New album, The Balance Of Everything, out now from There's Only One Elvis, availabe here!
"Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess..." This classic quote from Elvis Presley kind of exemplifies the music from Josh Freeman, the solo creator of, There's Only One Elvis, only, Josh seems to add one additional element to Elvis' quote, Josh is also here to break your necks with heavy riffs!
There's Only One Elvis is Josh's personal project for his own creative outlets. The music isn't a tribute to Elvis in a metal type approach, no, it's all fresh music created by him and the projects name is unique to him as well. The name of this solo project of his, in his own words, means to him as such: "This is as much as a learning curve as well as a creative outlet. It's based on a joke that there's only ever going to be one guy who can steal music off of others and still make a living of it, that's the origin. But someone then pointed out to me that there's only one Elvis, and in this project, I'm the only guy, so it fit too with that as well". That doesn't mean that Josh rips off others, it was a joke that Elvis Presley was basically a cover artist with only a handful of original material, but, regardless of semantics, thusly, There's Only One Elvis was born.
Alright, with all that out of the way, let's get into the meat and potatoes here, the music. The latest release from There's Only One Elvis is titled, The Balance Of Everything and we start this off with a slick sounding track called, Modus Operandi. A pummeling track that hits with an oppressive approach with hammering drums over crushing guitar riffs and bass lines that hit like a Mack truck. Creative guitar licks and several tempo changes keep this track interesting and kept my head bobbing the whole way through. A strong vocal delivery here makes for a solid opening track to this album. So far so very good, oh, and this track has quite a groovy closing section that I recommend turning the volume up for.
Presence is up next and it starts off sort of like an old industrial metal song, giving me a sort of Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy vibe until it all comes together with his death metal meets death core approach to his music. You can tell this is definitely a one man band who is paying homage to his favorite styles of music and blending them together for his own unique musical creations. The mid section of this track is simply a treat to hear. It all flows nicely into a heavy culmination of spacious yet heavy riffs with those punishing drums, all leading to a fantastic ending to this song with a rather heavy, yet groovy section closing it out.
The next track opens up with a almost Phrygian style riff, similar to that of Nile or Behemoth. a slower track, Stratera keeps things in the mid tempo range until about the two minute mark where things get a little hectic. A solid guitar solo plays over this section and the music, although keeping the same timing, it seems to pick things up somehow in a unsettling way, it's a unique approach to tempo changes here that you just have to listen to to understand and take it all in. This was a rather interesting track to absorb I must admit, but it all seemed to work in the end and left me satisfied.
Vestiges follows and it seems to kick things into high gear a bit more with some noodle riffing and visceral vocals. Far Beyond Driven era Pantera comes to mind with this track. The halfway mark of this song is where the music here starts to shine and pull it all together for the listener. This song seems to almost take us on a musical journey, featuring several change-ups and time signature changes, one can almost feel as though this song serves as some sort of purpose to this album in terms of tying..... "something", together here, its a interesting listening experience to say the least.
Moving ahead on this rather unique experience is the track, Recoil, the first single from this album. Bringing a more structured approach here, Recoil gives off vibes of Winds Of Plague or old Meshuggah. The almost familiar unsettling atmosphere that is found throughout this release is really present here in this song and almost seems as if it's in the forefront of the track as a highlighted element of sorts. This one creeps along nicely and keeps your interest piqued.
Closing out this album is the track, Sun Massacre. Some very interesting guitar melodies are utilized here with some creative time signatures once again. We return to more of that Phrygian sound with this song until it dives back in to that angry and heavy hitting musical approach from Josh Freeman. The mid section of this song blends more of those interesting metered timing moments that change things up quite often, but with some heavy and groovy riff work that sucks you in and makes you wonder where the song is headed. Is it going to explode into a riff fest? A heavy implosion of power and emotion? Yeah, the latter takes effect here as the vocals kick in more aggressively and the guitars add a touch of raw emotion over frantic drumming. This song kind of leaves you on edge as an album ending experience and somehow forces you into a state of wanting. It was very interesting to say the least, choosing to end the album with this track. Interestingly enough, It seems to make you want to hit the repeat button and start the journey all over again to continue finding out more of this albums secrets.
The Balance Of Everything seems to me, to be an album where you will pick up on new things with each consecutive listen, almost like this music was written in codes and phrases and it's up to us to decipher what it all means. It was quite the unexpected experience for me while listening to these songs. Elements of Sci-Fi and Horror drape over the albums landscape mixing with Josh's own unique playing style. I will admit, some of this was intense to listen to and I had to rewind a few times to fully appreciate some of what was going on with these songs. That doesn't mean it takes away from the music at all, it just means that the music that he has created is intriguing, intense, and curious. Josh has put a lot of thought and effort into this album and you can hear every attention to detail within the songs inner workings. I definitely recommend that you all give this album a listen to truly understand what I mean by all of this, it, to me, was a journey of the senses. I give The Balance Of Everything a solid 7.5 out of 10. The only thing I can say that would kick up that score is a bit more direction and focus with future releases, sometimes I felt a tad lost listening to the music, and other times where I was expecting the song to deliver an appropriately heavy riff in certain moments, it would instead go off into a entirely different unexpected direction leaving me wanting that super heavy bludgeoning riff to hit. Those moments left me still interested in the music, but, just wondering how the music would have played out had those riffs have been there. Aside from these minute details, this is a unique collection of songs that you should check out on your own and follow him on his social media pages and if you like what you hear, support him and grab up this new album right here!
Interview with There's Only One Elvis for Bods Mayhem Hour Podcast: