of the Heraldic Beasts (Release date: April 2010)
If there were an award for âmost hilarious in musicâ, Jaldaboath
certainly would do pretty well in the competition!
Some have the stomach to call this âFolk Black Metalâ, but such people probably have just the same taste for black humor as Grand Master Jaldaboath
himself. If you brand this âMonty Python Popâ thatâs agreeable, âMedieval Glam Rockâ would also do, or âMy-First-Casio Punkâ. Personally I go for âUndiluted Lunacy with certain musical aspectsâ. Anyway, what stands beyond doubt is that this is not Folk and certainly not Metal, let alone Black Metal.
However if one judges it for what it really is, it certainly is enjoyable to a certain degree. For sure I like cynical black humor like this, I am also a great fan of Monty Python and Jaldaboath
is certainly a worthy successor to them. But as it is not Metal in any way, and I am writing this review for a Metal webzine, 14/20 is really the maximum I can give for it, and even then I have already stretched my standards.
The Phenomenon Jaldaboath
One thing cannot be denied: Jaldaboath
is a truly unique figure in music and one has to go back to the late seventies to find a similar phenomenon in âTenpole Tudor
â, (Which fortunately was labeled for what it was: Pop). Being unique in an art that is so overcrowded with artists as modern day music is, must for sure bring one at least some respect.
however started out a lot more serious in bands such as the experimental outfit âEwigkeit
â and lateron âThe Meads of Asphodel
â of which he was a founder member together with Metatron. For all who know the Meads, it is clear that this is indeed a blood serious, although odd, black metal outfit, delving deep in religious philosophy.
However, by the early 2000âs Metatron and Jaldaboath
had fallen foul with each other over the musical direction to follow. MOA having originally been the idea of Metatron, Jaldaboath
drew the shortest straw and had to leave.
Metatron got his thing together again and after enlisting such ex-Hawkwind
celebrities as Alan Davey and Huw Lloyd Langton, got the band on the track he intended it to be on with the well-known result of it having become one of the more famous black metal outfits by now. Jaldaboath
disappeared from vision for a while, but after some sideway excursions, by 2007 was back with his own outfit, accompanied by his old buddy âThe Mad Mullahâ (nowadays rechristened âThe Mad Monkâ), of the Meads of Asphodel
days and a bass player by the name of âSir Brodrickâ
In 2008 an EP was released on Death to Music Records, which blew up enough dust to bring them under attention of Austrian metal label Napalm
Records. All the EP tracks, except the intro, reappear on this, their first full length album.
Artwork, line-up, release.
All the artwork so far produced by Jaldaboath
is of a very elaborate nature, to verify this one only has to look at their logo, featuring two of the already famous âaxe-wielding nunsâ. In style with this, the sleeve design of Rise
of the Heraldic Beasts, is of pretty high standard, a medieval battlefield scenery which reminds one of Hieronymus Bosch-on-LSD, but true to the nature of Jaldaboath
, in a much more funny style.
Since its formation Jaldaboath
has seen no personnel changes whatsoever and this new album was thus produced by the original trio Jaldaboath
/Brodrick/Mad Monk. Given the fact that Jaladaboath himself is a very gifted multi-instrumentalist, no need exists for enlarging the outfit as long as the band sticks to the studio. In fact with his skills on various instruments, Jaldaboath
wouldnât need any collaborators is he wished so.
Although the band has signed with the large label Napalm
, production of this CD was already in such an advanced stage at that moment that the nominal release of it is still under Death to Music Records, with Napalm
only being involved in the distribution of this album.
Opener âHark the Herald
â immediately sets the tone, with lots of keyboard produced medieval trumpetry in a most pathetic my-first-casio style â which might be fun if it is for one track, but becomes irritating when it continues an entire album, which unfortunately it does -. Lyrically also the tone is set for the rest of the album âHark the Herald
, our king wants bloodâ¦â¦to declare the innocence of our queen, the whoreâ ânuff said about thatâ¦. The title track that follows is in fact just more of the same, but without even the very funny lyrics of its predecessor, so it is best to skip it.
Track three âBash the Bishopâ begins more hopeful with some interesting bass and guitar work and although still irritatingly present in the chorus, that awful my-first-casio is kept more in the background. The strength of this song lies for certain in its laughter inducing lyrics, which combine the dryness of Monthy Python with a fine dose of humorous blasphemy. âwe finally caught this miscreant by following the stench, he had been living north of Stattlestoom with a rather buxom wenchâ Wow, John Cleese and his good old boys would have a hard time trying to outdo thatâ¦â¦â¦.
Compared with that No. 4 is kind of a miscarriage, but a lot is made up as it here and there shows some of the heaviest playing of the record, even remotely reminding of metalâ¦â¦ Follow up, âThe Axe
Wielding Nunsâ is however what is quickly bringing Jaldaboath
to fame, not so much musically, as it is almost as much a nonety as most on the album, but the lyrics are outright hilarious, and its blasphemous nature would have brought Jaldabought double quickly to the stake had these really been the middle ages. As there is however no love lost between me and Christianity, I can sure appreciate it very much.
The sixth track, simply titled âJaldaboath
â, keeps up rather well with the previous laughing stupor inducing song: âIf your catapult needs mending, just call Jaldaboath
. If your enemy needs slaying, just call Jaldaboath
â (I can already see these medieval characters with IQâs way below a 100, drawing their mobile phones and dialing the number!). If only for once he could abstain from that damn casio thingâ¦â¦..
âBring me the head of Metatronâ is the only song with a serious topic, which is however also quickly ridiculized by the Grand Master
. As we remember, Metatron is the front man of the Meads of Asphodel
and with this song Jaldaboath
felt he had to air his grudge toward him. But even this is done in such a clownesque way that if he has indeed listened to this, Metatron probably ended up on the floor, rolling with laughter.
I do not want to spent to much words on the remaining three songs as they basically bring more of the same. You can try for yourself if you want to brave the risk of ending up in hospital with unstoppable laughing stupor! It might however be worth mentioning that the last song âThe Da Vinci Codeâ is the only one that with a little fantasy could indeed be classified as metal and, thank heavens, it seems that the casio in the meanwhile had broken downâ¦â¦â¦..
Hard to write a serious review about such lunacy as âThe Rise of the Heraldic Beasts
â represents. But let me at least in the conclusions try to stay down to earth. The album certainly has done one thing, it has put Jaldaboath
back on the map once more, and given the commercial success of it, it sure will keep him and the boys supplied with drinking money for the time of being. But if I were him, I wouldnât be overly cheerful with the results and he will have to do some serious thinking about the musical future of his outfit.
An outrageous joke like this might work 1 or 1.5 times, but the public will soon get bored with it and will demand more serious music. If Jaldaboath
is able to continue more in the sense of the last track of the album I give them a chance. If they go on copying the concept of this production, they will soon sink back into oblivion.
Is it worth buying? Well if you are not a to serious metal fundamentalist and in for some humorous diversion, it might just be, but I guess the more solid metal freaks, can only shake their head about this. So my advise is: Wait until the local record store throws it into the discountâ¦â¦â¦
Gletscherwolf, 8 October 2010