Jugular is a band that originally formed in 2005 and took a hiatus in 2011. They are back with As Birth Becomes Life Becomes Death. The album contains pretty straightforward metal (although there are deviations as well as hybrids) mixed with imagery and lyrics that fall between Carl Sagan and astrology.
The album opens with “Revolution Around the Sun” which felt like classic metal to my ears. On that note the vocalist sounds more emo. He doesn't have a classic, angry death growl you hear from a lot of metal bands. It sounded a bit like The Offspring attempted metal and sung about existential themes.
Up next is “Angel of Darkness.” The song is more lush and not straight metal like the previous song. This song felt like a mix of the ’80' and ’90s rock. It’s fairly atmospheric and the lyrics felt mythological with lines you have heard before like “I will wait for you till the end of time.”
“And into Dust” is another metal based song. The lyrics are existential and cosmic. This song’s best moments come from the blazing fast guitar solo. Up next is “There’s a Body for the Soul (Unshackled Me) which builds mounds of distortion and more impressive lead guitar work.
“The Passenger” asks broad philosophy 101 type existential questions such as “what’s on the other side” and “will I be remembered.” Topics like reincarnation and infinity are tapped upon. The band closes with one of the hardest songs entitled “Dying to be Alive.” The vocalist touches on the brevity of humanity as well as religious tropes such as the dark and light.
I love myself some astronomy and I love myself some philosophy. Even though the insights into the nature of reality on As Birth Becomes Life Becomes Death aren't equivalent to a lecture from Brain Cox or reading a critical essay by Jean-Paul Sartre, the mix of music and contemplation is a nice combo. In fact if you like heavier music and tend to find yourself wondering about your place in the cosmos, I think you will greatly appreciate what this offers.
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