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Ari Lehman's First Jason - 'To Be A Monster' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d4/03/36/ari-lehmans-first-jason-to-be-a-monster-31-1517257099.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2018    
 
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Rather than a cheap cash-in on his name, it's a very solid and enjoyable album.

To most of you the band name may seem a little odd, but when you learn Ari Lehman played Jason Voorhees as a child in the first 'Friday The 13th' movie, you may understand a little better. Yes, he had an acting job as a kid and is still trading on it, and a good job too, because he's not really done much else until forming First Jason, which brings us full circle.

Unsurprisingly, 'To Be A Monster' is a Horror-themed album. I mean, you can't call your band First Jason and do ballads about puppies can you? If I'm to be frank (you can be Earnest?), I wasn't expecting much, but against all odds I found myself enjoying the macabre music of Lehman. After a couple of guitar-fuelled stompers (the title track and 'Melodrama Of The Modern Age'), Lehman takes a left turn with the haunting piano ballad 'Dream Within A Dream' with the vibe going swiftly from Alice Cooper to Meat Loaf. His vocals are aggressive and very Metal when that's what is required, but on the ballad he tones it down very effectively. The songs are, in general, solid slices of Rock that are all helped immensely by some excellent guitar from Eddie Hodgson.

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The album sags in the middle with two quirkier songs, 'Witch Camp' and 'Better Crazy Than Lazy', but another strong piano ballad in 'Power From The Pain' rescues it. 'When The Clock Strikes 13' fully embraces the Cooper ethos and features more powerful shredding from Hodgson. That's sort of it, bar a couple of re-mixes to close. 'Melodrama...' sees the guitars replaced with keyboards to give it an eighties Horror soundtrack feel, and is pretty effective, whilst '...Camp' is "Reggae-d" up to make it even worse than before, so we'll just ignore that.

There's a definite audience for 'To Be A Monster'; rather than a cheap cash-in on his name, it's a very solid and enjoyable album. Lehman definitely benefits from Hodgson's guitar prowess, but equally proves that when left alone on a piano he can produce quality material. If you like your Metal to have a macabre mould, then this is certainly one to check out.

Alan Holloway

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