Newsted: Heavy Metal Music – review


Twenty years ago, Jason Newsted was a member of Metallica and enjoying the kind of preposterous success most musicians can only dream about. Listening to Heavy Metal Music, the 50-year-old's thunderous return to the genre after over a decade of low-key collaborations, it is hard to avoid the feeling that his 2001 departure from the biggest metal band of all time may be the main reason they now seem unable to tap into the feral spirit that once defined them. Proudly rooted in the old-school fury of his former band but infused with the lumbering thud of Black Sabbath and the dissonance and rhythmic quirks of Voivod, the Canadian thrash oddballs whom Newsted helped to revive in 2005, his new band's debut bristles with vitality, aggression and subtly adventurous songwriting. From the heads-down assault of Soldierhead to the mutant grandeur of King of the Underdogs, this is a joyous statement of intent, heavy on hooks and propulsive riffing, and manifestly more convincing than anything Newsted's former comrades seem capable of at this point.


Dom Lawson

The GuardianTramp

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