little Pink Floyd. Itís an interesting combination, to put it mildly.

The bandís rhythms are driving and furious, the leads are brutally fast and razor sharp. Strangely enough, I particularly like track 9, a haunting track with a slower pace that is eerie and cool and just kind of atmospheric. Easily my favorite track on the CD (echoes of my experience with "Under the Influence.")

The CD isn't without it's low points and, just a couple of times, it falls a little flat. Still, if youíre looking for something a little different in the progressive/thrash departments, these guys may be the bomb.

Element: Adam Calderbank - rhythm guitar, vocals; Robert Urquhart - drums; Andy Higham (Chow) - lead guitar; Alex Burnell - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/elementsound

"Under the Influence" (Self-produced; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you're a fan of Metallica, Pantera, Shango or maybe even a little Danzig, then Element's "Under the Influence" will have at least one or two tracks to your liking. If you're a fan of all or most of those bands, then you'll find all of "Under the Influence" highly entertaining.

Combining galloping fast tracks with groove-heavy slower paced tracks and featuring crisp, straight-forward guitar and vocals that don't have to depend on raw anger to make them aggressive, the eight tracks on "Under the Influence," at one point or another, feature the technical expertise of Metallica, the raw power of Pantera, the funky sound of Shango and, once in a while, the haunting vocal style of Glenn Danzig.

Yeah, I know. I hate reviews that just drop names, too. And Element are deserving of more than that. The band has taken their love of this style of music and combined the influence of the above-named, well-known bands and built upon it, creating a sound of their own that may not be particularly original but still kicks major ass.  Although they may not stray far from their co-conspirators in the genre, "Under the Influence" maintains enough edge and charisma to warrant a good solid listen. Or two. Or more.

Strangely, my favorite track was the instrumental "Lucidia," not because it was a non-vocal track (in fact, I rather like vocalist Adam Calderbank's no-bullshit style) but rather because it has real atmosphere and depth, something you may not expect from what's basically a thrash band.

Most importantly, "Under the Influence" piqued my interest about Element, and I'll definitely be looking forward to their future material.

One more quick comment: The CD, though self-produced, not only sounds great but the packaging was first rate. Always a rare pleasure to discover that in a self-produced CD.

Element: Adam Calderbank - vocals, guitar; Robert Urquhart - drums; Andy Higham - lead guitar; Alex Burnell - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/elementsound

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 17 Jul 2022 13:29:13 -0400 .