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Newsted - Heavy Metal Music

Heavy Metal Music
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein / Tuoksu Holopainen at 29 July 2013, 1:43 PM


Once I finished read about the career of Jason Newsted, I understood that there were times where his peers sunk him so low, making him less credible as a musician and as a composer. Well, you can thank METALLICA for that. After being a primary member in the foundation of the Thrash band, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, participating in the creation of their debut destructor, “Doomsday For The Deceiver”, still considered a Thrash icon, Newsted took the spot of the late Cliff Burton, only to be misled and humiliated by a band that already went far gone after 1989. His departure from METALLICA led him to play with Ozzy Osbourne and then to the Canadian tech maniacs of VOIVOD. Though taking a substantial role with the Canadians, 2008 saw the return of the band’s original bass player, Blacky, and Newsted heading off to pursue a new future. That prospect began with the formation of his own Chophouse Records and a new studio along with the groundwork for NEWSTED, a modern Heavy Metal band led by Newsted on bass and vocals along with an accompanying trio. “Heavy Metal Music” is the band’s first product, and for Newsted it is something to be proud of without anyone yanking him off.

A little while ago I tuned to the video out of the “Metal” EP of the band, featuring the song “Soliderhead”. Beforehand, I had no idea of what to expect, as Newsted seems to have been almost anywhere in the boundaries of what is called Metal, other than the extreme. “Soldierhead”, also introduced on the “Heavy Metal Music” tracklist in the number two spot, appeared as a product of an angered artist, spilling his guts out with tremendous might, forging a headbanging offering, attaining a few of his METALLICA past, mere of “Load” and “Reload” along with divergent elements pictured within the material of MOTORHEAD. As you would notice from other tracks on the album, Newsted enslaved groove to his own purposes while not bending old school too much in favour of newer trends, and that is what I think made this album heavy, with a sense towards the grinding classics. Furthermore, following Newsted’s utter raspy tone, far from being melodic, reaching closely to an interesting mixture between Hetfield and Lemmy’s vocal patterns, “Heavy Metal Music” turned a bit bleak at several occasions, Bluesy in a greyish kind of way, especially with the lead guitar solos being late 70s oriented Rock other than full spread shred. “…As The Crow Flies”, “Ampossible” and “Twisted Tail Of The Comet” allocates attitudes of fine songwriting skills and musical articulation, a few segments proved that nothing here is basic or overly simple, sure not of the progressive entries, yet these song stepped off the common song construct depicting harmonic driven rhythms and haunting 70s divulging grooves. In addition, perceptible darkness loomed all over the horizon, slightly gothic on the verge of TYPE O NEGATIVE and BLACK SABBATH, intense groove like on “Nocturnos” and “Futureality” that were pretty solid tracks, assuming a different chick of the release. The hymn of “King Of The Underdogs” is the consequence of an insane unanimity amongst the wholesome merits of the tracks I mentioned, exposing aggression, tight rhythm section of bass an drum, low tuned guitars rumbling with grooves while the lead guitar Rocking it out with charming, such an aching display.

Newsted’s new “Heavy Metal Music” is the last thing that I could expect from this guy. Nonetheless, his chosen career decisions could have hinted that it would be a measure of diversity on his part, and it eventually came to be. This debut album crosses between the heaviness of Metal music throughout three decades of existence, still not in the 00s, but I guess that after three decades that is what the 00s era will be remembered off, the blend of past eras. Jason Newsted showed to the world his middle finger and kept going, METALLICA has been out of the picture for years, for me since 1990, while VOIVOD and FLOTSAM AND JESTSAM still lightly surf above water, so maybe it is his time to arise on his own.


Months ago, the world of Metal got surprised by former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted unleashing new material as a debut for his eponymous band NEWSTED consisting of the single "Soldierhead" and an EP entitled simply "Metal". Newsted seems to be insisting on the term "Metal" and he went on to use it for the upcoming album's name as well. "Heavy Metal Music", coming out early this August, is given a title that somewhat sums up everything about its content; downright old school Heavy Metal, reminiscent of the older work of his ex-band METALLICA and even MOTORHEAD. It's also pretty much the same thing as the EP.

Newsted seems quite keen on creating the most down-to-earth, almost Hard Rock / Metal sound. There's no insane technical complexity on the album whatsoever, only crunchy riffs, a very big bass sound (which is completely normal and expected in a band led by a bass player), and of course a very raw and gruff vocal style that many tends to compare to James Helfield's. I shall not start a METALLICA comparison cliché, but the influence of Newsted's lengthy standing in the band is obvious in tracks like "Heroic dose" (which has been actually released a while ago.). Two songs from the EP are present, which happen to be the best ones, viz. "Soldierhead" and "King Of The Underdogs". Few days ago a lyric video has been released for "Above All", which I find to be one of the weakest tracks, while some songs are utterly irresistible, namely "Long Time Dead" and "Nocturnus".

Well, simply put, if you have already listened to "Metal", this album will have the exact same impact on you. The EP felt just like a sneak-peak of what will be on the full-length, so do not expect a big difference, but only more of the same material, which is great actually.

4 Star Rating

1. Heroic Dose
2. Soldierhead
3. …As the Crow Flies
4. Ampossible
5. Long Time Dead
6. Above All
7. King Of The Underdogs
8. Nocturnus
9. Twisted Tail Of The Comet
10. Kindevillusion
11. Futureality
Jason Newsted – Bass / Lead Vocals
Jesus Mendez Jr. – Drums
Jessie Farnsworth – Guitar / Backing Vocals
Mike Mushok – Guitar
Record Label: Chophouse Records / Spinefarm Records


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