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ZUUL - Out Of Time (12" LP)

United States | Heavy
Price Range:   $17.77
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If you ask High Roller boss Steffen, then Zuul's longplayer will be the album to top in 2010. It's gonna be the 100th release on the label. And it is a very special one. Guitarist Mike "The Butcher" Bushur is proud to be number 100 in the finest catalogue of Heavy Metal vinyl on this planet. And he knows what makes his band so special: "To put it'simply, it's Brett, our vocalist. He doesn't'sound like a lot of the European bands' vocalists do, and therefore has a rougher, heavier voice. That and I don't really think anyone else sounds like we do. We're not concerned with what anyone else sounds like. We play what we want to hear." This sounds indeed unique and very, very interesting. As does the groups's name. What a strange name Z??l is for a Metal band. Mike explains: "Bob remembered the name from 'Ghostbusters'. We have nothing to do with this movie I'd like to add. It's short and simple and turned out great for a logo." As for example High Spirits the musicians in Z??l also partly use pseudonyms. Does that mean some guys are playing in bigger bands and wish to remain anonymous? Mike denies: "No, just having a little fun. Though Jared has been known as Hateful Jared for years due to his old band, The Hateful Dead." But, after all, is there a connection between High Spirits and Z??l? "Yes, there is", finds the guitarist. "Interstate 57 North." And continues: "We don't really promote ourselves well. Word of mouth usually works best anyway, eh? I hate it when bands force themselves down people's throats. We let the music do the talking. Band histories are usually boring and ours is as well."
Before the album on High Roller Z??l had already put out a self-financed 7" single: "It has two tracks, our own 'Air Raid', and our cover of Crucifixion's 'On The Run'." I got a tape nine years ago or so from an internet friend compiled of tracks from his favourite lesser known bands of the N.W.O.B.H.M. Era. On it was the Crucifixion song and I fell in love with it then. When we started the band we decided on a bunch of covers to do and of course it was one that had to be done. 'Air Raid' is an original and it will be on the album as well, though slightly different. There is a bunch of different versions of the 7" which people probably don't know. No music changes, just different covers. Planet Metal released covers with no border and individual band pics and ours are silk screened and have a border and ended up with two different colours, a beige and white, both with black borders and a band photo. Planet Metal's versions are hand-numbered and some of ours are too but we didn't get all the covers at one time so due to laziness and forgetfulness we've stopped. There are 1,000 copies made." With the album in the bag, does Mike see Z??l as a real, long-lasting band? "Hard to say, I'm surprised we've lasted this long and considering we have I think it's safe to say we will do this for a while. After next year things will get hard for us I think and live shows will go down but I can assume that we will be recording for some time. We have the desire at least." However, their home country America will probably not be the key market for Z??l's music: "I doubt it. America is fascinated with reality TV and 'Amercian Idol' and whatever crap is played on the radio. In the underground there may be some interest but probably not much really. I think we have a lot to offer anyway. But it's not really something we are interested in having. I'll be happy if we just get rid of these damn 7"s!" So, my dear Metal friends, after you have bought the album, buy the single. It might end up being worth a fortune ...
So as High Roller has just reached its 100th release what are Mike's Top 5 releases on the label? "1) Portait's album: High class stuff to these ears and one of the few bands going in this Heavy Metal renaissance that give me something. 2) Bashful Alley LP: They were featured on the afore mentioned N.W.O.B.H.M. tape and I love their 'Running Blind' single. 3) Sonic Ritual split and 'Mother Hearse' 12": Great new band mixing a bunch of styles, I really like what they are doing. 4) The In Solitude LP package is amazing. Musically, I think they are OK, reminds me of King Diamond and Desolation Angels. 5) I think the Quicksand Dream LP will be one of his finest releases, I fucking love that album and High Spirits rules but I already have that on LP. Not familiar with what's on a lot of the others to be honest"

Matthias Mader

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