EP Review: Newsted, ‘Metal’

bill bodkin gets metal …

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This is a bad ass EP.

And to be honest, there was some reservation stirring in the seasoned and salty metal soul of this reviewer. How often have we metalheads been disappointed by new bands from current or former members of our favorite bands? And if you look at former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted’s post-‘Tallica career it hasn’t exactly been awesome. Echobrain, the alt-rock band he joined up was flat out awful and as someone who’s never gotten into Voivod, obviously Newsted’s tenure with that band wasn’t impressive.

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However, with this four-song EP aptly titled Metal, we’re given a boot-in-your-ass, fist in the air compilation of old school heavy metal as seen through filter of the modern day. This may seem like a bit of an odd description, but how many bands have we heard try to “recapture” the sounds of the past and just sound like they’re a tribute band instead of creating their own signature taken on a classic sound?

Newsted does this perfectly. He has created a driving, guitar driven and intense symphony of heavy metal that harkens back to the days of 1980s long hair headbanging and gives it to us with the kind of raw brutality and infectious groove that’s commonplace in today’s scene. (Watch the video for the band’s lead single “Soldierhead” below and you’ll see what I mean.)

As a vocalist Jason Newsted is quite impressive. He’s got this hellraising growl that’s really catchy and has some melodic undertones to it. Obviously he’ll never be confused with Ronnie James Dio (but quite frankly no one ever will be), yet this isn’t some dude going out there and screaming till his throat bleeds. The harmonic intensity of Newsted’s vocals only bolsters the badassery of his newly created tracks.

When we spoke with Newsted this week he spoke about how this EP was a sampler of things to come for his full-length record which should be out in the near future. If the new record sounds anything like this EP, we’re looking at quite an amazing debut record for Jason Newsted and his new band.

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites