Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Review: Flamebearer (By Matt Bladen)

Flamebearer - Brazen (Self Released)

I'm usually pretty good with talking to bands, I mean they are just people, I even managed to sit through breakfast with Steve Harris without going full fan boy. But at Masters Of The Riff 2023 I made a tit of myself in front of Flamebearer frontman Andy Valiant (formerly of Oak and currently 1968), but that's only because I had seen them totally destroy Hackney with their own rip snorting rock n roll and their explosive cover of W.A.S.P's Wild Child. (And I'd had a few ales)

So when this album landed in my inbox I could barely contain my excitement. It came to the top of the pile and was played several times before I even sat down to write this review. The organic nature of Brazen means it gets the blood pumping, brash and indeed very brazen. Inspired by 70's heavy rock (See The Lies), 80's traditional metal as well as stoner/doom. All three are woven seamlessly through Flamebearer, for every moment of heaviness, there's a melody, every mountainous doom slab, a traditional metal gallop. 

The riff worship begins in earnest, that simple drum pattern from Thiago Pinho, direct and driving, his percussive power sturdy and steadfast. He's underscored by a grooving bass from Dom Bailey, the rhythmic heart of the band. Closing out the instrumentals are the distorted, dirty riffs from scene veteran Alastair Riddell. On Seed Is Sown these riffs weave into a harmonic guitar solo, the classic metal style bleeding into their muscular doom rocking. 

This is their full length debut, following a debut cassette/digital EP and the Wild Child single release, several tours with big names honing the Flamebearer sound enough to get them back in the studio with Wayne Adams for just two weeks and launch the next phase of the Flamebearer story where they want to make music that is a vital and vibrant as their live show. 

So what else does Brazen offer us? Well on Taste Hell they have some 80's style gang vocals with a sleazy chug to the riff, we get our first slab of doom on Walls Crumbling. Valiant addressing his followers with his Osbourne/Wyndorf reverbed vocals on this psychedelic tinged number. It leads into the thundering The Grey, which is yet more more doom but this time with a NOLA wooziness. 

Flamebearer sweat talent from every pour, hitting what is a sweet spot for me. Insecure for example is just a wild bit of doom rock, Sabbath worship but with bigger choruses. Then on Holy Rose they totally blindside you with what is similar to a Thin Lizzy Celtic macho ballad. The lyrics of Flamebearer are used to uplift the listener, they don't dwell in the maudlin, always focusing on conquering adversity than being consumed by it. 

Holy Rose recalibrates this album, segueing into the truly evil sounding Black Tower which again hints at Sabbath but also Cathedral with its slow, brooding riff and airy drumming. If you don't gurn to this your definitely dead, just as you get into a groove it speeds up into the goth punk of Misfits (it's the gang vocals). 

The wildness of Clutch, the Brit Grit of Orange Goblin (Kiss The Veil) and a singer who channels the snarl of Point Of Entry/Hell Bent For Leather Rob Halford, Flamebearer are on fire with this record!! Gather ye Greebos and hail the riff! 10/10

No comments:

Post a Comment