Apparently Alea Jacta have been on the go since 1994 according to their Facebook page and hail from the sunny isle of Tenerife. With the island better known for its holiday beats than metal, the band have been trying to rectify this over the years locally with their own brand of thrash and metalcore.
Their current EP, The Empire Will Fall, is pretty rough around the edges for all there’s some good work going on here in places. Whether they were aiming for a loose and dirty live sound or not I’m not sure, but it feels like it still needs a bit of spit and polish. Opening track The Way is a promisingly pounding start but it’s let down by a severe lack of power in the drums and muddy guitar tones. As I say, if this is the sound they’re aiming for then I may be doing them a disservice but to my ears this stuff should be making them bleed with an intensity that’s getting lost in the production.
Next track Vengeance is Mine is better though and a fine mix of metalcore and thrash that seems to be their main focus. It has a cool speedy groove running through it as Javier Alfonso’s guttural vocals roar in anger throughout. We Are The Storm by contrast has more of a later-era Slayer pound to it but feels overly long and a little bit too repetitive.
This is the main concern with the album I’m feeling now as Silence Comes starts to play. It’s all starting to sound a little bit too similar and definitely rough around the edges. The riffs are all starting to merge into one, as are the guitar melodies and that lack of power in the drums that pulls everything down. It all feels too one dimensional and they’ve sadly lost my interest by the time final track Wake Up appears, which is a shame too as it is the one song on this EP that they actually seem to be showing a bit of promise in as their hispanic roots shine through with some great melody interspersing moments of pounding aggression.
For a band that have been on the go since 1994 though you would expect a degree of maturity and experience in both song writing and production values but sadly this EP doesn’t have enough of either to make it stand out.
1. The Way
2. Vengeance is Mine
3. We Are The Storm
4. Silence Comes
5. The Empire Will Fall
6. Wake Up
ALEA JACTA are:
Javier Alfonso – Vocal
Alejandro Montelongo – Lead guitar
Javier Arribas – Guitar
Juan A. Suarez – Bass
Juan C. Alfonso – Drums