I Wear the Mask
I Wear the Mask - 1998
Good Day to Die
The Reaper Sings
I Wear the Mask
Review from The Edge-Online
If you’re into fast guitars, heavy on the industrial effects, then you’re going to love Jagged Doctrine. If you’re not, then these are the guys to sway you. I picked up Mask after already hearing Jagged’s second release, Welcome To The Playground, so I’m tainted by perfection. Taken on its own, Mask delivers and then some. Heavy, driving guitars and fuzzed vocals make for an exceptional debut from what is proving to be an industrial legend.
The bands name proves true through each of the tracks, as the message is without apologies or moderation. The doctrine driven home is indeed jagged; cutting, yet brutally honest. Hypocrtisize gets things going fast and furious, soundly beating hypocrites with both the lyrics and guitars. Sold keeps the beat up and introduces some staccato funk / industrial groove. I don’t know where the 70’s guitars came from, but man, you gotta love ‘em*. Good Day To Die and The Reaper Sings follow in the hard driving message and beat.
The first of the album’s four instrumentals, Falling Down, is similar in style to Seal Of The Living God material, with its heavy, rhythmic guitar loops and subliminal background vocal sampling. The title track delivers; pouring out a message that hits as hard as the awesome industrial single that contains it.
Analogy will have you singing, writing, and drumming the chorus days after you hear the track, which definitely needs to remain in context. Muttering 'I am a prostitute' just before giving a Sunday school lesson to the kiddies may raise a few eyebrows if not understood in the dead-on perspective of the track.** The second instrumental of the CD, Velocirapture, takes on more of an electronic element, and the guitars step into a melody role over the voice and static samples. Speaking of melodic static and effects, there’s plenty of it in Blind, and the screaming vocals over the beating drums and guitars loop get you jumping.
The synth choir-esk intro to So Inspired is cool, as is the transition into the hard, growling guitar, heavy metal style follow-up. I Bleed, the album’s third instrumental, starts hard and stays hard, harder and faster than the album’s first instrumental. Having been a fan of the Dead Artist Syndrome original 1991 track, Red would be enough to warrant my purchase of the album. Jagged has done the track justice, keeping all of the brooding heaviness of the original, while injecting the hard industrial sound synonymous with Jagged Doctrine.
Consumed keeps the heaviness going, offering yet another vocal style which makes each track unique and varied enough to make the album great listening the whole way through. The album wraps things up with the final instrumental, labeled as the Hidden track. I think this rather strange, as since it’s identified as hidden, doesn’t that mean that it’s not hidden? Just asking. The track wraps the album up on a lighter note, heavy on the electronics and drums, pretty much sans guitars.
* Post Note from Jagged Doctrine:
I noticed you wondered where the 70's guitars came from on Sold.. My guitarist played them.. He plays ALL guitars.. That is the one rule we have on Jagged Doctrine.. NO guitar samples.. he plays it all. 99% of our guitars are double tracked too.. so, he plays the part, then plays the exact same part again with such precision that it makes it sound like one big thick guitar.
**Also.. "Analogy".. just incase you would like to know is about Kurt Cobain. It pretty much talks about how his soul was unhappy. He wanted to do something about it.. he thought success in Rock would do it.. he found out that it didn't.. so, then he couldn't escape the watchful eye of the public..so he was "up on a stage like an animal caged".. But since it wasn't satifying himself, he felt as if he was selling apart of his soul for the entertaiment of others..which added to his misery. He felt like a prostitute who wishes she could leave the profession behind, but is trapped and can never leave it..
Compared to the band’s second release, Welcome To The Playground, Mask has a dirtier, even rougher sound. If you’re even remotely into the style, than you’ll want to round out your collection with the entire Jagged ensemble. All in all, an excellent debut release from what has proven to be a genre icon.