Music Review: Flamebearer – Brazen

Written by: Gareth Endean-Pitt


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Describing themselves as “doom-tinged all out heavy metal” it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from Flamebearer on their debut album Brazen. All out heavy metal conjures up images of big, boisterous in your face rock anthems, whereas doom conjures up images of…well…doom. And yet somehow they manage to combine the two – and much, much more – into an organic, accomplished whole.

In fact, it feels very much like Flamebearer are willing to throw whatever they feel like into their music and are confident in their ability to forge it all into cohesive songs. A touch of Judas Priest here, a little stonery doom there, a soupcon of Alice in Chains style sludgy grunge, a heap of Sabbath and a fair old whack of good old classic rock for good measure. What you’re left with is an album that instantly feels warm and familiar, harkening back to all the greats of metal but still sounding fresh and unexpected.

It is also a curiously uplifting experience, the songs have an energetic bounce so even on songs that on first appearance could seem negative, such as Insecure or Taste Hell, they maintain a feel-good factor and never fall into the depressive tropes of the genre. But that is not to suggest that the album is frothy or lightweight in any way, far from it. This is serious music; played well, it’s just imbued with a drive and momentum that warms your soul. It feels familiar without ever falling into the trap of slavishly imitating past bands.

…an album that instantly feels warm and familiar, harkening back to all the greats of metal but still sounding fresh and unexpected.

There is a little something for everyone on Brazen, from fist pumping rock anthems to dark, heavy riffing, but in some ways that is a curse as much as it is a blessing. The band don’t quite fit into any box, which is admirable, but occasionally this leads to them losing their identity. The worry is that could they be too rock for the metalheads, and too metal for the rockers? Are they too trad for the stoners and too doom for the traditionalists? Only time will answer those questions, but if this sort of stuff doesn’t concern you then what we have here is with a rapturous gem of an album full of great songs and positive vibes. And really isn’t that enough?



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Band Members

Andrew Valiant – Vocals

Alastair Riddell – Guitar

Dom Bailey – Bass

Thiago Pinho – Drums

Track Listing

  1. Seed is Sown
  2. Taste Hell
  3. Walls Crumbling
  4. The Grey
  5. Insecure
  6. Holy Rose
  7. Black Tower
  8. See The Lies Away
  9. Kiss The Veil
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