Thelemite - Thelemism
Sleaszy Rider Records
Heavy Metal
9 songs (43'16")
Release year: 2021
Sleaszy Rider Records
Reviewed by Alex

It is always good to see honest advertising. It is very satisfying to receive exactly what the label promises. Greeks Thelemite vow to play some classic heavy metal and they certainly do that. Further, it garners respect when someone acknowledges the classics and worships them in a competent, coherent manner. When you are not original, it is rather candid to announce your influences from the get go and proceed from there. Thelemism, the second album by the Greeks after what seems to be a lengthy break, promises to be Painkiller II, the album Judas Priest had to deliver sometime in mid-90s. While I can’t quite equal Thelemism to a world renowned masterwork, I probably can settle for Painkiller Jr, which is praise strong enough.

Solid classic metal riffs and rousing choruses (Unholy Steel), harmonized bridges (Violator), screaming solos (Up on the Cross) and emulating Metal God Halford himself on vocals is a winning formula no matter how you slice it. Deliver this proficiently, in a skilled fashion, and you have a good album. Open up In for the Kill with The Sentinel riff and bridge it as in Blood Red Skies , have Violator sound like Hell Patrol, place a proper amount of dirty grime on guitars, while combining it with the native melody (Anatolia), and build from there. Thelemism songs are short, punchy and fly out like quick heavy metal bravados. Judas Priest, an obvious reference, is not the only band Thelemite is out to emulate. Up on the Cross could have come off any recent U.D.O. album with its booming drums and gathering storm driving riffs. Eternal Evil sounds like something from Black Sabbath’s Dehumanizer, especially considering its murkiness and lyrical subject matter. The soft balladic opening of I Love Death, piano and all, is more Whitesnake and hard rock, however, until the song finds more solid footing with its heavier chorus.

Speaking of vocals, the main man Yannis Manopoulos aka Johnny Nightelf desperately wants to sound like Halford, copying the shrieks (Unholy Steel, end of Eternal Evil), phrasing and even letter “r” enunciation. Not sure if he would admit it or not, Yannis is no Halford though, especially when it gets to his voice’s power in the lower register. Also, in ballads I Love Death and Psycho, the less masculine moments sound a little less convincing. In fact, these sappier ballads are probably the album’s weaker moments for me, while grumbly and percussive Anatolia, anthemic Unholy Steel and driving In for the Kill are highlights.

If you are in the market for a good quality copycat, go no further than Thelemite. They tell you so themselves, and you ought to believe them.

Killing Songs :
Anatolia, Unholy Steel, In for the Kill
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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