Alternative music reviews

Contra-Mantra by Jaugernaut

Contra-Mantra Jan 2006

The album starts off with Anthem with it's grandiose start complete with cheesy sawtooth synth. There's a brief moment when the vocals sound like The Handsome Family but when the backing vocals hit it is a pure 70s Prog touch. The vocals, slow and controlled become stringent and restricted and break out into "So I slaked my thirst for vengance.." in true rock style. This is overblown, this is recalling an earlier time with an opener of 12 minutes in length - but it really is very enjoyable. The other long track Anarchy also runs the gamut of intensity changes.

What you get is a mixture of bands like Rush, Genesis, maybe even Whitesnake and Pavlovs dog. Wonderfully played and with vocals that, even if you don't like the style, are simply faultless. Jaugernaut deal in the epic, anthemic, and melodic rock.

I had a quick look at their website and of course it is a member of the "Progressive Symphonic Rock & Metal Music WebRing" (should be a founding member). Imagine my relief when I find that this is Jaugernaut (a.d.) and that the first incarnation was in the late 70s and they still fly the flag for pompous 70s music. Jim Johnston has written played and produced the album with just a little help from a few friends. It proudly and faithfully recalls those earlier days.

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