Jackal - Vague Visions (Rising Sun Records/SPV) 1993
1. "Vague Visions"
Jackal play traditional metal that would rival bands like Metal Church, Sword, Artch, early Queensryche, and even has a slight Iron Maiden flavor here and there. "Only A Crime Away" for example starts off with a smooth Steve Harris-like bass riff before bursting into a heavy guitar riff. This song, as well as most of the music here, is very dynamic with parts building in heaviness from more melodic, clean guitar parts to heavy, energetic guitar romps. Guitarist Benny Petersen, besides being a competent riff master, also cranks out some nice guitar solos throughout the disc. This is probably why he has been chosen to play with such bands as Mercyful Fate and Pretty Maids over the years since the demise of Jackal. As well, vocalist Brian Rich has a strong, clean traditional metal voice that really adds to the overall appeal of this disc. A solid platter that is a welcome addition to my metal collection.
Jackal - A Safe Look in Mirrors (Rising Sun) 1994
1. "A Safe Look In
The final(?) platter from Demark's Jackal. "A Safe Look In Mirrors" continues in the same musical territory as "Vague Visions"; solid heavy metal. The band sports a galloping metal sound that is both heavy and melodic at the same time. Once again guitarist, Benny Petersen, lets loose some raging guitar solos, Brian Rich's vocals are powerful, and the song writing is strong and memorable.For some reason Jackal remind me of Metal Church quite a bit at times. This is especially true in the fast, speed metal opener "A Safe Look In the Mirror." It's a shame that Jackal didn't get a bit more exposure with these two, solid slabs of traditional metal. Unfortunately the mid-90's saw a decline in metal's popularity. Also, from what I have read, Jackal was beginning to gain some success but had some struggles with their label, something that seem to plague and destroy many good bands.