On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called Popdose. Join him in his quest.
Album: Newsted, Heavy Metal Music
Label: Chophouse Records
Release: August 6, 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal Music (duh)
Jason Newsted. Let’s say this together now for impact, Jason Fucking Newsted.
If you’re a metal head, then the new project of ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted had to be on your radar. Even if you missed the four song EP that hit your favorite digital outlets in February, you had to know about the first full LP on Newsted’s own Chophouse Records. You had to know because the world has been talking about this record, not just because it’s the first metal project that he’s been the leader of since his departure with Metallica but because of the title of the record. Yes, the record is titled Heavy Metal Music. The EP was titled, Metal. You can’t get much more straightforward with titles than that. And that’s been the talk of the town. Has Jason got so few ideas that the best he could do is come up with titles so generic? Well, of course not. Despite playing in Voivod and his largely ignored alternative project, Echobrain, Newsted has maintained a low profile for a guy that left the biggest metal band on the planet. So is there a better way to let your fans know that you are back in the game than by telling them right up front, “motherfuckers, you’re getting some Heavy Metal Music?”
Obviously with the moniker, this is Jason’s band. But he’s joined by Jesus Mendez Jr. on drums and newcomer Jessie Farnsworth on guitars. Jason takes the vocals on this project. This was the lineup that recorded the EP. The Hellgoat has to admit that Metal was underwhelming as a whole. It felt slightly jumbled. It didn’t have the punch it needed and singing himself, didn’t seem like the right call at the time. Between then and now, Jason added Staind guitarist Mike Mushok to the band and that’s made all the difference in the world. Although the Hellgoat never thought he’d be saying that someone from Staind has made a difference with anything musically, the duel guitar attack and Mushok’s vast experience have added a new dimension to the band. Everyone sounds better, the riffs are more focused, the drumming is precise and for some reason even Jason’s vocals now not only are respectable but might actually be kind of good.
Now of course, it’s impossible to leave a group like Metallica and not bring some of that sound with you into a new group like Newsted. Just the opening riffs of “Soldierhead” make you think of his former band as does the track “As the Crow Flies”. But Heavy Metal Music isn’t a Metallica clone by any means. The basis of the album is straight forward heavy metal. There’s a lot of thrash of course but there’s also some doom as well. “Nocturnas” is a slow & low burner and no band members turned down the bass track on “Futureality” as that has low end for days.
The two tracks that really stand out to the Hellgoat are “Above All” which has the best melodic riffs on the album and “King of the Underdogs” for the symbolism it brings to Heavy Metal Music. You wouldn’t think that at this point in his career that Jason Newsted is an underdog but he feels like it right now. He’s got a horde of people thinking that the music is simply too generic and boring and another horde that thinks it sounds too much like Metallica. The Hellgoat has three words for that – Fuck ’em all. You aren’t going to listen to this record and think it’s reinventing metal. But you are going to listen to this and be amazed that it’s all metal, not dabbling in alternative or anything experimental, and more importantly that it’s a goddamn entertaining album. In fact, the Hellgoat is going to say that it’s the best thing Jason Newsted has done since the Black Album.
Now the fun part. Want to win yourself a copy of the new record along with a Newsted poster? Well, The Hellgoat has got his hands on two packages, one an LP version of Heavy Metal Music and the other a CD version of it, both with the aforementioned poster. Watch the videos below and then e-mail the Hellgoat’s human handler at dave @ popdose.com with your explanation as to why this album is going to kick some major ass. The most creative response will win their choice of the LP or CD package and the second best response will get the other one. You have until 6 pm, Friday, August 9th to get your answers in for an attempt to hear why the Hellgoat’s six tongues are thrashing like crazy right now. Good luck and get creative.