Review: Jackal’s Truth ”Promo 98” [Independent release]

Review: Jackal’s Truth ”Promo 98” [Independent release]

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Only about a year after their first step onto the Greek metal grounds, Hellenic black metal band Jackal’s Truth put another log on the fire with the release of their 1998… Promo. Yeah, that’s the whole name of it, apparently. It appears that their first demo had been distributed by a label (Passage Records) but I suppose due to the local scene being a desert wasteland by 1998, this act did not gain a large-enough audience to warrant any further contracts, which is – I said this a few times already in that earlier review – a fucking shame because these guys had a lot going for them.

Building on the foundations of their debut demo, this promo offers a slicker, more professional production job and a good deal of adventurous songwriting, losing some of their more primitive, rawer charm in the process (especially the drums felt a lot heavier on Dominus Silvae, even though there’s plenty of additional doublebass  present here). Their vocalist’s screams are slightly over-pronounced in the mix and tend to become grating after a while due to their uninflected delivery, which was definitely a less audible phenomenon on their earlier presentation…yet in the end – listening to both demos in succession – the increase in professionalism is evident.

It also feels as if the band had shifted their influences and preferences towards the mid-era (or back in 1998, the current) incarnation of  Varathron (The Lament of Gods) and were taking a few notes from the Gothic-tinged metal of country-companions Nightfall; choirs and synth inherit a more important role here and are definitely co-responsible for a few emotional highlights in the writing, without taking a flowery/over the top-route.

Regardless, tragedy ensued and the band ended soon after the release of this demo, although the exact date of their burial remains obscure. Calling their legacy legendary would be an overstatement, but being a massive fan of 90s Hellenic extreme metal, I’d love to have at least a single full-length in my hands to experience their hypothetical growth as a creative entity.

For those of you who want to hear their complete body of work, there’s a compilation available (bearing the edgy name Demo ’97 & Promo ’98) including both demos and a handful of unreleased songs, clocking in at about half-an-hour. This is the closest thing you gonna get to a Jackal’s Truth LP.

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