Jesters Moon - _Jesters Moon_
(Independent, 2002)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
This tight, experienced four man outfit from America's Northeast scene have a rough 'n' tumble sound that's very provoking even to someone as wrapped in the complexities of other styles of metal as I am. Back in the day, a band known as Blackkout stalked the Florida metal scene. In a lot of ways, Blackkout's flexibility of sound lives on in Portland, Oregon's Jesters Moon. Punchy and straightforward, this four-piece seem to know exactly what kind of music they want to put out and accomplish it rather brilliantly with this self-titled effort. While their scope is mostly limited, their power and expertise is never drawn into question on this ten track offering. Starting off with some mood-laced ambience on "The Battle", Jesters Moon pulls the listener in almost immediately with their hard-hitting approach. Change-ups pepper the CD and provide a not-so-delicate method to capture attention from its very first notes. Understandable vocals take center stage as Bryce Van Patten undertakes guitar and keyboard duties in addition to serving as JM's man behind the mic. Bryce has moments in his throaty technique like one might expect from a Dio or Udo. Fantastically distinctive instrumentation litters this effort without ever detracting even a single iota from the full metal rampage created by Jesters Moon; the sixth cut, "Amnesia", speaks volumes to this point. Imagine a revved-up Queensryche doused in '80s Accept meets Jake E. Lee's Badlands. Check out the evolution of this band into the group now referred to as Jesters Moon and all the experience evident on this disc. Fans of effective guitar work without the over-the-top, showy solos have soul-mates in Bryce as well as second guitarist, Vido Sinn. Preston Hatch on drums and bassist Alvin complete JM's line-up -- all very proficient at their respective crafts and display it rather well on this album. There is a lot to enjoy on this nearly 55 minute release. Snap to it, folks, and belly up to the bar for Jesters Moon's brew of nostalgia; you'll even thank me the next day.


(article published 3/6/2003)

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