Bassist Jason Newsted is most well known for his stint with Metallica, but has been all over the map during his music career. From his roots of being a founding member of Flotsam and Jetsam to his more recent collaborations with Voivod and WhoCares. With the release of his first EP entitled simply “Metal,” Newsted is more than just involved with these songs – he is the prime contributor to all of these songs.
The opening track, Soldierhead, has received a ton of press in its short existence and most people have become very familiar with it. It is a simple song with not too much going on outside of a few decent riffs and a nice flow, but Newsted’s vocals are what brings the song down, which is surprising to me because I always thought that he had a pretty good voice, but you can only tell so much with background vocals I guess.
The EP then moves on to Godsnake, which is a mid-tempo track with some nice guitar riffs and a decent flow, but once again, the downside are the vocals on this one. There are some nice trade-offs on guitar though.
King of the Underdogs starts off pretty slow, but quickly ramps up with some decent riffwork and a decent vocal melody until the run of the mill chorus. This looks like the standout on the album.
Overall, while “Metal” is not a complete bust, it is by no means anything special. I applaud Jason Newsted for trying something different with each track, but in the end, the band does not have its voice. It sounds like a mishmosh of ideas rolled up together to just have something to release. There are brief glimpses of something special, but they quickly fade. Unfortunately, this is what I feared from this release and it has come true, which is really a shame because I have been a fan of Newsted since his days with Flots.
Metal Track Listing:
1. Soldierhead (4:16)
2. Godsnake (5:16)
3. King of the Underdogs (6:00)
4. Skyscraper (6:36)