I think Jackson Caged just made a metal fan out me. At the very least, it definitely gave me a new appreciation for the genre. While maintaining deep fidelity to the rugged crunchtastic guitar phrases and explosive deep drum rhythms that make metal great, their latest album “Entity” does a pretty good job proving that there’s more to this band than muted power chords and bass drums.
“Entity”, a product of the Jackson Caged’s recent signing with Noise Head Records, is an album that more than satisfies the scream-tested ear. “Monster” offers a cascading beat that keeps almost digital quality time using rich organic drum pounding. “Limbo” is slightly grittier with Saxon-era climbing guitar solos that must sound fantastic in a crowded arena (or even a packed basement for that matter). Both tracks, among others, exemplify a heavier side to this album. But although the songs are quality, they’re not all the band has to offer.
Jackson Caged wisely makes room on songs like the acoustic guitar driven record, “Liam’s Song” to let the lyrics take over, allowing the artist to make the anguish in his voice ring clear when he sings the words to a lost friend, “Man, I hope you know how much I care”. On a song like “Stillborn”, guitar chords are whittled and distilled to the bone giving clarity to a thought provoking set of lyrics and a surprisingly versatile lead singing voice exemplified there as well.
“In Hell” and “Half a Life” share tales of unbearable pain and isolation, and the screamerific closing track “Best Of Me” contains enough sheer anger and power to keep the lights on all by itself. Yet, all in all, the album “Entity” doesn’t feel like it tells a story of being beaten by that frustration. Instead, the songs serve to make protagonists of the sufferer. He becomes powerful because he is able to endure and rock on through the madness. I can dig that sentiment. With that said, I’m glad I listened to Jackson Caged’s new album “Entity”. I wouldn’t mind seeing them live sometime either. Good music all around.