I must admit to being ignorant of Toronto-based Jaodae, an internet search returned only an unhelpful Pokemon fire creature that uses a “Polyrhythm” attack and that, and I quote:” “For each missed headbang from an opponent, Jaodae does 20 extra damage.”
Knowing nothing about Pokemon, I took heart from that headbang and damage detail and, on the evidence of their second album, Nest Of Veins, Jaodae did too, even if it’s not connected then it fits rather well.
Further research revealed that Guitarist, Roberto Ercoli, drummer, Spencer Robson and bassist Nick Brown arrived with their 2019 debut album Cast In Ash albeit as a duo before Nick joined them later. To my ear, that record was filled with intricate melodies, plenty of riffs (fuzzed and otherwise) with touches of jazz-tinged moments to confound. So when their latest work came my way, I was expecting heavy, proggy tunes with unexpected time changes and some serious guitar playing and I was right, and no Pokemon in sight.
Nest Of Veins is comprised of nine instrumental tracks that explore progressive metal with more time changes than Dr Who and acres of light, shade and variations to keep you interested. Opening with the mysterious ‘Lobotomite’ we get heavy riffs, power chords, guitar runs and enough time changes to confound the aforementioned Dr Who. Then a parping sax and trumpet add to the feeling of dissonance and yet it all works and has a dark charm that increases on multiple listens.
‘Prognostications’ is equally complex, if more linear, ‘The Arsonist Has A Name’ starts slow and melodic, before the weighty riff kicks in. ‘Bog Body’ is a sort of melodic, thrashy, proggy composition that, again, has many layers to decipher.
My favourite is a toss-up between the structured and weighty ‘Cantiga 166’ which is a three-in-one song that will reward careful listening, and the closing ‘Tree of Ténéré’ which defines the band’s imaginative and practical approach.
This is a very entertaining, well structured and thought-out collection…there is a sufficient level of variation that does the all instrumental content not become wearing and, once you get to know it, you can even keep foot-tapping through all of the time signatures while enjoying each member’s skilful contributions.
Nest Of Veins is out on 7th July via Black Throne Productions.