‘Anthems For The Apocalypse’ by Jonathan Jackson + Enation (Album)

19 July, 2017 in Music Reviews

Jonathan Jackson + Enation by Jarad Clement

Jonathan Jackson + Enation: not-so-quietly going about their business. Photo: Jarad Clement

The ‘Nashville’ actor and his band return with another offering of anthemic rock music packed with both riffs and emotion

Jonathan Jackson + Enation 'Anthems For The Apocalypse' album artwork by Richard Lee JacksonThe musical outlet of actor Jonathan Jackson is much more than just a vanity project. His rock band have been not-so-quietly going about their business for over a decade now. This is the group’s first full-length album since 2014’s Radio Cinematic, though four of the tracks will be familiar to those who have already heard last year’s Blame-shifter EP. Rather than coming across as a re-treading of old ground, the new surroundings help to broaden their sonic message.

Jackson’s yelping and emotive vocals sound healthier than ever; back in their rock settings they soar over the opening track, Blame-shifter. There are also some serious riffs, Revolution Of The Heart switches between a U2 sermon and something closer to modern Metallica. Magnify, the first of the new songs, is a bouncing gallop and A Shock To The System continues the record’s rapid assault, matching guitar lines with vocals before both explode.

This Darkness tempts a decrease in tempo, but only briefly as a thumping drumbeat soon propels the trio on once more. A change in pace does eventually come with the acoustic and angelic Thirst. It’s only a temporary recess – Ascending and Let The Beauty Out both crunch with stadium-sized ambition. Alleluia is fitting in its rousing nature before handing over to the album closing title track; at near six-minutes it’s a lasting reminder of what these guys do so well. Questing lyrics look for meaning as the song’s swell builds with every beat.

From start to finish, Anthems For The Apocalypse offers conclusive proof of Jackson’s talent as both a songwriter and performer. Perhaps it’s time to give up the day job?

Verdict: Anthemic rock for the here and now

Duncan Haskell