Wolverhampton and Telford's Electus, Close Encounters - album review
Wolverhampton and Telford band Electus are back with their third record, packed full of uplifting classic metal riffs to keep the headbangers and air guitarists happy.
Featuring 12 tracks, the former Unsigned column stars have returned with some hard-hitting and have-to-be-heard songs to match the highlights created on their sophomore album Rock And Roll Incarnate Part One in 2017.
None more than the brilliant Killer Joe - with that warning siren intro that opens up into a fast-paced and aggy romp that doesn't let up. It's great stuff from the haunting spoken word intro to the final rip-roaring wall of sound chorus that allows vocalist Russell Peake to open up his lungs and soar.
It's not a flash-in-the-pan moment either. The single Soul Breaker is another top track crafted well around the mantra of start it lightly and build up to something big. Telford-born and adopted Wulfrunian Peake's vocals are on point throughout, his at times almost Brian Molko delivery matching the music underneath.
The Trial Of Man continues the good work with its echoed walls of classic metal doing battle across a chasm of synthesised no man's land. This song will sound terrific live, especially with Gareth Daker's eloquent guitar solo weaving the elements together to move in the same direction.
A big part of the sound throughout is the heavy tub thumping of Wolverhampton's Mick Hales. It sounds crisp and sharp, with big kudos to the recording team at M2 Mad Hat Studios in Coven and the production by Mark Stuart and Sheena Seer.
Midnight Dancer highlights his contributions nicely as he manages to tread the line between overpowering percussion and allowing the rest of the band room to breathe. Being a drummer at times can be like that kid in the choir whose got the loudest and most powerful voice and has to try and taper it to let the others be heard. Hales can, and it shows his lack of ego.
The ferocity of Can't You See also allows new bassist Alan Mills to show off his prowess playing at speed. One of the more light-hearted tracks on the record, it shows a softer side to their writing.
It's a fine return for Electus, and their recent promotional tour of Scandinavia shows it is impressing some of the metal hotbeds of Europe too.
Electus will be performing on the 'originals' stage at Rock The Beacon in Barr Beacon, Birmingham, on August 3. Tickets can be bought here. The new record is available to buy from their website, and to stream via their Spotify page.