Since the 1970’s JLT has spent his musical time writing and playing and singing with the likes of Fandango, Rainbow, Cher, Billy Joel, Glen Hughes, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen (to name a few) and still found the time to indulge himself in his solo efforts. Belly of the Beast is his12th overall solo release. Collaborating with Wayne Joyner, JLT has built this release as his message and warning for what he sees going on in the overall world arena.
Belly of the Beast kicks of this release with a strong dose of what’s going on in the world and the balance between good and evil, explained by only the way straight up metal can do. Black Sun is a social warning song that has the eerie organ going on along with the accompanying spooky choral background. Tortured Soul uses strong keyboards and strong choral backup to tell the tale of a veteran dealing with combat issues. Rise Up has a slow piano intro and then all hell breaks loose. The song deals with one’s ability to stand up for themselves. Dark Night of the Soul is a nicely done ballad. Tears of Blood is a nicely organized anthem type song. Desire asks the question, what do you desire and what is the cost? Don’t Fear the Dark is a fast paced warning tune. Fallen World deals with corporate domination and takeover aspirations. Living the Dream is a rocker that questions, are we really living the dream? This is my favorite track here. Requiem is a ballad like personal confessional with haunting choral background.
Hard driving heavy metal continues here. JLT is definitely up there with the best metal frontmen, having the vocal range to tackle just about anything. This release deals with the craziness of everything we’re noticing going on in the world. The songs are of course guitar driven, but JLT has successfully used the keyboards, spoken words, and backdrop choral vocal arrangements to build the sound. You can definitely hear the Rainbow, Deep Purple, and other metal band influences throughout. To all you metal heads out there, you’ll like this one!