Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jumpin' Jesus- The Art of Crucifying

Jumpin' Jesus is a very overlooked German death metal band that formed in 1989, but didn't release anything until the early 90's. With only one demo and one full-length they failed to make a noticeable mark in death metal history, but that's not to say fans of the genre won't enjoy this record. 

When the vocals kick in on "Out of the Unknown" you know you're in for an evil satanic treat. The vocalist pounds his style into your head throughout the record, his vocals aren't anything particular special, but he does have a rather wide range compared to most death metal vocalist from around this time. He mainly sticks to growls and screams, but occasionally a raspy falsetto will find it's way out of his throat, along with some more traditional thrash style vocals. 

The guitar work on the album is noteworthy. It is easy to see that this department was heavily influenced by thrash. There are some fairly complex riffs to be found here, and the distortion is set just right. For the most part the record is played at a break neck pace, but Jumpin' Jesus isn't afraid of slowing down, this is best shown during "The King of Worms" when a fairly slow, epic riff kicks in, it doesn't stay long due to it being interrupted by a face melting solo, but it plays to be one of the most effective riffs on the record, and trust me it has some healthy competition. 

This album is also one of the few death metal records where the bass is audible throughout! Sure, a lot of the time the bass is just backing the guitar but every now and then you'll hear a little jazzy bass going on in the background, when this happens it only boosts the song's level on the metal meter. Without the bass being audible the record may have came off as hollow, but with it there and firing on all cylinders the album has a nice high end, low end ratio. 

The album has some odd effects peppered in. At times it seems as though you are listening to a cheesy 80's synth filled horror movie soundtrack, but these moments are short lived, due to the low end growls intruding and the neck snapping speedy riffs that are tearing the amp to shreds. Along with these odd effect and overtones are some really cool, eerie acoustic intros. Examples of this are "The King of Worms" and "Chaingang", the intros to these songs really create a great atmosphere for the old school chaos that is about to ensue. 

The drumming actually is pretty brutal as well, it isn't just non-stop blastbeats. It definitely isn't the most groundbreaking work either but there are some complex drum patterns to be found in the albums run-time. With all that being said, every single instrument has it's fair share of time to shine. The production is very clear for it's time, which was also noticeable on their demo. 

Bottom line: Go get yourself a neck brace and find this record ASAP. It's a shame this band didn't continue after this record was recorded, it and their demo show boat loads of potential. Any fan of death metal, especially die-hard old school fans must hear this album.

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