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Jettblack: Disguises

Thoroughly modern, thoroughly metal.

If ‘swagger metal’ doesn’t actually exist as a subgenre, then Jettblack are here to put that right. One of the main features of their third album is the groove and swing of the tracks – they batter and pummel with a loose-hipped precision that defies you to sit still.

Add to this a desire to expand wherever possible on the classic metal template and you have a modern-sounding album shot through with a huge amount of texture and variety.

Slaves kicks off in a driven Judas Priest-like vein before handclaps and a chain-gang-style chant introduce Explode. That leads into the juddering Poison Rain, and as an opening salvo, it’s pretty impressive stuff. Throughout this album they drop infectious melodic hooks – Enemy and Human are real standouts – while the towering title track ups the ante considerably on the massive-chorus front.

Well paced, fresh and brimming with more than a few clever ideas – plenty to swagger about./o:p

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.