Saturday, December 20, 2008

Review: Jewish Juice - In Memore (2006)

Jewish Juice [ Website | MySpace ]
In Memore

Hailing from the Italian region of Tuscany, the NS trio Jewish Juice formed in 2006 and wasted no time in releasing In Memore, their debut demo of blackened thrash. While the demo is in fact two years old, it embraces a sound much older than that. The simplistic thrash elements and gritty production of In Memore call to mind an era when Black Metal was evolving (or devolving?) from the speed/thrash genre of the '80s. Thus the music of Jewish Juice is neither symphonic nor overly brutal.

Overall, In Memore is elementary and somewhat catchy but a slightly menacing aspect does exist thanks in part to the duel vocals of Cernunnos and Beaker. It's here that the band attempts to inject their own take on the genre, with the lead vocals being both Black Metal shouts and Death Metal roars delivered in unison. This experimentation results in the songs sounding as if they're suffering from a bit of schizophrenia and ultimately tends to distract from what's going on musically. Thankfully Jewish Juice shifts mostly away from this nontraditional vocal style after the first two tracks, with the blackened vocals moving to the forefront and the Death Metal vox held in more of a supporting role.

Musically, there's little going on here that can be considered extraordinary or unconventional - but that's not entirely a bad thing. Cernunnos, in addition to his vocal contributions, does a solid job of infusing each track with some sinister and meaty riffs. To build suspense on lead-off track "Brucia", he uses his riffs in conjunction with a militaristic cadence laid down by Riccardo Aureli. Songs "Crystals' Night" and "Totenkopf" find Cernunnos shifting to an all-out blackened tremolo. The standout track, however, is the heavy "In Memory...". An old-school thrash monster, complete with very interesting (and clear) bass lines from Beaker, the song emphasizes short guitar leads in addition to constant crunchy riffs. "Totenkopf" is almost equally as interesting as "In Memory..." thanks to some catchy riffs and a somber guitar interlude that sounds inspired by the Clint Eastwood Western films of the '70s.

In Memore doesn't really break any new ground, although the tandem vocals are a bit unusual (though I would advise the band to scrap that idea). In spite of the demo's rough production, Jewish Juice is able to show their potential to be a solid thrash outfit. The NS elements are very subdued in comparison to most bands of this ilk, which lends an even more approachable quality to the band and their music. I'm interested in seeing where Jewish Juice chooses to go from here.

Track Listing
1 Brucia 4:51
2 Crystals' Night 1:53
3 In Memory... 4:01
4 Totenkopf 4:27
Total Runtime 15:12

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