Jade – The Pacification of Death (Review)

Jade - The Pacification of DeathThis is the debut album from international death metal band Jade.

I’ve loosely called this death metal in the introductory sentence above, but  The Pacification of Death provides more than this. I suppose blackened atmospheric death metal is more accurate; Jade excel in crafting music that combines 80s/90s death/doom and mood-heavy black metal, resulting in a 40-minute album that is more notable than most.

The Pacification of Death is an atmospheric powerhouse. It has a firm epic melodic streak that manifests throughout, yet doesn’t prevent the album from exhibiting a great range of extreme metal traits. Elements of ancient doom metal and atmospheric black metal can be keenly felt, all wrapped up in a compelling death metal framework that’s thoroughly inclusive of non-death metal styles. The band take their influences and make them their own, ending up with six very charismatic and characterful tracks.

Rich melodies are frequently deployed, with skill and passion. The underpinning death/doom shares ground with the early incarnations of bands like Paradise Lost, while a Sulphur Aeon-esque death metal sheen coats the music like expensive silk. Acts like Suffering Hour, Esoctrilihum, Immolation, and The Ruins of Beverast, can also be referenced, which should also help inform your opinion of Jade, but without painting a full picture.

The vocals are a mix of expressive growls and shouted semi-cleans, that interact with each other very well. The latter style remind me of some of the performances on Mayhem‘s The Grand Declaration of War and the singer of Bölzer.

Jade’s music manages to sound both lavishly pristine and earthy and raw. It’s a beguiling combination that probably shouldn’t work, but does. This is music for both throne rooms and gutters.

The Pacification of Death delivers a striking and bold style that’s endearing and enjoyable. It offers an epic atmospheric journey from dizzying decadent heights to gritty dark depths.

Very highly recommended.

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