Total Time: 22:52
Label: Pulverized Records
Jade is a green mineral. The Chinese have been worshipping jade for 5,000 years. It was of great value and the Chinese emperors always had it with them, for it symbolized longevity and immortality. Confucius said it has 11 virtues, including beauty and purity. Definitely, a beautiful and original name for a band. I don’t know if they will become as valuable to the scene as the gem to the Chinese, or if they have 11 virtues, but certainly JADE made a great start with their debut album “Smoking Mirror”. It was originally released as a demo on 100 cassettes, but this year was officially released on vinyl by Pulverized Records and on cd by Nigredo Records.
“Smoking Mirror” consists of 4 songs of approximately 22 minutes and the style is atmospheric DOOM / DEATH METAL with some BLACK touches. JADE members, judging by their composition and musicianship, are experienced and likely participate in other bands, but leave no information to leak. This is how the influences from older bands, passed through a contemporary perspective, are also explained. A typical example is the opening track “Jade Emperor”, which starts with a mournful MY DYING BRIDE melody to end up in fast, BOLZER-ish style. Dark, heavy dimness is there, not melancholy though. Vibes from TIAMAT (“Clouds” era), Runemagick are also present. All four tracks are truly awesome, evolve by changing speed. Slow to mid to high tempo. The EP emits grandeur, without symphonic exaggerations, the tracks are spacious, without losing intensity and density. Vocally, the band follows what BOLZER did in “Hero”. The dipole of growls and clean screams, adds epic graciousness to the songs. The overall duration may seem short, but it works in favor of the whole. “Smoking Mirror” contains some serious music, its not tiring and personally speaking, it gains in replayability.
JADE eventually achieved their purpose. “Smoking Mirror” made a very strong first step, promising an even better follow-up.
P.S. I have to mention the very beautiful cover art and whole layout in general.
Name: Labros Katsakioris
Related Link: JADE – Bandcamp Page