There’s nothing I love more than finding an underground band for the first time that I really get into and will listen to on a regular basis.
Of course I still pay some attention to the mainstream side of things to see who’s pushing through but what they produce is merely a fraction of a fraction of what is out there just waiting to be discovered.
I need more than that, so I often spend entire nights finding my own new favourite bands. Often they have been around a couple of years and done a few gigs and tours and, in some cases, have loads of tracks to listen to/download on Facebook/ReverbNation pages . Sometimes, they’re incredibly new and fresh.
One day I came across Born of the Jackal. They formed in Exeter in August this year so Born of the Jackal are literally Devon’s newest band on the scene and they are eager to launch their self titled début and wreak absolute havoc on the south-west live circuit and beyond.
Featuring members of Cry Havoc and Red Mist (RIP) Born of the Jackal bring their own clout and reputation for their brand of, as they put it, “100% PURE BRITISH METAL” with savage grooves and a strong vocal message with all the confidence you’d expect from seasoned pro’s. Currently, only one track is available online, ‘Hellbent on Revenge’, and with that alone, they have already managed to rack up a respectable level of interest from all sides of the region.
I have been fortunate enough to receive and very advance copy of the EP for review – time of writing is mid November and it is not due for release until January as a download and physical release in February. So let’s see what they have to offer…
Opening track ‘Bleed the Demon’ kicks things off with a single guitar riff before we’re counted into the throng as Born of the Jackal announce their presence with punchy, infectious grooves, searing shouts and roars, and it is instantly clear that they are a band that take pride in their work. The production is fantastic! Guitarist James’ riffs change feel from a Down style groove to a more traditional metal sound on occasion, which altogether provides a good range for vocalist Gibbzy to spread his vocal wings. An impressive track to kick off with!
’Cult of Anubis’ carries the same kind of vibe but presents it with more of a melodic-metalcore feel. With rolling kick drums pounding the way into a low end groove that’ll have your head going in under a nano-second. ‘Hellbent on Revenge’ is by far the most commercial track on this EP, sounding like a nod in the direction of bands like Stone Sour. Once you hear the big pre-chorus and super-hook chorus you can immediately imagine a packed out venue roaring along. This is also the only track on the EP with a guitar solo from James, who uses a fairly minimal approach to achieve a great melodic part, as opposed to an over indulged rip roaring lead. This is definitely set to be the highlight of any BOTJ show and it’s clear why they chose to release this one first. Good move lads!
Closing the EP is ‘Know Your Place’ building up filthy sounds from the get go. There’s a really rough edge to the guitar tone at times but also the use of a phaser unit. There are strong thrash elements shown here without being typical of the genre but a definite feel of Devil Driver in the mix as well, both vocally and musically. That’s not to say that it sounds like a rip off of DD, it’s not. In fact, it is a strong close to a very strong and confident début EP.
There are a number of influences you could pick out depending on how you hear the riffs but what I think works well here is how they have managed to remind you of everyone, yet sound like themselves only.
For a bands first release it is very well constructed, thoughtfully written and extremely dynamic and when these guys start gigging, it won’t be long till they’ll make their national mark.
Go check ‘em out.