Review: “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by JumpScare

Founded in November 2015 in Napoli Italy, JumpScare threw their first demo out of the plane just a month later in the form of “Broken Hands”. A pair of EPs and a split with Bormanus and Troy Southgate of HERR fame have brought them to “Don’t Close Your Eyes” their debut full length. Four years in the making, rhythm section brothers drummer Graziano Ciccarelli and bassist Salvatore Ciccarelli are joined by guitarist duo Andrea Di Martino and Vincenzo Mussolino, not forgetting vocalist Ciro “Kirion” Silvano, so it must be time. Time to get scared.

Despite labelling themselves as a Modern Melodic Death Metal band, there are a lot of Metalcore elements in the sound of JumpScare. That’s in part down to an obvious comparison between them and German Metalcore mainstays Caliban, in particular their later work but also on the vocal department with Silvano having similar tones to Andreas Dörner. Opening track “Dead Bodies” has the industrial synths of Motionless In White before the black growls of the opening verse and allowing them the bleed through the guitars with some well places momentary breaks in the turn around makes for a very well constructed cut of blood and thunder. Album title track has something of “Whoracle” era In Flames in it with some big synths in the building chorus as it’s time to rise and face the enemy. The familiarity of the overall sound makes it easy to get into and appreciate while it has enough of its own elements to keep it interesting. A quirky horror themed synth solo being a seriously fun little moment.

A massive pick slide in the intro riff of “Earth Decay” reminds of that moment from the Roadrunner United film where Machine Head‘s Robb Flynn asks Still Remains guitarist Jordan Whelan how he manages to do the same thing. It’s ironic because the song itself could be on “Of Love And Lunacy”, such is the high quality of the material and phenomenal lead work. The overall sound occupies the same territory and fans of the Grand Rapids Michigan band should be onto this fairly sharply. The point of difference being the depths of the vocal from Silvano, which enrich the experience. The solo is a perfectly executed moment of stand out quality. “Falling Tears” rises majestically like a Phoenix from the ashes with a climb from a melodic and meloncholy riff to a classic Metal tune. The temptation for a clean vocal passage would have been here if it ever was but it’s not something JumpScare entertain, instead keeping the vocals at brutal contrast to the music and the solo that brings this one to a close is gloriously slick. Whether “Mate Kill Feed Repeat” is a nod to the 1996 Slipknot debut album of the same title or not is kind of irrelevant as it’s a fine cut in its own right. JumpScare take the early stylings of the album and get everything they can from it, leaving no flesh on the bones. The synths are huge and while the rythmic groove guitar work supports the sound as a harmonious entity, the solo breaks out in fine spellbinding fashion.

“Paralyzed” takes a more dirge laiden riff and makes it the orientation from which some slick leads can flow, the synths not coming into play until midway through the opening verse and even then a conscious effort to dial them back has been made for this one. Silvano delivers a Deathcore growl during a breakdown section and a gang chant is a surprise turn up for the books but works well. “Seventh Circle” is perhaps a fine summary of the album as a whole. A spoken word bridge in Italian serves as a fine reminder of where the band are from and adds a sense of grandeur to a tune that is pretty epic already. Introspection is the order of the day with closer “Sickness” that speaks of the nightmares of life and an inability to reach the light no matter how hard it’s strived for. It’s arguably the heaviest cut on the album and a stand out moment with some mighty fine riffage that again limits those synths which were big in the opening half to being an addition rather than a main element. The musicianship is excellent throughout and frankly JumpScare set themselves a high bar with this thoroughly enjoyable debut [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Dead Bodies
  2. Don’t Close Your Eyes
  3. Earth Decay
  4. Falling Tears
  5. Mate Feed Kill Repeat
  6. Paralyzed
  7. Seventh Circle
  8. Sickness

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” by JumpScare is out now and available over at bandcamp

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