Pulver are a miraculous discovery for any fan of classic 80’s rock and heavy metal. Hailing from Aschaffenburg, Germany, Pulver are a curious addition to the music world, seemingly going against the grain and paying homage to music movements long past their glory days. That said, the band’s first offering suggests a deliberate step away from the current modern metal revival and takes the listener on a journey into the past. Formed in 2016, Pulver have waited some time to put their foot forward, but it has paid off. The unapologetically raw production and stripped-back atmosphere of this EP is incredibly refreshing, and most importantly, guaranteed to get you headbanging.
The German five piece combine heavy but stripped-back riffs with unscrupulously untouched vocals and a solid, driving rhythm section, to deliver a raw and authentic, fully immersive sound. This is rock music in its purest form – scathing, feedback-heavy, growling and gritty. Vocalist Dave Fröhlich is diverse and engaging, with a voice reminiscent of Motörhead’s Lemmy – a whiskey-stained, cigarette smoke infused tone, allowed to shine through the mix without any bells and whistles. It really feels as though his voice comes from the microphone and straight into your ears, bringing an intimacy to his delivery. Guitarists Lukas Kunkel and Alex Oster work as two parts of a whole, with the guitars continuously interconnected in a fuzzy dance of frequencies, often in rhythm realm. Gabor Eichstätter provides a crushing but smooth low end, which is the most dominant element in this release. Drummer Danny Oster completes this line-up with his no-nonsense skin-works, delivering a solid rock’n’roll underlay.
‘Pulver’ features only three tracks but is undoubtedly a compelling release. The first thing that comes to mind while listening to this EP is that it belongs on a record player, and luckily that is exactly what the band is offering. The EP is available as a 7” vinyl, limited to only 400 copies worldwide, adding further to the charm of this band and everything they represent. The first single ‘Howl’ is a clear standout, blending Motörhead and Iron Maiden influences in a concoction of hard rock and metal so fun, you’ll have it on repeat instantly.
‘Twilight Magic’ takes a Black Sabbath turn, slowing things down and putting forward a more doom-infused feel with its ominous and eerie guitars. And while it may seem overly ambitious or downright ludicrous to release an instrumental track as part of a 3 song EP,
‘Salvation‘ is a nice and catchy closer to finish off with, which is again very different from the rest, suggesting that Pulver have a lot of diversity up their sleeve and the prospect of a full-length record is incredibly exciting.
Pulver manage to not only create fun, straight up metal tracks, but also completely transport the listener decades into the past, and they use this aesthetic in every aspect of the band – from the overall sound and feel, to the artwork and the release format – this is the full package. Skillfully walking the line between gimmick and authenticity, this Is a band capable of delivering hard-hitting heavy metal with a raw and soulful flair that will be music to your ears, and perhaps you dad’s, too. In conclusion, this is a release sure to please many fans of the early metal and hard rock movements with its grit and sincerity, and a gorgeous old-school vinyl you need in your collection.