Jasta
Jasta

Jamey Jasta never seems to slow down.  From his success with Hatebreed, to hosting Headbanger’s Ball, to owning his own record label, to his partnership with Kirk Windstein in Kingdom of Sorrow and now to his self-titled, self-funded album, the guy is always up to something.  This solo gig is what Jasta has described as music that isn’t quite Hatebreed and isn’t quite Kingdom of Sorrow.  If you don’t care for either of those bands then you have probably stopped reading already, but if you still are you will find this solo album is an interesting piece of work for someone who has had a lot of influence in the metal world.

The album starts off with ‘Walk That Path Alone’, and it’s a thrash-inspired kick in the gut that gets things started off on the right foot.  In a video interview Jamey talked about the lyrics for this track and its basis is how people sometimes need to break away from negativity in their lives and go their own way.  The next two tracks, ‘Mourn the Illusion’ and ‘Screams from the Sanctuary’, see Jasta’s Kingdom of Sorrow background come strongly to the forefront.  ‘Illusion’ has a much more doomy feel, but both tracks’ influences are pretty obvious.

The next two tracks, ‘Nothing They Say’ and ‘Anthem of the Freedom Fighter’, are where the lyrics get a little cheesy.  Though both tracks have catchy choruses, they don’t seem as inspired and thought-provoking as I have found a lot of Jasta’s work to be.  But I would encourage you to listen all the way through to the end of ‘Nothing They Say’, because it features probably the sickest breakdown on the whole album.

‘Something You Should Know’ sees Jasta taking a stab at some clean vocals, and he actually pulls them off quite well.  It doesn’t hurt that he is helped on this track by one of metalcore’s best all-around vocalists, All That Remains’ Phil Labonte.  This is actually the first track with a guest vocalist, with other notable ones on the album being Lamb of God’s Randall Blythe and and As I Lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis.  Zakk Wylde shows up in track ten, ‘The Fearless Must Endure’, and adds a bit of shred to the otherwise metalcore-standard guitar playing.  Professional skateboarder Mike Vallely (who I had never heard of until this review), shows up on the weakest track of the album – ‘Heart of a Warrior’.  Vallely’s vocals are awful, and the lyrics are way too “bro-coreish” if you will.  This track never should have seen the light of day.

There is a special edition of this album with 2 extra tracks, ‘Bury Me With My Beliefs’ and a super riff-tastic re-recording of ‘The Fearless Must Endure’.  ‘Bury’ is worth it and could have been substituted for one of the weaker tracks on this album, but the re-do of ‘Fearless’ feels like an add-on to justify said “special edition”.

This album is a mixed bag for fans of the genre, with much more to like than not.  Production-wise the album is solid, with plenty of bottom end to help with the breakdowns and add heft to a genre that lives off it.  From what I have heard Hatebreed is working on a new album, and it will be interesting to see how much of the varied aspects of this project carry over to Jasta’s flagship band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
October 13th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    haha, ewww.


  2. Commented by: faust

    Good review, will check this out.


  3. Commented by: denial

    pretty bad,icepick was his only decent band.


  4. Commented by: Evil In U

    I stopped reading at “someone who has had a lot of influence in the metal world”


  5. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

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