In the early 1980's, the band Jaugernaut released two CDs. Both of these releases were terribly received, and only later became cult-classics in Europe. Jim Johnston tried to get the band back together in 1999 to piggy-back off of this new found notoriety, but none of the original members showed much interest. Contra-Mantra is released under the Jaugernaut name, but is really a Johnston solo act. The CD is a first part in a story that tells the history of evil.
The opening track of Contra-Mantra is the 12 minute "Anthem" which mixes some newer sounds with classic 70s Pomp-Rock. Although the vocals are completely different, the song reminds me of Uriah Heep. "The Damage is Done" has an 80s hairband feel, which is amplified by Johnston's vocals, which are reminiscent of David Coverdale. "Better Living thru Anarchy" contains a funky rhythm section and an excellent guitar solo by guest Jim Bremmer, and again is very 80s. "All I See Is Grey" is an acoustic ballad that is a little out of place. The pinnacle of the CD is the 4 part "Doing It The Hard Way", which is the most progressive song on Contra-Mantra.
Having never heard the original two Jaugernaut (A.D.) albums, I can not comment on how Contra-Mantra stacks up. What I can do is recommend this to anyone who loved the Pomp-Rock of the late 70s and the pseudo-metal of early 80s bands like Honeymoon Suite. Jaugernaut (A.D.) is a blast from the past that does a good job of not sounding stale.
1. Anthem (12:32)
2. The Damage Is Done (4:59)
3. Better Living Thru Anarchy (5:19)
4. Doint It The Hard Way (14:51)
5. Vanity (6:28)
6. A Different World (5:43)
7. All I see Is Grey (7:12)