A modern day retro classic
There’s no shortage of acts within the metal scene that look to the past in order to create a sound for the here and now. And while some of the retro metal acts doing the rounds within today’s scene have managed to recapture the energy and vibrancy of the classic from a bygone era, there are countless others who miss the mark altogether and only come across as poor imitations of the original.
One act that falls into the former category is Illinois (Carbondale based) outfit Züül, who have just released their debut full-length album Out of Time, the follow up to their Air Raid single release from 2008 (which was also released through Planet Metal).
On Out of Time, the five piece act (who comprise vocalist The Baron Batteau, guitarists Mike ‘The Butcher’ Bushur and Hateful Jared, bassist Bob Scott and drummer The Mosquito Hawk) have successfully tapped into the energy and vibrancy of the classic N.W.O.B.H.M. (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) sound, without sounding like a second rehash of obvious influences.
Admittedly, it took a couple of listens to really appreciate what Züül stood for, but after giving the album a few spins, there’s no denying that while the approach to the old school sound is right on the money, they also come across as the real deal in terms of their song writing.
With nine songs clocking in at just a touch under the 40 minute mark, Out of Time doesn’t overstay its welcome, which is a common pitfall for some acts. And despite the opening title track Out of Time the longest song on the album at just over six minutes, the song is constructed in such a way that it doesn’t feel bloated or stretched out for one moment.
The latest single Warriors is a definite highlight in the early half of the album with The Baron Batteau’s melodic vocals providing plenty of catchy appeal throughout the sing-a-long choruses, while the dual harmony work and solos from the guitarists, which is a dominate feature on every track, will have air guitarists rocking non stop.
Other worthwhile mentions include Executioner, the infectious anthem Warhammer, the rocking Backstreet Crawler, Darkness on the Ice and the sheer simplistic brilliance of Ride Ride.
Züül’s Out of Time is anything but new, innovative or original. But what they’ve managed to produce on their debut sounds so cool, you can’t help but feel that this release is nothing short of a long lost classic that’s been unearthed, dusted off and re-released on C.D. for the first time after languishing in obscurity on vinyl.