The last time we came across Souls of Jack Ketch was in the runup to Bloodstock 2016 where they were playing the Hobgoblin New Blood stage after taking the Metal 2 the Masses crown in Newcastle. It was very pleasant to get an email from them recently, pointing us at their new album which was released last month.
Souls of Jack Ketch are a no-nonsense death/thrash band, mixing old-school thrash riffage with more brutal death-level drums and harsh vocals. It’s a simple and natural combination and it works really well. Don’t expect to make out many of the lyrics (which is either a shame or a blessed relief depending on how sensitively natured you are), but you can sure as hell enjoy the music.
With six tracks including an intro, this just about passes for an EP rather than an album, but as I keep trying to tell all the girls – it’s not the size that counts, it’s what you do with it that matters. SoJK have produced a very heavy package, squeezed into these 5-and-a-bit numbers. In fact it’s so heavy for its size that I wonder if there’s a breach of the laws of physics somewhere.
While the drums can be a little trebly, the production has nailed the bass. In fact, overall the rhythm section rumbles along brilliantly in each track. “466-64” is probably the best for demonstrating their chops, from the fast-paced main to the heavy-as-Satan’s-left-bollock section around three minutes in. Mind, it’s a close race between that and the final stretch of “Plague Me”, which is an absolute thumper of a song.
The title track is over in the blink of an eye, and this isn’t a surprise given how brutal the intro is. It brings back memories of the likes of Napalm Death doing tracks which run for a couple of seconds, but manages to keep itself going for just over two minutes. I guess they needed to hold back a bit so that the band could survive playing closer “Blood N Dry” which tears through your speakers like a high speed train with its arse on fire. Being chased by bees.
Short but sweet (if brutal thrash/death can be described as sweet), Danger of Death is a must-have for fans of the heavier stuff.
Danger of Death is out now and you can grab it on bandcamp