When you hear the name Jason Newsted, it’s hard not to think of Metallica, Ozzy and so many other bands that Jason has given his bass skills and backing vocals to over the years. Now, he is stepping out from the depths of the stage and into the limelight with a brand new project created from scratch, with new album Heavy Metal Music. And it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Right from the start, the heavy galloping guitar intro to Heroic Dose is quite simply ‘very metal’ and sets the pace for the rest of the album, which seems to improve as you listen. We hear the first of many brilliant guitar solo’s this album has to offer, and I’m sure classic metal fans are going to approve.
Although at first it seems rather strange hearing the familiar backing vocals carrying throughout entire tracks, Newsted’s voice definitely lends itself to metal frontman-ship. Soldier Head and As The Crow Flies have that same driving force, and before another belting solo we’re at Ampossible – which is almost Sabbath-esque, and by now you can really hear some past influences at play.
Long Time Dead and Above All sound like a march into battle, before King of the Underdogs (a personal favourite) begins with a slow and calm melody then bursts into life with another head banging rhythm of guitars. The rhythm continues through into Nocturns which rises and falls from heavy riffs to quiet verses, ultimately this builds a mammoth tension throughout the song, and it’s another fist-punching-the-air track.
Jason then screams the intro to Twisted Tale of the Comet. It’s frantic and rapid, as is Kindevilusion. Futureality begins with a heavy trudge and is layered with guitar fills throughout before one last classic solo underneath Newsted’s “The future is in our hands, it’s never too late”.
This album has a constant but changeable rhythm, that you may expect from a bassist of Jason Newsted’s calibre. It’s clear that Heavy Metal has been influenced by the greats of old-school metal, but it also feels that it has been influenced by everything in between. The result is refreshing; a clean take on the bands we have been listening to for nearly 30 years – and I’m sure metal fans, old and new, will find something they like about this record.