"Jesters Moon" (Man In Black Music)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Sometimes, all too rarely, you pop a CD into your player and, BANG!, you're hooked from the get-go. Such is the case for the outstanding self-titled CD from Jesters Moon.

The CD begins with the sounds of a battle - horses bray and swords clash. You're first thought may be "Isn't this how all power  / true metal albums begin?" Fortunately, that's where the similarities fade away. "The Battle" dissolves into the powerful "Devils Eyes," an epic song if there ever was one. And from that point on, you'd better grab onto something solid because Jesters Moon is going to rock you hard.

On their website and the website of their label ( Jesters Moon aren't afraid to throw around the term "true metal" and with good reason. The band delivers the sonic equivalent of an enormous earthquake, designed solely to shake your very soul. Guitars aren't just played, they're beaten. The guitar sound on this album is huge. Even larger are the drums, the recording of which is some of the biggest drum sounds I've heard since KISS's "Creatures of the Night. Vocalist Bryce van Patten sounds a bit like a monstrous blending of Ozzy Osbourne and Fear's Lee Ving. His towering voice is rough and melodic at the same time. The term "scary monster" vocals come to mind but van Patten's sound goes well beyond that. As a unit, the band works together flawlessly, allowing one another to shine when appropriate and supporting to the fullest otherwise.

The songs are well-written and very creative. They're not just carbon copies of tunes you've heard elsewhere, they're different, unique and instantly involving. Jesters Moon doesn't just create their own sound, they revel unashamedly in it. Yet they never stray so far away that the listener is pulled out of the listening experience. Your attention will be held throughout.

In addition, the production is near-perfect. An album like this shouldn't be crystal clear, like Ozzy's "The Ultimate Sin," but it should be well-balanced and designed to explode from your speakers. Jesters Moon succeeds here, too, as they produced the CD themselves. The addition of certain sound effects, like the sound of gently crashing waves on "Amnesia," only further enhance the CDs overall effect. If I have any complaint, it's that sometimes the vocals seem strangely filtered - but I guess that was an artistic decision.

Jesters Moon are one of my favorite new bands. This CD has been in almost constant play since it arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago. Check out their music online, buy their CD. You won't be sorry. 

Jesters Moon is: Vido Sinn - guitars, Dr5 synth; Alvin - bass; Preston Hatch - drums; Bryce van Patten - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 29 Sep 2023 01:09:33 -0400.