Jasta - The Lost Chapters, Vol. 2 review

Bandcamp music player

4 users:
Band: Jasta
Album: The Lost Chapters, Vol. 2
Release date: December 2019

01. They Want Your Soul [feat. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher]
02. Return From War [feat. Max Cavalera]
03. Strength To Draw The Line [feat. Jesse Leach]
04. Cleansed By The Waves [feat. Zoli Téglás]
05. When The Contagion Is You [feat. Matthew K. Heafy]
06. Spilled Blood Never Dries [feat. Kirk Windstein]
07. Heaven Gets What It Wants [feat. Howard Jones]
08. Silence The Enemy Mind [feat. BillyBio]
09. Just Breathe [feat. Frankie Palmeri]
10. Our Guardian Angel [feat. Phil Rind]
11. 13 Appears [feat. Tommy Victor]
12. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due [feat. Joey Concepcion]

If found, return to lost and found box.

Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta's occasional dalliance with a solo career sees its third release with The Lost Chapters, Vol. 2; though the name on the record is different, the content is only a half step removed from his day job. Being the face of a band can often typecast a musician and pigeonhole them in the mind of casual fans who don't give much in benefit of the doubt. Jasta however embraces this typecasting and doesn't err too far from expectation; sometimes offering up what you expect can be just as compelling as being different for the sake of it.

Looking at the track listing I'm sure you will notice each track features a guest appearance from an artist; from Trivium's Matt Heafy to Emmure's Frankie Palmeri, Jasta can count among its rank some decent (though not unexpected) guests.

I must admit I am not a big fan of records that feature lots of collaborations and appearances from outside artists; when used selectively or in moderation, the right guest can enhance and add an additional dimension to the original artist's work, but The Lost Chapters, Vol.2 highlights the shortcomings of excess over moderation. Acting as a means to distract the listener from what is mostly subpar material and as a shortcut to enhance a weak track without actually improving it, looking at it on first glance it doesn't bode well.

Once you have sunk your teeth into the record you will realize this album doesn't stray far from this initial skepticism. Aside from a few tracks scattered across the record, there isn't much here that does more with the inclusion of special guests other than a musical cosmetic enhancement. Tracks like "They Want Your Soul", "Silence The Enemy Mind" and "13 Appears" are passable though unimpressive tracks with a guest vocalist slapped on top it in order to mask this shortcoming. Add to this that these guest vocalists usually just trade vocals with Jasta and don't do much unique or different from each other, so you can't even say the guests are well used either.

The main issue with The Lost Chapters, Vol. 2 is that it sits in the middle ground and doesn't step up in any way beyond merely the inclusion of the guest. The aforementioned poor utilization of these guests compounds this issue to result in a track that is listenable but won't grab and hold your attention beyond that. Take "Our Guardian Angel" or "Spilled Blood Never Dries" as examples; the riffs are generic but ok, while the guests are expected to carry the track while being kept on a short leash.

Pleasingly, however, there are exceptions to this; some songs are enjoyable, though by no means classics. "Strength To Draw The Line" and "Cleansed By The Waves" are the highlights of the record, as the interplay that Jasta has with Leach and Téglás, respectively, is fun and enjoyable to hear. While Leach and Jasta imitate each other and bounce off each other in a compelling manner, Téglás and Jasta contrast well and act as each other's ying and yang to great results.

Jasta does at least finish the record with a twist, featuring a guest instrumentalist (in Joey Conception) while he takes sole control of the vocals in the album closer, a cover of the Megadeth classic "Holy Wars…The Punishment Due". While it is not a patch on the original, it is one of the better takes I have heard and is a few notches above much of the preceding album.

Overall The Lost Chapters, Vol. 2 is an album that makes for an inoffensive listen, smacking of underutilised potential but not urging you to hit the eject button by the same merit. With a bit more time and effort it could have been more than the sum of its parts, but aside from two sparks of brilliance, the album mostly flickers in the embers.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Written on 08.01.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

Hits total: 206 | This month: 206