Aussie metalheads Elm Street haven’t been around much lately; Their last album, Knock ‘Em Out… With A Metal Fist, released a whopping seven years ago, left fans hopeful of a quick leap into metal’s big time thanks to it’s exciting mix of thrash, power and trad metal styles. That didn’t happen, of course, and so the band now are faced with the need to not only reacquaint old fans with reasons to remember why we loved them so much in the first place, but also to make up for lost time in perhaps making that much-predicted step up.

Is The Great Tribulation the album to do these things? I’d like to think so, as the band clearly have lost no ground in terms of inspiration and execution. But this is a darker, heavier album than it’s predecessor; Save for punchy first single Take The Night, The Great Tribulation makes no concessions to the casual listener. This is an album you have to live with for a while to get the most out of it, an album that gives up all it’s secrets only to those willing to give as much as they take from it.

In the end, that’s a good thing, because if you are prepared to put in that time then tracks like Seven Sirens, If Provoked, Will Strike and pummelling closer A State Of Fear all reveal themselves to be absolutely storming slices of progressive (in the best possible sense of that word), pounding heavy metal. Ben Batres leads from the front with a punishing vocal performance, but the whole band lend full support to create a punishing, punchy sound that’s right up there sonically with anything else in the marketplace in 2023. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for the next installment!

The Great Tribulation is out now.