As I had already experienced some of the new songs on some shows of Just Went Black that I attended, I was really looking forward to the release of their first full length. With only a demo, a 7“ and now this album the band has already managed to define their own unique style (that is NOT old school!). Aggressive vocals with little backings, for current standards rather mid tempo songs and a melodic death metal skilled lead guitar. This recipe hasn't really been changed by now but the songwriting has improved. The songs have more depth both in terms of sound as in the emotional reaction the evoke. Songs like „rain“, „escape, escape(how things are getting serious)“ or „scars define me“ really run deep.
In an interview in the latest issue of Trust fanzine singer Sven said, he couldnt imagine writing positive lyrics because his life and life in general just weren't that way and that really made me think a lot. I think ignoring the dark sides of life indeed means ignoring a huge part of our existance. As Katzenstreik sing „we all have scars“. But is it right to call that negative? I'd prefer to call them honest or cathartic. When Sven screams „I know it can't be wrong to follow what burns inside your chest“ this is positive as fuck. Positivity is the optimism of a burned child not the denial of everything negative by a kid who has never put her hands into the flames...
So to get back to the actual record let me repeat that I was really looking forward to this one. I went as far as Wolfsburg after having worked eight hours to see the first show of their european tour and to get hands on a piece of vinyl. The show was as great as I had expected and the record was really looking great with its brownish colours, the gatefold sleeve and the coloured vinyl. So when I had the time one morning I sat up in bed, put the needle on and started reading the lyrics as the music played... To be honest: I was disappointed! The sound wasn't at all the way I had expected. At the furious drumpart near the end of side one that I always loved at the shows I realized that almost no cymbals were to be heard and all the way the guitars are pretty much in the focus of the sound but lack the aggressivity I had expected. Figuratively spoken they lack the jaws... The vocals on the contrary sound absolutely brilliant, pretty much set apart from the instruments but that's just how Sven sounds best.
Please don't get me wrong. This records is really, really good. I mean many hardcore classics came along in a sound that today everyone can reproduce in a rehearsal room with a cheap eight track and this is far above what many other bands dare to release. It is just that I think that these great songs would have deserved a little more aggressivity, a little more in your face. There is records that are produced in a way that the sound physically moves you, grabs you and pushes you around and this is what I miss because this is what happens when these guys hit a stage. They are moving – bodies and minds. It is not bad, in school I'd give it a B, but the songs and the band would deserve an A+ with a smiling face and starlets!
Now after having listenend to it a couple of times I i accustomed to the sound and I enjoy the listening. Nevermind what I wrote above. Get this record and judge for yourselves! I've met some people who really love the sound. I better stop now before I start twisting myself completely...
Just Went Black are one of germany's top 3 hardcore bands and this records is one of the best hardcore records of the season. Period! [jan]