The Long War
December 7, 2023
The thrilling conclusion to the Bull Elephant trilogy, picking up some years after the second part "Created from Death" left us at the beginning of a world war. It is now 1945 and the Bull Elephant creature enters the fray once again, initially to defend the exhausted populace of Berlin from an invading red horde, followed by Himmler's last stand at Castle Wewelsburg and pursuit of Germany's darkest secrets to Imperial Japan's infamous Unit 731 in occupied China where the final showdown takes place.” The album has six songs.
“Expansion from Perceived Reality” is first. The opening tones are low, slow, the vocals are deeply guttural, and the landscape painted is a rich hue of grey. As it the case with a lot of Doom, you have to let it ride out, and the sound is actually quite expansive, with strong bass guitar work, appropriately placed leads, and even clean guitars at times. “Blackened Chaos Horizon” is a three-minute blast of energy, with a faster moving riff that is also more aggressive. “Berlin Falling” has structures similar to BLACK SABBATH, with fuzzy guitar and bass, varied vocals, and some psychedelic sounds. The feeling of desperation is bested perhaps only by the sweet taste of victory.
“Zentrum der neuen Welt” is another shorter and more concise sound, and I like how the band varies their attack on the album. The leads are fantastic in this song as well. “Severing the Last Strands of Self” is the last short song leading to the lengthy conclusion. Take some to soak this in…it is trippy, weighted, and mysterious at times. The long title track closes the album. As the title suggests, it’s a long journey through many different musical approaches and sounds. At times, the song is in full attack mode, while other times it is pensive and emotive. The band is quite adept at both styles and melding them together into a cohesive whole.
Overall, I really enjoyed the album. At its core it was Doom, but they band refused to be held by the sometimes narrow borders that define the genre. Instead, they expanded out into uncharted territory, The album was engaging, and the musicianship strong. The production was right where it should be, and this is an example of high quality Doom Metal.
8 / 10
"The Long War" Track-listing:
1. Expansion from Perceived Reality
2. Blackened Chaos Horizon
3. Berlin Falling
4. Zentrum der neuen Welt
5. Severing the Last Strands of Self
6. The Long War
Bull Elephant Lineup: