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Newsted

Heavy Metal Music

Newsted
8
Definitely a big miss on the album title, given that Jason Newsted isn't fronting an ESL trad metal band from 1984. Oh well, he makes up for it: the ex-Metallica and ex-Voivod bassist returns to metal in a big way with this one, Heavy Metal Music presenting an oddly stiff yet fully enjoyable take on no-frills heavy sounds. "As the Crow Flies" and "Ampossible" are great songs, the former inspirational and Voivod-ian, with some surprisingly moving lyrics, the latter featuring some killer Southern metal riffing. Anthemic, Motörhead-ish opener "Heroic Dose" is also a highlight, "King of the Underdogs" grooves heavy, but without sounding like a bar-band Pantera cover, "Long Time Dead" reminds us that this guy played on Doomsday for the Deceiver and the amazing "Twisted Tail of the Comet" is again reminiscent of Voivod, both in the mid-pace chug metal of that group's Newsted era and also some vocal inflections (oddly, E-Force are also a sonic peer). The album as a whole is, admittedly, too long (but given Newsted came of musical age on ...And Justice for All and Metallica, it makes sense), while the songs could be trimmed down a bit. However, this is no B.S. heavy metal and it makes you feel good, which is way more than many were expecting. And, no, the bass isn't embarrassingly loud in the mix. (Universal)

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