No matter what he does Jason Newsted will always be the man who replaced Cliff Burton in Metallica and then got treated, well crap. While I’m sure Jason would tell you he wouldn’t trade his time in Metallica away, it’s been a damn shame that it will always overshadow a man who is in fact an incredibly talented musician. Therefore, many rejoiced when he announced he was returning to music with his own band Newsted and an album full of fresh songs. Hence Heavy Metal Music was born, and to everyone’s amazement was an album full of smooth jazz covers (that was a joke).
It’s such a predictable way to open this review but I’m going to say it anyway, this is the album Death Magnetic could have been. It’s an old school thrash metal record that pays a huge debt to early era Metallica, Newsted even sounds like James at times, but is still fun and exciting to listen too, rather than the big pile of average that was Death Magnetic. From now on in however, I shall not mention Metallica once.
The fact of the matter is this is a cracking album. Heavy Metal Music is full of songs that sound like the kind of heavy metal you grew up listening to and in doing so remind you exactly why you spent so much time locked in your room with them. Whether it be the ominous “Nocturnus” with it’s slow riffs and creepy lyrics or the more dramatic “King of the Underdogs”, which opens with a great howl from Newsted and turns into a great rhythmic fist in the air track, there is something here for everyone and very few of these tracks miss that spot. Sure the lyrics are hardly poetry and there are times when they might be a bit cringe, but when you’ve got big riffs to head bang along with who really cares.
Newsted have proven that Jason Newsted is more than just the bassist who was in Metallica. He is a cracking musician in his own right and has put together a band to back him up in that. Heavy Metal Music is one of the most enjoyable surprises I have had in 2013 and if you missed out make sure you go back and get your hands on it now.
For Fans of: Metallica, Megadeth
Choice Cuts: “King of the Underdogs”, “Kindevillusion”