Jaldaboath - The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts
Well, I’ve never heard anything quite like this before. Take the ex-guitarist of madcap black metallers The Meads Of Asphodel (with a penchant for the Knights Templar), add a (un)healthy dose of Monty Python, a pinch of camp low budget ‘60s British cinema, and the odd buxom wench or two, and you have Jaldaboath’s debut album, The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts.
There is no getting away from the fact that this is a very silly album – undoubtedly the daftest to fall upon the mat for many a year – but it is pulled off with such wit and aplomb that is works surprisingly well. The lyrics to the likes of ‘Bash The Bishop’ (which is indeed about giving a very naughty bishop a damn good thrashing, you dirty people) and ‘Axe Wielding Nuns’ are hilariously funny with their absurd tales and wonderful turns of phrase.
The music itself isn’t too shabby either, even if it is a slightly acquired taste; the guitars are dense, rich slabs of black-meets-NWOBHM galloping, whereas the keyboards sound more like they’ve come from some cheap Dark Ages softcore porn flick – they fit the mood and tone of The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts magnificently, but I can already hear the cries of anguish from puritans as they reach for effigies of Jaldaboath to burn.
The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts is not quite all slapstick japes however, as towards the back end of the album ‘Jacque DeMolay’ and ‘Da Vinci’s Code’ lose the overt foolishness and instead are far more reminiscent of Jaldaboath’s previous work with The Meads. The fast, vitriolic pace of these two serves as a handy reminder that this band should not be written off as some juvenile joke – at least not entirely.
Too often today's music can be overly serious, all about scenes and images and fitting in with what is cool, but what Jaldaboath has delivered with The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts is a damn fine and timely album that is the perfect antidote to this pressure - and has made at least me smile.