Black metal is an art of the senses, a darkened music genre that acts as a force, giving strength and refreshing the pneuma. The new waves of black metal bands, worldwide, tend to mix up black metal with a lot of music genres, especially with doom/sludge, industrial or avant-garde.
I am in a very difficult position this time, as I have to tell you about one of my four childhood heroes. Jason Newsted was always a skilled musician, capable of raising a band a click higher with his performance and above all, his intense personality. Starting with Flotsam And Jetsam with the release of the godly debut ”Doomsday For The Deceiver” in 1986, he didn’t have time to enjoy this success, as he immediately entered Metallica, trying to feel the shoes of recently deceased legendary Cliff Burton. For the next fifteen years he contributed more than a lot in making Metallica the biggest and best metal band of all times.
All good things have an end and twelve years ago around these days, Jason left Metallica because he didn’t feel free to do other stuff while the band was in a kind of hiatus. I’m all by his side in this decision as noone would have the balls to abandon the safety (and the money) Metallica had to offer. So shortly after that, he did the Echobrain project and he also entered Voivod to record three albums from 2003 to 2009 and he also helped Ozzy Osbourne on touring duties. So pretty much he can surely claim he’s done and seen a lot of stuff in the music industry and especially on the metal world. Seems it was time to move on.
Finding drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. whom he knew from his days in Metallica when Jesus helped on the band’s headquarters and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth five years ago, they set as a trio in creating the Newsted project whose first release is these four songs on an EP simply (and rightfully I might add) entitled ”Metal”. Four tracks of pure energy is what Jason and his companions have to offer, with the opening ”Soldierhead” being a modern thrash metal track, filled with adrenaline and clever riffs combined with pounding drumming and Jason’s aggressive voice which fits these compositions a hundred thousand per cent.
”Godsnake” is a slower tempo track, hailing from the Black Sabbath roots of the ”Volume 4” and on period. Slow, raw and rather heavy, it serves on making the EP flow with quality and different sounds. So does the next track ”King Of The Underdogs” which I can already imagine becoming a great live track, making heads bang in fast and slow rhythms, with succesfull changes here and there and Jason voice playing with the riffs. The last track ”Skyscraper” comes closer to ”Godsnake” in a Sabbath meets Metallica style with a crawling riff and lead the last two minutes which leaves promises for a great upcoming album.
Ending with the message ”No Word Is Holy”, this EP proves that Jason had always a lot to offer as a composer, the fact that in fifteen years in Metallica he contributed only three tracks creates various discussions over the subject. Much better than Echobrain and closer to his metal roots, as also the likes of 2013, ”Metal” is a new beginning for Jason Newsted to show that he’s more than a ”has-been” and that he can show some guys how it’s like creating something pure, simplified and pointful as it gets, without tiring the listener and without losing the basic elements of heavy music. Welcome back Newkid, we missed you dearly.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Hellyeah
02. You Wouldn’t Know
03. Matter of Time
04. Waging War
05. Alcohaulin’ Ass
07. In the Mood
08. Star Rotten to the Core
09. Thank You
11. One Thing
12. Alcohaulin’ Ass [Acoustic Version]
|Chad Gray – vocals
Greg Tribbett – guitar
Tom Maxwell – guitar
Bob Zilla – bass
Vinnie Paul – drums