JESTERS MOON – Jesters Moon

JESTERS MOON - Jesters Moon


MIB Music Publishing
Release date: 2002

User Review
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The self-titled debut release of Jesters Moon, spelled without the apostrophe, is not what you think it is at first listen. Clear? The band hails from Portland, Ore., the same town that gave us Black ‘N Blue, but that’s the most the two bands have in common.

The CD begins with a song called “The Battle.” You can hear fighting in the background, horses neighing, and over the top of that is a slow, beautiful piano (or synthesizer) arrangement that slowly crescendos into what IS a very power metal sounding beginning. But that’s as “power metal” as they get.

The second song, “Devil’s Eyes,” is pretty average the first time you listen to it. The song also introduces you to lead singer/guitarist Bryce Van Patten. His vocals sound like a mix between Udo and Lemmy, at times. Is this a good thing? Not at first, but something happens the more you hear him sing. After a couple listens, you will find yourself singing along, “I believe there’s a devil … and I believe you’ve got the devil’s eyes.” It’s surprisingly catchy, and after a couple listens, one of the best tunes on the CD.

At the band’s website, you see they define their sound as music in the same spirit as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. They left out Motorhead, although they are much more diverse than that band. Most bands hate getting pigeonholed into a specific genre, and Jesters Moon shouts, “No nu-metal, no rap-metal, no alt-metal! Just Heavy Metal,” to make sure we don’t do that. A good way to define them would be grime-metal, though, and not just because the production of the CD is somewhat muddy. There is just something dirty about the CD, in a good way.

On the song “Destination Known,” they get a little heavy with the synthesizer. It doesn’t hurt the song, but it would seem that someone just found a new toy.

“You’re On Your Own” is the best song on the CD, and you’ll hear Lemmy and Udo strong in this one. The guitar playing is wicked, and the chorus is basically Van Patten shouting in a guttural voice and then slithering into the next verse with a throaty whisper. Everything about the song works. The solo by Vido Sinn is cool, but you won’t mistake him for Yngwie just yet.

An ambitious song called “Amnesia” is 10 minutes long, but probably doesn’t need to be. There is a lot of groaning in the background during the song, and it turns into sort of a jam session. The song ends again with Van Patten yelling “whoa-oh-oh” in a sort of confusing manner, and then the piano kicks in, accompanied by the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. Strange ending to a strange song.

“Backstreets” ends the CD, a song about being homeless, and a harsh voice starts the song by asking, “Got any change, buddy?” The wah-wah of the guitar sets the tone on this song, and keyboards and moaning are again present in the chorus and bridge.

At times, Jesters Moon sounds familiar, and then, they are completely on their own. It will take you a few spins, but over half of the CD is more than worth it. With a little clearer focus on their direction and a little stronger vocals, this band could help the American music scene forget about the absolute garbage bands like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit shell out as “metal.” Here’s hoping.

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