ELF PROJECT – The Great Divide (2012)

ELF PROJECT - The Great Divide (2012)

the REAL one


ELF PROJECT is a trio based in New York masterminded by multi-instrumentalist of New Zealand origin Carl Schultz.

Their new album “The Great Divide” is certainly a refreshing take on both neo-progressive rock and hooky melodic rock songwriting, spiced with hard hitting moments.

Elf Project style channels all those glorious sounds that Canadians Rush conjured up during the Moving Pictures, Signals and Grace Under Pressure period, including prominent keyboards now lost in the sound of Geddy Lee’s band.

Opening cut “We Pay the Price” busts out of the gate with thunderous bass lines, textured guitar riffs, atmospheric keys and Carl Schultz high pitched, melodic vocals. It keeps going on strong from there.

“The Sirens Call” is a remarkable song, again driven by Schultz and his thick bass grooves and vocals, with fantastic guitar riffs from Mike Cappadozy and Dave Wayne’s rock solid drum patterns.

“Love For Sale” mixes prog with Def Leppard styled arena rock, some heavier riffs and nice use of keyboards, while “Illusion” again screams ’80s Rush, chock full of catchy hooks and muscular arrangements.

“Pull Me Under” is a little more complex, musically it’s quite adventurous with some nifty guitar work from Cappadozy, atmospheric keyboards and fat bass lines, but the song contains catchy melodies and a great chorus.

Schultz’s slippery bass slaps provide the intro to the exceptional “No More Monkey Business”, a short instrumental that lets the band strut their stuff musically, complete with some nimble stick work from Wayne and layer upon layer of complex guitar riffs and patterns.

The band approaches prog metal on the heavy yet melodic “Reach Out”, which features the best vocal work in the album. The sound is more ‘bright’ in this one.

“Heaven Above” continues on with the heaviness, while sustained riffs and haunting keys permeate the moody “What I Believe”.

The album closes with the poppy “Any Other Day” delivering shimmering vocal harmonies, corpulent bass lines and soaring slide guitar.

In “The Great Divide”, Elf Project looks itself into Rush’s eighties mirror with great results.

The album is infectious from the start, one of those modern prog albums that just has so many feel good moments, upbeat arrangements, catchy hooks and crisp instrumentation.

In fact, the band’s ability to create memorable songs cannot be overlooked, as sometimes progressive rock acts tend to overplay at the expense of the song, but not Elf Project.

I hope neo-prog and melodic rock fans don’t miss this CD – as it’s released by a small label – because contains quality music ready to please listeners of both genres.

01 – We Pay The Price

02 – The Sirens Call

03 – Love For Sale

04 – Illusion

05 – Pull Me Under

06 – No More Monkey Business

07 – Reach Out

08 – Heaven Above

09 – What I Believe

10 – Any Other Day

Carl Schultz: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Production

Mike Cappadozy: Guitars

Dave Wayne: Drums, Percussion



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