Sign of the Jackal – The Beyond EP (Heavy Artillery Records)

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Because the English language is essentially a must for anyone outside of black metal, hearing someone tackle the King’s Language when it’s their second tongue can be a real treat. It makes us wonder what would happen if us Yankees had to sing in German…and how awkward it be. For Germany’s Sign of the Jackal, the thick German accent of lead singer Laura provides some quirky, authentic moments – the kind of stuff you’ll only find in traditional/throwback metal.

The Beyond is a 5-song EP, parlaying the expected swath of 80’s metal into a spunky, but not so much thrash-like collection of songs. Lots of hemming and hawing from Laura here, especially on “Head Over Heels” where her accent is on full display (just check out how she pronounces “Heels”), but it lends to an instant degree of identity to a band that in this field, can always use some. Elsewhere, “Heavy Metal Demons” has plenty of bite to it and kudos to the band for going the instrumental route on “Paganini Horror,” which has its fair share of 80’s cock rock melodies, but certainly work well in this environ.

Perhaps a more interesting prospect than most retro up-and-comers, Sign of the Jackal have anthemic 80’s metal down to a near science, English squabbles be damned. The Beyond gets the job done in five songs, so one has to wonder if they can keep it up for a full-length. Most likely.

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