…And Jasta For All

Perseverance Music Group
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. They See Us As Prey
02. Armor Your Mind
03. Create The Now (feat. Chuck Billy)
04. R.P.M.C. (feat. Scott Ian)
05. Suicidality (feat. Phil Demmel)
06. Assimilation Agenda (feat. Steve "Zetro" Sousa)
07. Ring Of Truth
08. Terminal Lucidity
09. No Dream is Free
10. The Phoenix Way

Nobody embodies metal's ability to unite tribes and change lives more than Jamey Jasta. As frontman with HATEBREED for a staggering 30 years, he has earned the love and respect of heavy music fans from all corners of the stylistic spectrum, not least for his self-evident, undying passion and devotion to the cause. Jasta is one of us: an enthusiast, and one who spends his days sharing the positive impact that punk, hardcore and metal has had on his life, preferably at skull-dissolving volume and in any small, sweaty, overstuffed venue that will host him.

Beyond his relentless HATEBREED activities, Jasta has also developed various other strings to his bow, from his days presenting on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, to the recent revival of Milwaukee Metal Fest and, significantly, his role as overseer on albums by Dee Snider and Corpsegrinder. The latter is relevant here, because "…And Jasta For All" comes directly from the same team that worked on Snider's career-defining "For The Love Of Metal" and "Leave Scars" albums, and Corpsegrinder's self-titled 2022 solo debut. Those records all hit the target with great ferocity, thanks in part to the efforts of songwriting and performing duo Nick and Charlie Bellmore (drums and guitars, respectively) and their obvious talent for writing material that honors and celebrates the singers concerned. Arriving 13 years after his first, self-titled solo album, "…And Jasta For All" strives to be the pinnacle of what Jasta, Bellmore and Bellmore have built up over the last few years, and suitably explosive showcase for a vocalist whose ubiquity has occasionally overshadowed his iconic, pin-you-to-the-wall stage presence and deathless voice.

Predictably, "…And Jasta For All" is full of incendiary cameos from some of metal's heaviest hitters, but before the star-fest commences, Jasta lays down the law. "They See Us As Prey" is the perfect opener: fast and furious, rooted in the muscular savagery that Jasta has made his trademark, but more melodic than HATEBREED and, brilliantly, proudly tethered to the thrash metal flagpole. There are giant, groovy riffs, and plenty of heads-down, speed-snorting aggro, but the sum of those parts is something more: an all-purpose strain of modern, extreme-adjacent metal that prizes impact and energy over innovation. "Armor Your Mind" hammers the point home, with a frenzied blast of turbocharged speed metal with a punk rock heart and Jasta bellowing his inspirational barbs with the same white-knuckle abandon that he routinely taps into on stage.

Graced with a perfectly pitched production that is ripping and raw, but beefy and commanding throughout, these songs are obviously superior to the (genuinely great) tunes on "Jasta" and performed with such fiery gusto that you may suspect that everyone involved knows it. Thereafter, "…And Jasta For All" sticks stoically to that same cross-genre sweet spot, but with an assortment of big names popping in to make everything even more jubilantly metallic than it was already. TESATAMENT's Chuck Billy lends his caveman roar to the Bay Area-tinged "Create The Now", ANTHRAX legend Scott Ian donates his peerless riffing and melodic smarts to the insanely rugged and catchy "R.P.M.C.", and KERRY KING alumnus Phil Demmel drops a startling, pugnacious lead break on the sinewy violence of "Suicidality". Best of all, Steve "Zetro" Sousa (EXODUS) effectively duets with Jamey Jasta on "Assimilation Agenda", sounds even more demented than usual and provides a gleefully jarring contrast with Jasta's own barbarous yelling. Four more guest-free songs complete the picture, with "Terminal Lucidity" standing out as the most ruthlessly direct of them, and "No Dream Is Free" being an unrelenting, thrash berserker with bonus vocals from Dee Snider.

Far more than an indulgent side-project, JASTA has evolved into something truly formidable on "…And Jasta For All". With no frills, no bullshit and absolutely no filler, this is essentially Jamey Jasta in musical form and, yes, there really is something loud and invigorating here for just about everyone. Jasta gets it. The metal never stops.

Author: Dom Lawson
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