REVIEW - Brazen Bull - 'Brazen Bull' (Album)
The guys from Bury St Edmunds band Brazen Bull kindly sent me a couple of demos of singles 'Angel's Nails' and 'Stray Wolf' to play on the show at the end of last year, and while they both sounded great and were highlights of the respective shows I played them on, I wasn't prepared for how great this full length self-titled debut album was going to be. An eight track, thirty-eight minute barnstormer of an album that mixes NWOBHM, power metal and classic rock influences, its an assured, confident debut full of tight musicianship and imaginative touches. As an opening shot into the 'maelstrom' of the still strong rock scene, it's a pretty devastating one!
The album opens with the simply fantastic 'Angel's Nails' with its opening Maiden circa '81 riff, urgent, driving tempo and a chorus that just won't leave you in peace. One of the best rock tracks I've heard for a long time - by anyone! It's then followed by the impressive 'Collapse' with, for me, the highlight of the album - the rising mid-section that seems to go on forever before exploding into another of those fluid guitar solos that pepper the album. 'In The Interest Of Humanity' is a full-pelt rocker that will go down well with the moshers and headbangers before another single 'Pact In Blood', which following its delicate opening bars bursts into another fantastic full-on track (although it would be interesting to hear what the band can do with longer spells of delicacy!). 'Stray Wolf' keeps the quality up and 'Circus Of Fears' has the great crowd engaging chorus of 'Step Right Up, Take A Ticket...' within its furious riffing. To these ears the final two tracks don't quite match the previous six - 'Burn The Ships' loses a little of the 'lightness of touch' that the rest of the album has, with its heavy sound and 'The Boy And The Dancer' reaches for 'epicness' and doesn't quite get there - but I know these tracks have their fans (including the band themselves) and they're by no means slouches as songs in their own right.
This album has been expertly produced, mixed and EQ'ed - even at low volume (WHAT???!!!) it retains its power and shows off the band's inventiveness - every instrument can be heard in their own right and allows the rhythm section of Luke Green (bass) and Jordan Strang (drums), who don't 'drop a stitch' during the whole recording, to lay a solid (yet inventive) bedrock for Charlie Allen and Hayden Hornsby's guitars to glisten and soar with their exceptional dual guitar playing and soloing. And kudos too to Alex Martinez who sings the songs without any of the histrionics that sometimes blights these types of bands.
This is a fantastic album that any fan of the rock and metal fraternity ought to own, and - lest we forget these guys are in their teens and early twenties - promises so much for the future. Let's hope they can get out there soon, play these songs live, build a following and make a name for themselves in the metal scene; on this showing they deserve to.
'Brazen Bull' is available digitally on the streaming site of your choice and CDs can be picked up from the Brazen Bull Bandcamp page - www.brazenbullband.bandcamp.com