If there was a title of “busiest man in metal” it would have to go to Jamey Jasta.
Apart from being the frontman of Hatebreed, he also has the side projects Kingdom of Sorrow and Icepick, makes time to guest on other artists’ albums, runs a record label (Stillborn Records) and somehow found the time to record his solo album debut, simply titled Jasta, with the help of some of his friends.
Knowing Jasta’s history, you would expect plenty of face-stomping, hardcore beatdown groove and of course, there is plenty in tracks such as “Nothing They Say”, “Walk that Path Alone”, “Enslaved, Dead or Depraved” (featuring Lamb of God’s Randall Blythe), the old-school hardcore of “Heart of a Warrior” (including professional skateboarder Mike Vallely on a vocal sparring session), “Death Bestowed” (with LOG guitarist Mark Morton) and a borderline thrash metal edge in “With a Resounding Voice” that features Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying.
Jasta plays the card up his sleeve and decides to bring in something a bit different as well. His tenure in Kingdom of Sorrow is well referenced in some cuts that tend to lean towards a doomier edge like “Mourn the Illusion”, “The Fearless Must Endure” where he eerily sounds exactly like his KoS counterpart Kirk Windstein (and including a blazing guitar solo from Zakk Wylde) and more of a straightforward rock edge compared to his usual compositions in the melodically tinged “Something You Should Know” (featuring All That Remains’ Phil LaBonte) and “Set You Adrift” where Jasta attempts more of a singing approach and while admittedly he isn’t Sinatra he does a pretty fair job.
Overall, Jasta is a feather in the vocalist’s cap. Sure, there are plenty of instances where he walks in familiar territories, goes with what he knows and it works. However, when he steps outside the box playing with melody and other influences, it shows he can switch hats from the aggressive and venomous frontman of Hatebreed into something different when he wants to. If you are a fan of Hatebreed and Jasta’s other projects, there is no reason why you won’t like this and for a casual listener, there is plenty to keep you entertained.
1. Walk that Path Alone
2. Mourn the Illusion
3. Screams from the Sanctuary
4. Nothing They Say
5. Anthem of the Freedom Fighter
6. Something You Should Know
7. Set You Adrift
8. Enslaved, Dead or Depraved
9. With a Resounding Voice
10. The Fearless Must Endure
11. Heart of a Warrior
12. Death Bestowed