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One thing’s for sure about Newsted, after Metallica’s ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’ albums, it was evident that he was wasting his talent. It’s such a shame that he couldn’t focus more on projects like IR8, Sexoturica or even Papa Wheelie earlier on than he actually did. Either way though, we’re still blessed with an excellent split album, featuring Jason’s two one-off projects, IR8 and Sexoturica.
Both halves of this EP were originally recorded between 1994 and 1995, but had to wait until 2003 before being released.
The first half of the EP (IR8) kicks off with the anthem like song ‘Colossus’, a song testifying to governments’ oppressing behaviour towards weaker countries. Consisting of Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend’s killer riffs, Tom Hunting’s compelling drumming and Jason’s death metal reminiscent vocals, this song just kicks the shit out of the listener. Especially upon the Jason’s wailing of the phrase “I am colossus, respect me or die!” This half only gets better with the fast paced, crushing track “Nothing”. With thrashing drum playing, fast riffing and an unbelievably heavy groove section this song only breaks in your skull even more. With a finishing touch of Jason’s killer vocal and lyrical approach from the oppresor's point of view (“you are nothing, kill the old, kill the weak”), the listener is left craving for more. And sure enough he/she gets exactly that as IR8’s half of this split EP closes with the menacing “Black On Black”. A fast, heavy song, with even more of Devin’s astounding riffs (including a masterful solo) and a memorable chorus of Jason yelling “Flesh on flesh, black on black”, the listener is left flabbergasted at what he has just heard.
The second half, recorded live, featuring Sexoturica, is far more punk orientated than IR8. With sloppy sounding bass playing, thrashing guitars - courtesy of Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser - good drumming and cool punk vocals from Newsted (he sounds high, to tell the truth), Sexoturica’s ‘Spermogodemo’ isn’t as heavy as IR8’s offering, but to be frank, a lot more fun and easy to listen to. Kicking off with the fast paced “Alone”, that begs you to sing along, to the frightening, seven minute long, mid-tempo “Zone of Death” and ending with the extremely catchy “Dead Soul at Sleep” (with yet another masterful solo) the listener can be sure to find just as much on offer on Sexoturica’s half as on IR8’s.
Definitely a must have for anyone that has respect for Jason as a bass player, and for those that like raw hardcore, with a dose of death metal influence and dirty sounding punk-like metal. Now if Newsted could only offer us some more…