When it comes to Austria, there aren’t many bands that come to my mind that have made an impact on the metal/rock scene as much as its adjacent state Germany, with its many behemoths such as Scorpions and Helloween. However, some bands like Gallows Pole, have gotten the opportunity to play in the US and another Austrian act named Stahlhammer is labeled as one of the most well-known bands to ever come out from the country. The latter even managed to get some of their albums released with a parental advisory sticker.
Coincidentally, the vocalist of Stahlhammer happens to be the lead singer of today’s band whose album I’m going to review. Break Point, was certainly a very obscure band that was signed on Metal Enterprises, a label with a very bizarre history. It’s mostly known for its scheme of releasing “fake sophomore albums.” In contrast, the owner of the label, Ingo Nowotny, released follow-up records on a few bands using their moniker without their permission, utilizing his own team of studio musicians. And most of these albums suck very, very bad.
Returning to the main subject, Break Point released their debut Elephant’s (The typo was intended?) in 1987, picking a very ugly artwork for the front cover. Hmm… Narita and Dance Of Death had pretty bad cover arts too, but they were actually good albums. Does this logic also apply to Elephant’s? The answer is no.
The first problem encountered here is the fact that the line-up consists of one lead singer, two backing vocalists, one guitarist, and of course, there is the aforementioned Ingo programming the drum machine. In addition, there is no bass playing in this album. Instead, there is the keyboard doing the bass parts. That’s very embarrassing for a serious studio band not to have one. Even I’m considering to use MIDI Bass for my low-budget studio project I want to do, and not just straight away ditch the instrument.
At least the album sets off with a kick-ass opener. “King Of Hell,” starts with atmospheric keyboard sounds and a head-banging galloping riff. Then the nasal vocals come in and damn, I have to say, Gary Wheeler is a very underrated vocalist. His lyrics also sound pretty cool on this track specifically. However, I hate how the song ends. You get a verse part towards the final seconds of the song, and then it just fades out abruptly.
That’s too bad because this and “Lady Of The Night” are the only good songs here, the latter trying to be “The Final Countdown Part 2” with its catchy keyboard intro and memorable chorus, although the absence of a decent guitar solo and the usage electronic disco keyboard sounds, make it a weak adversary against Europe’s better songs such as “Wings Of Tomorrow.” And you want to know how all the solos sound like here? It’s just the guitarist playing some melody and then messing around with the whammy bar. I’m serious; they’re not creative at all.
The rest of the album descends to bad Melodic Hard Rock with very repetitive, generic songs such as “Love Me Forever,” “On The Run” and “Top Secret Love” which has that annoying “Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaby” vibrato executed by Wheeler and an irritating chorus that is almost whispered. The other songs are not even worth mentioning. They’re just examples of AOR at it its most primitive form.
Nevertheless, Elephant’s is, in my opinion, a very weak release with some saving graces, those being “King Of Hell” and “Lady Of The Night” and the rest of the tracks being, as Nick Papakostas of Vice Human would put it, poisoned bait. I was even interested in purchasing the record at first but not to play it, but just to find out in which songs the other vocalists appear and to add the lyrics on Metal Archives. But I can’t do that anymore since the band was recently removed from the site, unfairly, in my opinion. So I recommend you to buy this record only if you’re into the lackluster Bon Jovi, Europe, and Def Leppard albums.
Elephant’s was released in 1987
You can find a copy of Elephant’s here in LP form only