Released to the world on October 26th, 2020, “Universal Truth” climbed its way to No. 1 on iTunes Top 100 Soundtracks Chart, quite the impressive feat for The Drifter. This is Elias’ second EP, with his first being released in 2018 titled “Walk With Elias”, which also contained 4 songs just as this EP does as well. In regards to “Walk With Elias”, a WWE.com article touted that, “the Superstar cracked Billboard’s Top 40 Emerging Artists and the album peaked at No. 8 on the iTunes charts in 2018, surpassing both Panic! At the Disco and Post Malone at the time,” yet another undeniable achievement from the former 24/7 Champion. A quick lesson, an EP, also known as an extended play, typically contains more tracks than just a single (around three to five songs) falling short of being classified as an album or an LP. With the first EP clocking in 15 minutes, “Universal Truth” only clocks in at 11 minutes in length, and as one can assume, it’s a relatively quick and easy listen. Upon its release, I must’ve listened to it around a total of six or seven times during my commute home from work and I found the songs quite enjoyable. The tracklist is as follows: ‘Amen (I’m Going In)’, ‘Street Light’, ‘Lead Me Home’, and ‘Amazing Grace’, which mimics the melody of the 1964 song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ by The Animals. Each song has a Gospel Rock-type feel to them, with the lyrics all mentioning God and highlighting Elias’ journey. One has to wonder if any inspiration was drawn from teachings of the Bible or if any of the theme(s) explore in the EP pay tribute to it. After all, it is worth mentioning that Elias did go by the moniker ‘Heavy Metal Jesus’ while wrestling on the independent circuit at one point, so another observation could be made that this could be a metamorphosis or evolution of that persona, just on the WWE scale and in the form of music.
“Amen (I’m Going In),” which clocks in at 3:06 might be my favourite song off of the EP, whereas I feel as though this is the best track where you can really hear Elias’ vocals, with “Amazing Grace” (the shortest song on the EP at 2:23) coming in as a close second. In regards to “Amazing Grace”, had it not been for the backup choir chiming in as backup vocals at the same time as Elias sings, as well as the swell of the instruments, it would’ve been much easier to actually hear Elias’ vocals to get a better judgement in terms of how he sounds. In fact, ” Street Light” and “Lead Me Home” also suffer from the same loud backup vocals and instrumentals almost overtaking Elias’ vocals, which is not the best thing to have to go for you, with the former suffering the least from said issue. Imagine Elton John or Celine Dion releasing a new album with months, perhaps even years of hype, only for their legendary vocals to be drowned out by poorly mixed audio? In today’s world that would be completely unacceptable, and although I am not comparing Elias to the likes of the two grammy award-winning artists, it still would be nice to actually listen to Elias’ vocals on the EP without the mix of sounds drowning out the main focal point.
All in all, “Universal Truth” is a fun and easy listen, and despite some audio issues that at times can drown out Elias’ voice, showcases that the WWE Superstar is not only versatile in the ring, but also in the music industry as well, which could be an avenue he could explore should it come time to step away from professional wrestling (which hopefully isn’t the case any time soon.) A far superior EP in comparison to “Walk With Elias”, hopefully, the next body of work from Elias will contain a tracklist that is on par to a full-length album and feature songs that further showcase the growing talents of Elias.