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Sign Of The Jackal - Breaking The Spell

Sign Of The Jackal
Breaking The Spell
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 12 July 2018, 11:33 AM

Once more: the 80’s ended on 12/31/1989. We are almost 30 years from those days. We don’t need to make things as they were done in that time, because things are easier now, we have better technologies in the studio to make good music. It’s not about endless digital editions, but to not make things trying to sound as in the 80’s. Learn once and for all: you can play in an Old School format, but using a clear insight on the recordings. To sound organic does not mean that you must record in a rawer way. The Italian quintet SIGN OF THE JACKAL is really a very good band, but must take care about production, as their album “Breaking the Spell” shows.

They are indeed good on this old format of music that reminds a blend between influences from German Metal School with some influences from NWOBHM, and something from Belgian scene of those days. It’s really good, with very good melodies, sober instrumental parts and good vocals (just a bit more control on the high pitched screams and all will be excellent), with a charming energy. It’s far of something new, I heard it time and time again on those days, but they show guts to do their music, what I truly respect. Their sin: to try to be a band from 80’s, what they’ll never be. It seems that the producer messed things up, because the sound tries to be clear, but he did something in the mixing and mastering that made the band sounds hollow sometimes, with a moldy sound quality (what makes some guitar riffs sounds in low volume). That’s a pity, for “Breaking the Spell” deserves a better work in this part. Maybe a contact with Joel Grind could be of some help, because he can bind together the organic feeling with a modern sound clarity.

Taking the production apart, the songs are really excellent. The raw and melodic energy of “Night Curse” (very good guitar riffs), the slow tempos and hooking parts of “Class of 1999”, the fine harmonies constructed for “Mark of the Beast”, the heavy mixture of traditional Heavy Metal and Hard Rock of the instrumental “Terror at the Metropol”, and the grasping and aggressive melodies of “Headbangers” are really excellent shots of a powerful band. They are an excellent group with an excellent album that deserved an excellent sound production. I truly hope that the production next time can be better, because their music is really excellent.

Originality: 6
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Reagan
2. Night Curse
3. Class of 1999
4. Mark of the Beast
5. Heavy Rocker
6. Nightmare
7. Terror at the Metropol
8. Beyond the Door
9. Headbangers
Laura Coller - Vocals
Roberto “Bob” Condini - Guitars, Vocals
Max - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Nick “DevilDrunk” - Bass
Corra - Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions


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