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'Metal' EP
(Spinefarm Records)

Johnny Main

johnny main


We all know that Jason Newsted joined Metallica in 1986 after Cliff Burton's tragic death, where he remained (making him the band's longest-serving bassist in the process) before a rather acrimonious split in 2001.

After he left Metallica, Newsted worked with his Echobrain project, had a brief spell playing in Ozzy Osborne's band (where he, ironically, replaced Rob Trujillo who had filled the bass player role in Metallica vacated by Newsted) before joining Voivod from 2002-2008.

It was in late 2012 that Newsted announced the formation of his self-titled band and it wasn't long before he laid out his musical intent with a four track EP titled, simply, 'Metal' joining forces with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth. As Newsted have just released their first full length album, I decided to re-listen to the original four track EP to see if the new album is something that I should be adding to my "To Buy" list.

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The thing that hits you square in the head with this EP compared to Newsted's other self-led projects is that this is unashamedly Metal in name, intent and execution. There's no messing about as 'Soldierhead' kicks things off in fine fashion. As simple drum/cymbal combination from Mendez leads into a good solid guitar riff that's backed up with a simple but effective drum beat. Newsted's voice is good and strong, and the short punchy lyrics seem to roll off his tongue easily enough but he still manages to inject a bit of venom and spite into them.

'Godsnake' is slower in pace but there's no doubt about how heavy the track is. The throbbing bass line comes across well alongside the guitar riff from Farnsworth which chugs along at a respectable pace while Newsted's voice sounds gloriously evil throughout the song. Short guitar solos from both Newsted and Farnsworth in the middle of the track show that this is a real band effort and all three members work together solidly as opposed to Newsted trying to take over the show.


'King Of The Underdogs' is as close as this band get to a ballad and it's probably the most accessible of the four tracks here, but saying that, it still retains a heavy guitar driven tempo. The catchy chorus has the tempo speeding up slightly and the oft repeated line of 'I Am The King' could get the crowd responding in a live situation. Again Mendez throws down a heavy drum beat while the guitar solo has an echoey effect with adds a little more body to it, making this my favourite track here.

'Skyscraper' is the closing track and the longest song by some margin. With some effects added to the vocals, it has a slightly different sound to some of the other tracks - not a bad thing per se as the vocal sound is so much fuller than some of the other performances. This mid-paced song has another catchy guitar riff and another short and catchy chorus of 'No War Is Good, No War Is Holy' is punctuated by a solid guitar solo. The tempo is quite slows in the latter half of the track which gives the band a chance to show their talents one last time and gives this EP a polished finish.

With the recent addition of Mike Mushok on guitar leaving Newsted to concentrate on Bass and Vocal duties, this finally seems to be a vehicle that will give Newsted the success that he's been looking for ever since he left Metallica. With the full length debut album that I spoke about earlier, titled 'Heavy Metal Music', (which features and 'King of the Underdogs' and 'Soldierhead' along with nine other brand new tracks) I really do hope he gets all the success that he deserves, and on the strength of this EP it's definately an album that I'll be buying.

King Of The Underdogs

You can see the official video for 'King Of The Underdogs' here:

Newsted are:
Jason Newsted - Vocals/Guitar/Bass
Jessie Farnsworth - Guitar/Bass/Backing Vocals
Jesus Mendez Jnr – Drums

Newsted Online:
Official Website:

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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