English five piece rock outfit Brazen Bull list Avenged Sevenfold and Iron Maiden as influences to their sound, but on their self-titled debut record, they demonstrate that they need more time, better songcraft, and more polish to find themselves on the level of their idols.
The record from start to finish lacks a sense of stickiness, as there are few moments remembered once the runtime is finished. This is compounded by further issues of a lack of general professionalism, as the record exudes a sense of mediocre effort from a musical standpoint. The instruments constantly feel loosely played and not as rehearsed as they could have been, and lyrics are often run together and don’t flow in a way that feels natural.
This is especially evident on tracks like “Circus of Fear,” with its strange and discordant vocal melody throughout the chorus and a staccato guitar opening that feels wobbly at best. “In The Interest of Humanity” also features a set of wonky lyrics and delivery, and a rock sound that feels more in line with a band playing at the local bar, or as openers at a club show rather than a headline act. Lead vocalist Alejandro Martinez’ voice also never truly stands out, despite some nice moments of harmony and power scattered throughout. It ends up lost amidst a sea of other problems.
For one, the production on Brazen Bull is lacking a serious punch. It does the job just fine, but feels rather anemic in comparison to the tone the band is going for. What stands out on this album are not full songs, but moments that show flashes of potential if the band were to dig deeper. “Pact In Blood” has the makings of a strong track due to its more experimental nature. The vocal melody here actually works well and the transition from echoing vocals and spacey guitar into a hard charging riff shows the most passion the band puts forth on the record. However, its lyrical flow once again puts a damper on things. “The Boy and the Dancer” also has a promising opening, with the band sounding a bit like Ghost, but its wild transitions in tempo don’t produce anything memorable.
Brazen Bull have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to take the next steps not only in their career, but in their own musical evolution. There’s nothing wrong with the straight-ahead hard rock sound that the band attacks; but having all the instruments on time, having a lyrical flow that doesn’t sound rushed or run together, and a richer, fuller production are all musts during the next go around. What is delivered here is simply forgettable and lacking quality on the whole.