Pastel Jack – Trojan Horse [2011]

Band: Pastel Jack
Album: Trojan horse
Release year: 2011
Genre: Yorkshire Metal

Pastel Jack, since forming, have been tearing up their local music scene with their blend of aggressive music and catchy hooks. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Sworn Amongst and XIII. Their newest release is “Trojan Horse”.

The thrash sounding riffs of the title track “Trojan Horse” comes first. At first, the drums don’t seem to mix well with the guitars. The vocals are powerful, full of strength and melody, contrasting well with the aggression of the guitars. As the track progresses on the drums improve vastly, adding to the fire of the music. The guitar solo has a slightly Iron Maiden meets Dream Theatre sound to it – A strange yet awesome sound for a solo. “Cold Light Of Day” comes next, with an angry introduction. The vocals come in with strength and force again. The drums are well played, perhaps being the highlight of the song.

”The Gentle Art Of Combustion” has a more approach in its introduction before it turns slightly more brutal. The vocals are soft yet powerful at the same time. The soft section, about half way through, that places a lot of emphasis on the bass is just spectacular. Though this track is slower paced, it still provides a health dose of vitamin metal. “The Sacred Self” begins with an immense drum sections. The guitar riffs that follow have a slight Trivium sound to them, the vocals however are far from Trivium-sounding. The drums play some good parts as well. The guitar solo is melodic and technical, adding to the unique sound of the song. “Condemned From The Start” starts with a great vocal-guitars-drums combo introduction. The use of double bass pedal through out the song is genius and the riffs, though seeming simplistic, are great, keeping that angry thrash metal feel to the album. The vocals are forceful and unyielding.

”Day Like You” has a very laid-back intro compared to the previous tracks though this changes when the tempo increases. The riffs and drum work are solid, tight and efficient. The vocals steadfast and somewhat zealous sounding, whilst being raw at the same time. The bass work makes the solo sound even more amazing. “Part One (The Ghost Within)” is very different sounding to the tracks due to its emphasis on slow, soft riffs and soothing vocals. While it takes some adjusting to get used to the calmness after several tracks of face melting aggression, the track shows the great talent of Pastel Jack as well as their musical diversity. “Part Two (Your Sick Machine)” blasts its way next a thunderous strike on the listener, something that those who love untamed, bone smashing brutality will enjoy. The vocals sound very heroic and epic in parts and the music is simply greatly composed and played.

”Flatline” is another forceful track, with almost black metal sounding riffs and drum work. The vocals are quite calm in comparison to the riffs and drum sections, which is a very intriguing sound for the song. “Methematic” has a very stimulating introduction, with most of the emphasis being on the drums before the guitars begin doing more work. The vocals are rather stalwart whilst the guitars and drums are wrathful and vehement sounding. Nearing the end of the album is “Synergy”. The riffs are very rage-fuelled and the vocals are quite hypnotic and malevolent. The bass work is brilliant and adds a little extra flare to the song.

”Swan Dive” begins with a soulful acoustic introduction with some gentle vocals. Even the drums are calm and mellow. The track builds up straight to the heavy section, which is when it becomes beefy and immense. The vocals stay slightly gentle though much stronger and powerful than at the beginning of the track. The album finishes with the bonus track “Down To A Sunless Sea”. The guitars seem very progressive yet thrash orientated in their playing and the vocals seem different as well. The drums are superbly played, as is the bass. The guitars are composed well, adding a very metal edge to the song.

From beginning to end, the album contains Yorkshire-styled thrash metal goodness – Recommended by any good doctor to be apart of your daily diet of metal. Pastel Jack show some amazing talent on this album and it’s clearly just a taster of what is to come from these Yorkshire musicians. This is an album worth getting, even if you are only a casual listener to metal.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Pastel Jack are one of thirteen bands playing at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.

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