Review: “Self Titled” by Jera

During the winter of discontent a pair of Alternative Metal bands burst into flame and from the ash that was left Jera was born to arise like a phoenix, combining influences in Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal with inspirations from Norse Mythology. Telling tales of Gods, Heroes and Victims of Northern Europe in ancient times Federico Leggeri (vocals), Duccio Pellati (bass), Gabriele Mazzarri (drums), Bruno Malevoli and Giulio Poggi (guitars) have chosen to follow the left hand path of Swedish Metal traditions despite hailing from Italy and credit Jei Doublerice (Despite Exile, Abiogenesis, Sensory Amusia) at Exiled Media with Reamping, mixing and mastering with Giorgia Bigazzi providing the stunning cover art…

The stories within the lyrics are told in the first person and seem to be blended with personal experiences by vocalist Federico Leggeri which changes the angle in the way that this debut from Jera comes across, meaning it doesn’t feel like as much of a concept EP as perhaps the biography suggests. That being said, rich in textured programming and razor sharp Swedish influenced riffage, Jera hit hard sonically and if it wasn’t for the Italian accenting on the aching clean vocal sections sounds like the work of more recent offerings from We Came As Romans (or perhaps a reincarnation of Italian Metalcore outfit Upon This Dawning who disbanded in 2014 after two albums and an appearance on Punk Goes Pop #5) as the quintet strike a similar balance between the elements they have combined in their alchemy. Underneath the heavy staccato guitar riffs of opening cut “Pride & Pain” there are rich melodies that hold everything together and if there was one that would suit a stripped down acoustic version then it would be this before “Mother Of Nine” then hits harder during the unclean verse, vocal layering being used to good effect in order to underpin the cleans with uncleans selectively and give them more power. The rhythmic thunder over these tracks is at the heavier end of the scale and creates something for instant gratification in the mosh pit across the whole EP, the icy cold synths adding atmosphere and a sense of tension that is only broken by the odd slow down in the music to enable the clean vocals to take the limelight. That’s not the problem that other Metalcore acts have faced because here Jera, who are clearly a band comprised of experienced musicians, have got their transitions perfectly weighted, with “Grave City” being the perfect example. As a band their preference is for breakdowns over solos with just a couple of flutters of lead guitar work appearing here although when they do its clear that they do have more to offer in that department which bodes well for the future. As you would hope the finale “What If I Wanted To Leave” leaves you wanting more while coming across like a thinly veiled tale of a broken relationship, fortunately you can always push the green triangle once more [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Pride & Pain
  2. Mother Of Nine
  3. Grave City
  4. Harvest
  5. What If I Wanted To Leave

Self Titled” by Jera is out 21st January 2022

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