Legendary musician Jason Newsted, famous of Metallica, has kept himself busy since his departure from the metal masters. From his side-project Echobrain to playing in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, the man may have been out of the limelight but he was in no way out of the loop. Now he’ll most likely be busier than ever with a brand new solo EP that feels like it’s the lift Newsted finally deserves again.
At a first listen to the track Soldierhead you can hear massive amounts of Motorhead influence in both the music and the vocals. This track is a heavy speed metal/thrash metal song, some listeners will obviously say it sounds like Metallica which is definitely true of the next track Godsnake. Saying it’s a Metallica song is probably a bit of a detraction, it has similar vibes to a song off of Load & ReLoad. At the end of it it’s just a dirty rock song, a great jam. One of the best things Newsted was famous for were his amazing backing vocals, but who knew he’d be such brilliant lead vocals. The dirty and raspy articulation is the main driving force of his voice. King Of The Underdogs explores his voice even more, a prodigious song anyway but many vocal styles are explored. All the way from grungey cleans to almost death growls. The EP flows well and is a great long listen despite being only four tracks, two tracks are above six minutes and the other two openers are still above four minutes. The last track Skyscraper is more upbeat than the previous two tracks yet still echoes the heavy hitting riffs of the last three tracks, the main riff having a similar sound to that of Hole In The Sky by Black Sabbath. The ending repeats and goes round and round for an awfully long time, but just as you start to think ‘Alright come on now’ the song changes into it’s final passage and ends.
The lyrics are pretty good. ‘I made the devil sell his soul’ think that will be a popular one, from Soldierhead. Also like previously stated his voice is incredible.
Metal is a great new step for Jason, and one he deserves. It’s hard to get the Metallica & Motorhead sounds out of the listening experience but great riffs plaster Godsnake, as well as the famous backing vocals being back and much improved. Soliderhead is a speed metal anthem but too similar to the influences and former bands. However, it’s great. Killer backing bad and some damn metal lyrics. A release that’ll probably go under the radar for most but he already says he’s ‘King of the Underdogs’. Definitely the lift he’s been looking for and rightly should have.
Score : 7/10