The album art and title of Aussie band Elm Street's Barbed Wire Metal should give you a clue to their sound. If not, a few song titles might help: Heavy Metal Power, Metal is the Way, Leatherface, or The Devil's Servant. Heavily influenced by bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar and Savatage, Elm Street blends classic NWOBHN with bits of thrash and speed in a melodic wrapper. Is Barbed Wire Metal especially new or novel? Not really. But, Elm Street is simply keeping it old school, and keeping it true.
Barbed Wire Metal was self-released in Australia by the band. Now they've been picked up by Germany's Massacre Records for greater distribution.
Here's a few highlights from the album. The title track offers some brisk thrash/speed metal. Elm St's Children offers conventional steady heavy metal with some tasty guitar solos King of Kings leads with some acoustic guitar but quickly turns to a quick pace, also complete with nice guitar solos. The closing piece, Metal Is The Way, another ode to the genre, shows Elm Street's depth of composition as it delivers a more epic metal feel. It also displays that vocalist Ben Batres is unable to sing over lighter segues, just to raw and uncontrolled. Yet, for metal, his raspy gravel throat certainly fits the style, but takes some getting used to.
Once more, Elm Street's Barbed Wire Metal brings the past to the present with an entertaining and refreshing revisit to classic heavy metal. The only caveat: with eight songs around 40 minutes, it's a bit too short. Otherwise, quite recommended.