Metal Storm logo
Thelemite - Survival Of The Fittest review

Bandcamp music player

18 users:
Band: Thelemite
Album: Survival Of The Fittest
Style: Heavy metal
Release date: July 2023

01. Night Of The Wolf
02. Black Hearted
03. NWO
04. The Fire Still Burns
05. Bad For You
06. Living Without You
07. White Dreams
08. In A Damaged Brain
09. Already Dead
10. Making Love
11. Visions From The Past

If we're talking about the Survival Of The Fittest in a traditional heavy metal sense, then Thelemite are surely safe and sound.

Thelemite are a Greek heavy metal band who formed in 2010. Here they present to you their latest release Survival Of The Fittest. Let's start with the striking cover art. By now, it's a common occurrence when the album artwork of a newly formed heavy metal band strongly resembles a particular band/album which has had strong stylistic influence on them. In the case of Thelemite, it's undeniable that the influential band in question is Judas Priest, and the cover art of Survival Of The Fittest is, of course, taken from the iconic Defenders Of The Faith album. OK, it's obviously not a carbon copy, but the theme is similar enough to suggest the route which Thelemite have chosen here with their third full-length release. (Another obvious example of such a strong stylistic influence is Riot City's fairly recent debut Burn The Night, which certainly reminded me of that classic laser-eyed eagle on Screaming For Vengeance, and the band's style of music certainly wasn't far off from Judas Priest, either.)

Now, does this mean we have ourselves yet another Judas Priest-worshipping act lacking initiative, creativity, and ambition? No, I believe we do not have that at all. Aong with Riot City, Thelemite are, in fact, the proven real deal. Many of these new wave of traditional heavy metal (NWOTHM) acts clearly look up to their mighty idols Judas Priest, and it really isn't hard to see why. I mean, they brought heavy metal to a whole new level entirely, and long should their style and influence continue to reign through these fresh heavy metal acts for future metalhead generations to come.

Thelemite go a step further with their third full-length release Survival Of The Fittest, which follows the 2013 debut Slave To Desire and the 2021 sophomore release Thelemism. It features eleven tracks, clocking in at a total of fifty minutes in running length (so, you could easily say this album is on the lengthier side of heavy metal). Yes, as I've probably pointed out to you enough times already, Judas Priest are still the major influence, but they're not the only influence we have here. Thelemite pretty much cover the whole spectrum of classic '80s heavy metal, from Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest to Savatage — and even throwing in some hard rock for good measure, with influences of Guns N' Roses and AC/DC, in particular.

The album starts off all guns blazing with a thunderous, frenzied, arena anthem titled "Night Of The Wolf". This is certainly a classic throwback to the great '80s heavy metal era, in which Yannis Manopoulos treats his metalhead listeners to raspy Ozzy-esque wailing vocals. To put it simply, this opening track is like a combination of Judas Priest (with breakneck speedy riffing and energetic solos) and the catchy fist-pumping chorus and verses of Ozzy Osbourne. What's most impressive, though, is the modern clean production, which provides a perfect example of how these modern heavy metal acts really manage to bring the old heavy metal spirit to life whilst keeping things fresh and energetic.

Once again, Yannis shows off his extraordinary vox with "NWO", this time going from his Ozzy wails to powerful Halford-esque screams. This is probably the fastest tempo track featured on the album and, perhaps, resembles Judas Priest more so than any other track thanks to the fantastic guitar duo of Zack Kotsikis and Yannis Manopoulos. Here you'll be accustomed to those speedy melodic riffs and shredding leads, which are driven by a rolling thunderous rhythm section from drummer Renos Lialioutis and bassist Nikos Michalakakos. From here on, you're met with several hard rock ballads to go along with the energetic heavy metal tracks. One striking ballad includes a Guns N' Roses-style track titled "Living Without You". The songwriting of this track is uncannily similar to that of Guns N' Roses' epic version of "Knocking On Heaven's Door", from the verses to the built-up to the ending solo.

Another surprise is the track "Bad For You". This is an incredibly catchy track — one which will most certainly be ringing in your head after the album has finished — and the songwriting seems to be taken directly from AC/DC's "Livewire". For me, the best track on the album is undoubtedly the closer, "Visions From The Past", which Savatage fans will greatly appreciate. Yes, this track screams Savatage through the vox, the songwriting, as well as the whole sound and structure.

So, to sum it up, if you're into the traditional heavy metal and hard rock scenes of the '80s and happen to be a fan of either Savatage, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, or Guns N' Roses (perhaps even a blend of all five), then checking out Thelemite's Survival Of The Fittest could well be worth your time.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written on 18.08.2023 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 81 users
18.08.2023 - 19:51
Rating: 6
Good band, but remains me the first Europe era Wings Of Tomorrow record and Ozzy No More Tears sound with the Judas Priest Defenders Of Faith cover art style
Maybe as his eyes are wide.
19.08.2023 - 00:51
I remember listening to this about a month ago when the NWOTHM channel uploaded it on YouTube. I'd only add Alice Cooper to your namedropping. It's a largely derivative album, but a very enjoyable one, too.

The cover art is shamelessly derivative, though.
19.08.2023 - 09:34
Rating: 9
Nice sumup , it really captures the aura of the album, but as the comments also show, many other bands form that era can be added as an inspiration or just as a comparison to what these guys are offering on this record.
19.08.2023 - 15:55
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Mfw band does not actually write about Thelema 😐
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

30.08.2023 - 18:03
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
You just tock Nuks job, now he is unemployed. Good album, good band.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
11.09.2023 - 14:40
Rating: 7
Spot on review!

It's like a tribute cover album, but without any actual covers

"Visions From The Past" is definitely my favorite track, although I wish I hadn't heard it as first song on the album, because I had high hopes that the whole album would have had an old Savatage feel..
11.09.2023 - 15:30
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Written by NazGoth on 11.09.2023 at 14:40

Spot on review!

It's like a tribute cover album, but without any actual covers

"Visions From The Past" is definitely my favorite track, although I wish I hadn't heard it as first song on the album, because I had high hopes that the whole album would have had an old Savatage feel..

Thanks I agree, they definitely saved the best track to last imo, It would have been nice to have heard some more Savatage influences throughout the album though like on "Visions From The Past" though, but it certainly brought back nostalgia hearing all those influences.

Hits total: 1561 | This month: 34