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GunJack - Totally Insane

GunJack
Totally Insane
by Emmalyn Campbell at 08 July 2018, 12:07 PM

GUNJACK is a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Milan, Italy. Formed in 2017, 2018’s “Totally Insane” is the group’s debut album, containing 11 tracks. “4B4Y” opens the album with the sounds of someone typing on a keyboard, wires, and bionic legs walking, like a short sci-fi story, and creates atmosphere before a heavy riff and pounding drums come in. The two elements provide plenty of power and speed, but even some great guitar solos can’t help the song from dragging. The hooks are not developed, and the song keeps returning to the riff and drum combination without building to a bridge or discernable chorus, making this a pretty underwhelming opening song. Title track “Totally Insane” is next, and the first thing I can think of is MOTÖRHEAD. From the riffs to Mr. Messerschmitt’s voice, the resemblance is immediately recognizable, heard in the opening “4B4Y” as well, but not to this extent. I hope the group takes pride in this comparison; however, I think this song suffers the same fate. It’s plenty heavy, has good guitar work, and has nice production, but the lack of memorable hooks, really the lack of melody, hurts its replay value.

Black Mark” is only two and half minutes, but it’s packed with energy. The drumming is top-notch and the guitar solos are rippling with fire, making it short, sweet, and heavy. “Bloodbath” is cut from the same cloth as the first two tracks. Gamma Mörser is a talented lead guitarist, but in the songs so far and this song especially, his talents seem to be used to save a song that sounds so similar to the others that they could bleed into the same one. If the group is not trying to start a revolution in Metal and wants to keep the songwriting relatively homogenous, then more power to them, but it does make it hard to pick out a song from the bunch as any more special than the others. However, “Into the Fire” sets itself apart from the rest with verses that successfully build to a solid chorus and inventive, powerful guitars throughout, not just where the listener would expect. The guitar work in this track is the best by a landslide and shows some influence by bands like IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST.

To save myself from sounding repetitive, I’m going to avoid talking about the last few tracks in detail, simply because my commentary would be the same for each one. There’s talent displayed, especially in the elongated guitar work, but the hooks are empty, there is little emphasis on harmony, and most tracks follow the same tempo and tone, which doesn’t make for an exciting listening experience. Luckily, the group can play their instruments and Mr. Messerschmitt has a unique voice, but to take their music to the next level, I would suggest working on some diversity in songwriting. There are hints here and there in tracks like “Black Mark,” “Into the Fire,” and “Iron Cross,” but my constructive criticism is really about an issue I see in pockets of modern Metal as a whole. There’s just untapped potential.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. 4B4Y
2. Totally Insane
3. Black Mark
4. Bloodbath
5. Into the Fire
6. Seven
7. Old Guard
8. Cry of Demon
9. Iron Cross
10. Mr. Daniels
11. Outro
Lineup:
Mr. Messerschmitt – Lead Vocals, Bass
Gamma Mörser – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
M47 – Drum Propeller, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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Edited 04 December 2022
 

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