Well, the title is pretty self-explanatory, no? Jason Newsted is back again, after being back with the four-song EP, Metal, a short time ago. This time he expanded on the metal theme and called the full-length album Heavy Metal Music. Clearly no one pulled any brain muscles with that one. But, generic album title aside, let’s get into the music, shall we?
To be perfectly honest, there’s not a whole lot on here that I really loved, a few that I liked, and there’s not a whole lot on here that I hated, either. I was also pretty “meh” on some of it even after a fourth and fifth listen. Which surprises me, because some of the reviews are hailing this as one of the best metal releases of 2013. So let’s start with the good:
“Heroic Dose” is a fine opener with a pretty killer riff throughout, and was definitely a song I dug right away. “Long Time Dead” is tightly wound, and the band rocks out pretty hard on it. Newsted’s vocals work for these kinds of songs. He’s not great, merely serviceable, but these particular songs don’t suffer for it.
“Above All’ with its mid-tempo groove, and “Kindevillusion” with easily the best riffs on the disc were two more that jumped out at me right away, and I found myself giving them multiple spins. “Twisted Tail of the Comet” is another one where everyone gets to shine with the drums very much leading the way. Guitarists Mike Mushok, Jessie Farnsworth, drummer Jesus Mendez, Jr., and Jason all play very well together.
Now, onto the bad: “Ampossible” has the double whammy of Newsted doing OZZY’s trademark “All right, now!” ‘s and the guys playing the Mission:Impossible theme at the tail end of the song. No. Just no. “Nocturnus” plays out like a funeral dirge, and between the agonizingly slow tempo and the worst vocal performance on the record, it amounts to six minutes of slow death. Bad all around. “Futureality” is another one that may kill you, from sheer boredom. There is just nothing there to get your hooks into.
And finally, the meh: “King of the Underdogs” and “Soldierhead” really didn’t thrill me the first go-round on the EP. They’re not bad songs, they just weren’t very memorable. And “…As the Crow Flies” is pretty much the same thing. The weakest link of this whole band is really Newsted’s voice. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s not great. Some people will like it, but me, I can only take it in small doses. Still, musically some of the songs are quite good, so check it out for yourselves.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Kindevillusion”, “Above All”, “Heroic Dose”, “Long Time Dead”