Review of Elz and the Cult “Bloodline”

So this has been an eagerly awaited release for me. Due out 5/22/20 on Cold Transmission records. I have in my hot little digital hands early so I can go through and give some impressions. Elz is a dear friend and all around amazing human. This Turkish based project is breaking new ground in the abstract dark pop genre for the last few years. We had Elz on our podcast to discuss this record when it was still coming together, please enjoy at this link:

https://elzandthecult.bandcamp.com/album/bloodline

Songwriters; ELZ, Sharon Engelhardt, Nigel Strong.
Produced and performed by Taner Yücel.
Mixing by Taner Yücel.
Mastering by Görkem Karabudak.
Vocals; ELZ, Eylül Deniz, Efe Akıncıoğlu, Taner Yücel, Sharon Engelhardt, Görkem Kasal, Deniz Aksoy & Ayça Sarıönder.
Photography: Berk Çakmakçı
Art Direction by StudioPul

Recorded at Taner Yücel’s homestudio & Mayday Studios, Istanb

I feel like Bloodline was an amazing creative step forward for Elz to really explore the creative brilliance that was always inside them. It is such a beautiful amalgamation of sexy over the top 80’s pop with a soul like Madonna fused with sinister Geiger like sonic imagery. Right from the first track it is dancing with ballet dexterity on giant metal spider legs in intricate patterns while screaming the injustice of it’s existence. This record never stops moving and it drips with dark sex appeal and the blistering drum beats are a jolt of energy that make your capillaries pop in your circulatory system.

The lyrics are true Oscar Wilde style slash open a vein and spew your essence at the listener. Elz has genuine front person star power and a captivating voice that guides your hand as you apply your make up at the mirror. It’s one of those sounds that has the ability to make the listener associate with the singer and infuse their attitude on you. I genuinely believe listening to this record will make you hotter.

Lets talk favorite tracks: This 12 song album is a complete work with no throwaways. Of course i have favorites

Ultraviolence: Ok these songs are glorious on their own. The videos though are masterworks and an enormous amount of effort goes into the aesthetic concept matching the music. So always watch those. This song is bracing, it hits hard and the chorus is a razor chain lashing around the room. It also has such detailed construction and perfect pop beat. Every floor of every goth club must one day shake with it’s power.

Horrified: The husky come hither whisper of these vocals make the hair on my arms stand up. The chorus is a sky opener and it really captures the idea of something being both beautiful and horrible at the same time. It’s hard to imagine how something so shocking and intense can get stuck in your head like a pop hook but here we are.

Safe Zone: This is what I call a car chase song. That perfect mid tempo that feels like night driving through a city in decay. I really like the vibrating voice effect used here. Tight corners and slippery shadows. Lets hope we all make it home alive.

Masturbate About You: Glorious pace changer, ramps up the tension. This is a edgy concept and expressed perfectly. The chorus unleashes a raging demon of emotion which hits a new height just to be pulled away again. A real roller coaster through a dark tunnel.

I feel like this whole album is pushing the boundary that the modern dark scene needs pushed. It crackles, it frightens, and it highlights all the things beautiful about the current dark revolution. I really want to realize the dream of seeing Elz and The Cult live. This record is out for pre release now on Cold Transmission and you are going to want to snatch it up and be on the cusp of the next wave.

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