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Review: Buzzard - Gambler

Label: Relics from the Crypt
Year released: 2023
Originally released in: 1984
Duration: 39:45
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 14, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)

Gambler is the lone full-length album released by Belgium's Buzzard, a band that was active in the early half of the '80s. It is a traditional metal effort very much in line with the NWOBHM and bands from the continent that followed quickly in the wake of the British movement. Buzzard played a bit faster than was typical of that era, but nothing approaching what would later fall under the speed or thrash umbrellas. Theirs was a more rambunctious and energetic style with lyrics about the metal life ("Stone-Hard and Loud," "We Are Heavy Rockers") and proto-occult topics ("Nosferatu," "Midnight Countess"). The vocals are rough around the edges but mainly in tune and the rest of the instruments have a good sound even if the playing isn't anything over the top. It's the songwriting, which is a clear cut above the rest of the field, that gives Gambler a leg up as the musicians in Buzzard had a fine ear for melody and song construction that was often lacking across a full album in the case of a lot of their brethren. There are no standout tracks, but nothing worth skipping either, just one high-octane cut after another. Gambler should definitely appeal to fans of NWOBHM bands like Weapon UK and Dragonslayer and I'd throw Motörhead in there for good measure. Thanks to Relics from the Crypt/Dying Victims Productions for giving this one a re-release.

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