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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Jamie Saft - Black Shabbis [Tzadik - 2009]

‘Black Shabbis’  finds the usually jazz & Dub focused Jamie Saft  making a devil loving & often ritual hued Jewish heavy metal record that goes from mean ‘n’ moody, up to doomed metallic’s, though to speeding yet controlled trash-outs, onto more tuneful metallic lined matter and beyond.  It all  makes for a very varied, enjoyable and at times quite tongue in cheek, yet intelligent & knowing metal ride that mangers nicely to blanced riff dramatics, brooding organ tones & lots of creativity.

Things start off rather subdued and un-metal like with surf guitar ‘n’ slightly dub yet doomed like organ runs of ‘Black Shabbis—The Trail of Libels; yet it set’s the tone nicely with it’s down turned almost tuneful funeral bobbing air. Then we’re squarely shot into metal territory with ‘Blood’ which sounds like a bizarre meeting between speeding Slayer via 80’s harmonic & widderling guitar metal with a touches of Jewish melody throwing in & great over the top cookie monster vocals. Later on we have the gloomy yet flashy  church organ runs  &  up pace/ dramatic  Sunn like doom riffing of 'Der Judenstein (The Jewry Stone' which is under tied by a very eastern and epic air.  And towards the end of the album we have melody heavy chug ‘n’ soar of ‘Remember’ which mixers indie rock, 80’s metal, eastern/ Jewish tinged melodies lines  and great smouldering female indie rock vocals from Saft’s wife Vannessa. As you can see there’s a real playful, creative and varied edge through-out the album, yet Saft  always mangers to keep very true to the music’s metal roots & never becomes too overtly flash or show-offish.

So if you fancy a very musically precise yet ‘true metal’ record that’s rich with  atmosphere & a often epic feel; through can also be playful &  devilish too then ‘Black Shabbis’   is certainly for you. Lets hope this won’t be the last we hear of Mr Saft in a more metal frame of mind.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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