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Brazen Bull – Brazen Bull

Brazen Bull
Brazen Bull
by Mark Machlay at 09 March 2021, 9:19 AM

The youthful English rockers BRAZEN BULL have released their self-titled debut with a mix of NWOBHM classic influences and more modern rock and heavy metal edges. Started by local school friends Charlie Allen on guitar and Luke Green on bass, the two set out on a quest to perform their own music onstage after finishing their GCSE exams. While doing an interview for a music college, Allen bumped into Jordan Strang – resplendent in an IRON MAIDEN T-shirt – and after a successful jam session, has been the proud drummer for the band ever since. They managed a few shows with an unknown singer but would constantly be having issues and would go through some lineup changes for over a year. Also eager to beef up their sound, around late 2019 or early 2020, an Instagram follower - who was known to have played guitar – was asked to hangout and join a practice with the band. Hayden Horsby hit it off rather nicely the lads and even played one of their best shows in early 2020. Unfortunately, soon after, the pandemic would hit and lockdowns put a stop to live shows for some time.

However, BRAZEN BULL were hard-working, despite the setback and would enter 2021 in a much better position. Soon after the shutdown, their singer wanted out, they went online to find a new one via a member finder website, and were lucky enough to meet Alejandro Martinezz via Zoom call. Once lockdown eased, they got into a practice room and finding they had chemistry in person as well, began writing material for their debut. The band had support from local acts they played with such as HI-ON MAIDEN – a well-respected IRON MAIDEN tribute band officially endorsed by the band themselves – as well as ATORC and RENEGADE TWELVE. Through those friendships and connections, the band hooked up with Raoul Crane of Blaze Studios and were able to start production. The band’s lead single and first track on the album “Angel’s Nails” was released in November 2020 to positive acclaim followed by second single “Stray Wolf” in December.

I’ll cut to the chase, outside of the amazing lead work, the songs on BRAZEN BULL’s debut did little to excite me but it’s a great start. The problem for me was most of the songs are all about the same mid-tempo heavy metal groove and outside of some creative riffs and lead work, they rely too much on the moveable power chord in their rhythm work. I was excited when I first heard the opener “Angel’s Nails”, solid IRON MAIDEN nods in the riffs but closer to metalcore in both the style and modern production. There’s even some Dimebag Darrel guitar squeals to pique my interest and a throwback bluesy, 80s tinged classic heavy metal solo. But that is followed by “Collapse” and “In the Interest of Humanity” which solidifies the more punkish, chugging influence and overreliance on strict power chords to carry the rhythm work.

They change it up a little with “Pact in Blood” similar in structure to METALLICA’s “Fade to Black” but with some really epic vocal overdubs and absolutely solid lead work both clean and distorted. But “Stray Walk” is back to the mid-tempo heavy metal romp with a chorus that could be amazing but is marred by the generic, punk strumming style. Thankfully, they end with style. The grandiose “The Boy and the Dancer” actually plays with tempo, going back and forth between speeds, clean and distorted, and even has an off-kilter driving interlude reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN. One thing is for sure, lead guitarist Charlie Allen is much deserving of his recent endorsement deal with Cassidy Guitars as the lead work is stellar, I just want more out of the rhythm work and if they’re as hungry as they seem to be on their second release, you will have made a solid fan out of me.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Angel’s Nails
2. Collapse
3. In the Interest of Humanity
4. Pact in Blood
5. Stray Wolf
6. Circus of Fears
7. Burn the Ships
8. The Boy and the Dancer
Lineup:
Alejandro Martinez – Vocals
Charlie Allen – Guitar
Hayden Hornsby – Guitar
Luke Green – Bass
Jordan Strang – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 25 September 2021
 

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