20 Bulls Each | ‘A Glorious And Bloody Revolution’
Though their name isn’t the first to spring to the lips of most Irish metallers, 20 Bulls Each have worked very, very hard.
Their US touring and string of decent demos has landed them on Thorp Records, alongside the likes of Madball and Benumb (remember ‘Soul Of The Martyr’?) which is pretty cool indeed. So there’s no doubt that they’re one of the less well known success stories of the Irish scene.
At the same time though, you’d know what I mean if I said a cd sounded safe – energetic, tight and heavy, yes – but safe. That’s pretty much how 20 Bulls Each come across on this new one. It’s not like this mix of traditional melodic hardcore and metal isn’t decent. They’ve got some pretty solid tracks alright. It’s just not about to explode with real anger or exasperation.
There are however a couple of interesting new developments. The clean sung vocals have really taken a step up, as shown to best effect in ‘War On You’, with the tight harmony recalling the 90s in highly satisfying fashion. ‘Tiny Venom’ is genuinely fun as well, with its shouty argy bargy verse and chorus. That one should go down well live alright.
Unfortunately tracks like ‘Our Day’ however just drag it down a bit too much for my own preference, with a rather repetitive vocal pattern and nothing much to say. I guess that’s rescued by the shouty group background vocals and Noo Yoik stylings of closer ‘New Disease’ though, which is a powerful way to end out.
Maybe saying it’s safe is an unfair criticism. It could just be the very clean production that’s taking away a little of the grit so necessary for great crossover hardcore and metal. The band are doing great, getting themselves out there, and I can imagine this stuff works cool live because the band are clearly tight as anything.
The vocals could have come down a little in the mix and don’t benefit from over exposure. Yet the clean singing has definitely hit a high point. They have an actual fanbase (more than many an Irish export) who I expect will be chuffed with this, so more power to them. I just think it needs a little more power in general though.
2.9 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 05/10/11