The Living Measure of Time
Fantastic Middle Eastern influenced experimental rock
It is rare that a band comes along and delivers something that sounds absolutely phenomenal with their debut album. Jurojin are a band from the U.K. that deliver their own unique brand of music that really is genre defying and out of this dimension. By fusing melodic rock with Middle Eastern riffs and beats, they deliver a special kind of music that is both heavy and also extremely harmonic. It is extensively progressive and never tiring as they know how to keep listeners' interest without ever becoming boring. With so many different tours hungry for them to show off their technique, Jurojin has had plenty of time to practice and perfect their style just in time for 2010 to see The Living Measure of Time.
The opening track is mostly a guitar instrumental, but right from the start fans can hear the Middle Eastern influence. It is very slow and moody compared to the others which feature a bit heavier work, but it is a great opening for "The Scars." This track uses a completely different formula, drawing more influence from the hard rock genre. The riffs and hook are catchy, also featuring some very jazz/funk bass work. Combined with the drums and the vocals the entire thing is just amazing. The vocals are a special treat because they sound so clean and yet rough enough to fit the style of Jurojin's music so well. Think of it as a cross between Ivan Moody's cleaner croons from Ghost Machine and the intensity of David Draiman of Disturbed. "The Liar" follows in a similar fashion, offering a bit more distortion with the guitars to border crackling heavy metal, but the vocals still sound great over it. There's a great 'wavelength' effect as the song tends to quiet down a bit and then rise again in sound, creating a smooth, yet interesting ride.
"Proem" finally brings things back in the eastern side. There's a tabla involved (and who gets to hear tabla in hard rock and metal these days?) that lays down a few great beats along with the acoustic guitar. Throw the vocals into the mix and again it just astounds anyone who hears it. "Winter" tries to keep things on the soft side but the absence of the tabla all of a sudden is a letdown though the clean vocals return to save the day. "Equinox" thankfully brings the tablas back into existence, and offers a few more experimental notions such as the vocalist trying a new type of singing compared to his usual alternative rock style; with this style he sounds a little more 'droning.' The guitars hold back a little bit in this song, but each time one hears their notes, the synchronization with the tabla is still amazing. Finally, "The Dreaming" throws one last curveball by offering lots of jazz laden riffs mixed with the rock vibes of the track. Like the second track, there's a great mix of heavy and soft parts to keep listeners interested and the closing progressive notes are like listening to Opeth, though considering the originality of Jurojin's work it seems like they completely trump the great progressive death metal masters with their album.
There's very little else to say about The Living Measure of Time except that it bends the limits of time and space (for music that is) to create something utterly mind blowing. This album is a downright masterpiece.
(Majestic Elder Recordings/Stomp Distribution)