Emil Bulls - _Phoenix_
(Drakkar, 2009)
by: Charlotte Beskeen (5 out of 10)
From the beginning riff, this leaps energetically out of the fire to announce 'we are fun'! The combination of thrash influenced hardcore meets angsty American mobsters created by Emil Bulls makes for some highly likeable moshpit friendly material. As the album title suggests, this is a release that makes a burning yet unambitious statement of anti-authority. Such tepid lyrics as "when god was sleeping and you were born in hell" and "I'm sick and tired of your sleazy and shady complaints" will inevitably incite teen rockers to stay up late and smoke weed in a bid against parental authority, but there are some pleasant surprises here.

"Here Comes the Fire" is spat out with dynamo precision, combining surges of metalcore rage -- thankfully not of the recycled stuff, with guitars slicing into neo thrash at 3:19. "Ad Infinitum" drills a technical thrash attack along the lines of Municipal Waste and The Setup. This is enjoyable for the first minute or so, when all of a sudden it all falls back momentarily to give way to Green Day-esque whinging. Musicianship remains taut throughout the album, there's thrashy hooks aplently, groove laden guitar solos, snaps of metalcore riffage and abstract time signatures in "Infect the Programme", but the uninspired drivel lyrics shatter the technical brilliance completely, which is a huge shame. By track nine it all becomes fuzzy headache inducing, and leaves one thinking "Surely these guys could do with a break from this and concentrate on the music?"

(article published 3/9/2009)

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