I’m a huge fan of anything that Jamey Jasta does, so naturally when I heard of his debut solo album, simply entitled as Jasta, was coming out, I was at the frontline ready to experience the brutality that only he can bring. In interviews pertaining to the album, he said that it was material written over the past three years that didn’t really fit in with any of his other projects (Hatebreed, Icepick and Kingdom Of Sorrow, if you live in a hole).
In the beginning of the first track “Walk That Path Alone,” it opens up as an old school hardcore track, with his familiar anger-filled scream over simple yet brutal hardcore music. It’s fast-paced hardcore that pays tribute to bands like Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags, so if you listen to those bands you will have an idea of what this track is like.
The next track “Mourn The Illusion” seems to directly cite one of his other bands, Kingdom Of Sorrow. It vaguely resembles their song “Lead the Ghosts Astray.” It starts out as fast-paced metal that’s heavier than the last track, with sludgy riffs that overhang sections of the song. Jasta chooses to sing out in this track, giving it more of an epic stage presence instead of screaming. The track overall is slower, heavier, and shows how versatile Jasta can be with his music.
In my opinion, “Anthem Of the Freedom Fighter” has Hatebreed written all over it. After a metal guitar riff, it heads into a drum-driven breakdown that oozes heaviness. One thing I like about Jasta is that even though his lyrics are a little repetitive (most evident in the Hatebreed song “Destroy Everything”) it doesn’t ever grow old and it gives just about every chorus line he’s ever written an anthem-like feel that encourages all fans to sing along and in turn, he feeds off of that energy.
The guest spots really caught my attention. The first of these is the song “Something You Should Know,” which features Phil Labonte of All That Remains/ex-Shadows Fall. The first thing that really grabbed me is that Jasta sings out in a way that’s never been heard before. At first I thought it might have been Phil opening up the track, but further listening proved this wrong. Definitely worth checking out for his hardcore fans who want to hear a (yet another) different side of him. The music is a lot like All That Remains in terms of softer guitars and structure as well.
With Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God) on the track “Enslaved, Dead Or Depraved,” you couldn’t expect any less than what they deliver here. It’s a more straightforward metal track with Jasta and Blythe trading vocals back and forth throughout the song. Musically, it shows a variety of different riffs that show some of his influences throughout the years. The drums are really heavy and play with the bass quite nicely.
This album is highly recommended to anyone who is familiar with Jasta’s other projects, as this is the album that truly shows his musical talents and his vocal virtuosity that is varied from song to song. Although some of his tracks do show bits and pieces of his other projects, he refrains from completely indulging in that (aside from the song “Mourn The Illusion”) and mixes it up. Like I said before, go check out the song “Something You Should Know” to see a previously unheard side of Jasta’s awesome singing talents.