I already know what you’re thinking – a native English speaker reviewing yet another German language album. I don’t have to speak it to appreciate it, and this EP is absolutely divine. Elli Berlin (Null Positiv) brings us a vibrant mix of synth, prog rock, and metal via this 5-track release that’s got us hooked from beginning to end.
Debuting March 25th, with the music video for the title track “Mutterherz” debuting a month prior, this EP was already running high, with nearly 100,000 views being roped in from YouTube alone. This release allowed for Elli to put her vocal range on full display, a taste we’d seen with her cover of Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence” back in April of 2020. The angelic highs and raspy mids are classic and vicious in their execution, energizing the melody of each track with precision and passion.
The first track, “Heiß kalt” brings the heat from the very beginning with Nu Metal vibes that mark on Type O Negative vibes before ascending into a more In This Moment sound. It holds similar vibes to Elli’s band project, ‘Null Positiv’ but allows for her to take more control and unleash her fury unto the world. It’s got the hammering intensity of fierce drums, and wild riffs that take up elements of prog with detailed performance. Elli’s vocals are on a raspy high throughout, momentarily pausing for casual whispers before once more rising up and slaughtering us with their power.
Title track, “Mutterherz” follows on a lighter note, with the backing passion that Elli displays in her vocal command but, breaking away from the shattering drums to focus on emotional instrumentals. This track is filled with scarred emotions and dependency on another level. Elli utilizes her vocal range to bring the shift in emotional exchanges from anger and hatred to one of obsession and fear that’s echoed by the melody that flows with. A truly outstanding track that allows for vivid imagery to flow through, with the aiding music video offering displays of depression and unconditional love shadowed in a less than vibrant palette and a crimson veil.
“Tief in der Dunkelheit” is ethereal in its beginning, pulling us from darkness with a lighter note, if only for a moment before shutting us away. We dwell deep, and Elli boasts a vocal cascade of siren-like highs, light and clean in their performance. It’s a soft ballad that commands the same attention as the previous, intense tracks, but allowing Elli to show a softer side in her vocal range, though only lasting just over 3 minutes in length, making it the shortest on the EP.
“Führe mich” picks up on the metal elements, throwing us back into the fray with musical force. Drums hammer at us from all angles, while bass pulls in a solid rhythm as riffs run wild. This is an emotion-packed track in both vocal performance and melody that harmonize to make you truly feel the passion behind Elli’s execution. The desire to be led, to be guided and seek out clarity is one many of us yearn for no matter our stage in life, and the weight of that need is evident in this track.
Ending the EP is “Wer bist du?” that once again takes a step back from the heaviness of the other tracks to indulge in gentle nature. Again, we feel Elli’s emotional strength come through in her vocal command, letting her voice sink into our souls as it climbs to new highs. The melody takes a backseat, keeping the rock vibe alive but, granting Elli the ability to show off her graceful voice without belting it out as done in prior tracks. A powerful solo drops in near the close of this track that stabs us in the heart, really sending home how spiritually deep this EP truly is.
To truly appreciate the lyrics, one can research the lyrics but, to truly appreciate the emotional depth and brilliance throughout this EP, you need only listen. Each track pulls in lyrics that match a musical display of trauma and need. From settling into darkness, to self-discovery, there is emotional evidence in tone, voice, and musical accompaniment that allowed me to thoroughly enjoy how deeply expressive this EP is, and to have it take my breath away. Elli truly puts forth her best in a way that is above and beyond all expectations, showing vocal power in her range from raspy lows to towering highs and every bit in-between. You feel the passion she puts forth in each performance, and that was all that I needed to be blown away.
Favourite Tracks: Tief in der Dunkelheit, Wer bist du?
Release Date: March 25th, 2022
1.) Heiß Kalt
3.) Tief in der Dunkelheit
4.) Führe mich
5.) Wer bist du?