Hell’s Gazelles are a young band from Oxford. The members are Cole Bryant -Vocals, Nath Digman- Guitar, Dan Podbery – Bass and Luke Evans -Drums.
This EP is their first recorded output. It blasts into your ears with the aural assault of Intro, a 45-second burst of drums and heavy guitars. Pretty impressive start!
It then goes straight into the somewhat Maiden-inspired You Ain’t Nobody and my first thought is wow, what a voice this guy has. My second thought? Despite the fact that they weren’t even born then this is pure early 80s British rock. There are strong guitars yet lots of melody and over it all there is that soaring, amazing voice. Loving it! I will be very happy if they can keep this up for the whole album.
Next track Dr Strangechild starts with a scream, and this time the Judas Priest influence is obvious. There is also more than a touch of Diamond Head in there. Nath’s guitars are prominent and wailing. I am impressed that such a young band have taken on such a classic metal sound and done it so well.
Nothing Ventured keeps the power going. The whole thing is well crafted and although it sounds familiar it is also original; it just has that traditional metal feel to it and those vocals – shivers down the spine time.
Slower track Brain Dead starts with more of a doomy sound and again puts me in mind of Diamond Head, especially when it then time-changes into a bit of a monster. More screaming and a riff that wouldn’t be out of place in Iommi’s repertoire and off we go down the hard ‘n’ heavy path again. These days I am too old to be on the barrier headbanging and throwing horns at the band but all of a sudden I want to. This is the sound of my youth and I love it!
Final song Shivers is a little brighter and more commercial in sound, yet doesn’t lose any of the heavy edge that has already been demonstrated so well. This is possibly my favourite although to be honest there are no fillers on this EP. All the songs are well-written, well-performed and well-produced. If that classic metal is your bag you will enjoy this EP as much as I do.
In summary this is a rather wonderful first release by a young band who manage to take an old genre and make it fresh and alive again.
Hell’s Gazelles are currently on a UK tour in support of this album and on the strength of this material I strongly urge you to catch them. You can find all the details on their website or Facebook page. If they can reproduce this sound live I think they have a very bright future ahead of them indeed!