Released: 2001, Jaxhammer Records
Normally if I get a CD and I don’t like it I won’t bother reviewing it, unless it is a public service announcement to warn readers to avoid certain things. This is a rare exception, I don’t like it but I’ll spend a moment writing about it because of the history of the man and the novelty of the project.
Now when it comes to metal and heavy music, I’m a pretty open minded guy, I like, glam, melodic hard rock, power, speed, thrash doom, death, black etc…but this somehow manages to avoid any categorization except boring rock. It sounds like what I imagine the Tragically Hip sound like. I say that because I have never heard the Tragically Hip, but I told they are the some sort of lame, weak guitar rock that yuppies like.
History lesson… Ben Jackson (ex-Crimson Glory, ‘nuff said) How he could churn out this pile is amazing. Actually, I take that back, it is not amazing. Many guitarists have said they feel “trapped” playing metal and therefore go off and do some artistic blues rock solo thing with feel. This has about as much feel as two-ply toilet paper…namely soft and easy.
I applaud Mr. Jackson’s attempt at a guitar rock record and I am NOT judging what his own choices are for musical exploration, artistic satisfaction or personal development. However this record is not at all enjoyable. Only one track “The Bomb” even comes close to metal and that happens to be my fave track because Wade Black sings on it too. The other songs, such as “Misty Rain”, “Closer to the Soul”, “Touched”, and “Whistle in the Wind” are slow, dull and generally lack any aggression.
The drums are flat and lack punch, the bass is hardly there, the vocals while heartfelt are mostly, lovey-dovey, introspective love songs. Maybe he just fell in love before he wrote this, who knows, but I’ve had candy canes that weren’t this sweet. Even the solos are unoriginal, down-tuned and slowed down to the point of lethargy.
Overall this seems to be a very intensely personal music statement for Ben Jackson but unfortunately it is one that I, (and I am guessing many CG fans) do not share. Approach with caution, for Crimson Glory die-hard collectors only.