Germany’s Elwood Stray announce their debut album!
Formed in 2017, the band comprising Maik (vocals), Fabi (guitar/vocals), Niels (guitar), Ralle (bass) and Raphael (drums) released several tracks before unveiling Gone With the Flow in 2023.
The album kicks off with Outcast, a catchy first track with a groovy Old School approach that relies on extremely effective vocal parts at all times. The heady chorus perfectly complements the verses’ jerky rage, letting it explode on the break before leading into Playing Along and its motivating Hardcore roots which will soon turn an entire pit upside down, before uniting it again with a softer clean-sung chorus. Half-Life follows, complementing the aggressive patterns with dissonant melodies to accompany the ever-energetic vocals, whether saturated or not, before Decay introduces more haunting tones which flare up from time to time before returning to quietness. There’s also a lively solo just before Uncertain Me reignites its rage, but with softer, even danceable harmonics to create an interesting contrast on No Cure, a track where heavy moshparts meet much more ethereal parts, letting massive screams give way to clean vocals. Four Shells gives us a minute of respite with some soaring melodies, then Seasons quickly takes over, letting a simple but catchy rhythm escort us to the intense break, followed by a catchy final and by Relieved, which places some heady tones before riffs go wild. The break is once again very heavy, in contrast to Negative, which places its liveliest elements in the charge via energetic influences that are found even on the heavier part, and the vocalist harangues us before a chaotic final which leads to Pendulum, a relatively gentle last track that borrows from Post-Hardcore before letting the airy sounds bewitch us.
Elwood Stray wields the rawest Metalcore elements and its Hardcore influences to create a catchy, relatively energetic sound, which nonetheless allows Gone With the Flow to unveil more ethereal moments.