Ektro Records / Full Contact Records (Ektro-134 / Krypt-111)
I've been a Jesters of Destiny fanboy since the 80's so you can guess how excited I got when the rumors of a "come-back" album started to make the rounds a few years ago. The debut LP Fun at the Funeral by this legendary "alternative metal" cult band was released in 1986 on Metal Blade's sub-label Dimension Records and a covers 12" In a Nostalgic Mood was put out the following year. I guess their weird but creative mix of metal, hard rock, psychedelic rock, glam, punk and pop was too much for the masses then and they were dropped from Metal Blade and soon disbanded. Finland's Ektro Records have been doing their share in keeping the flame alive re-releasing the debut album first on CD and then on LP as well as some Circle stuff featuring original Jesters members. It seems that almost by accident Bruce Duff and Ray Violet, the key members since the beginning, both were writing new stuff that started to sound like Jesters of Destiny and then thought about putting another album out after a 30-year gap. They recruited a few more musicians to help out and now the new wonderful album The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown is reality!
The album starts off with the metallic and edgy mid-tempo "Fire in the Six Foot Hole". It's strange how you can immediately tell it's the Jesters, although the sound is modern. A great opener! "The Flesh Parade" is a bit faster rocker with pleasant melodies, one of the key ingredients of the band. "Ladies of Runyon Canyon" also includes some violin and organ being a pretty interesting, short instrumental piece. "My Card, Sir" rocks out again like the debut also including a slower, heavy and almost doomy end part turning into chaos. "Chalk Outline" is another great Jesters of Destiny heavy rocker with catchy melodies including a weird, free-jazzy middle part. That figures. One of my favourites is the pounding, fuzzy garage psych blast "The Misunderstood", superb! "'Til The Following Night" begins with something that sounds to be taken from a horror movie and then we get some booze-filled dirty rock'n'roll / garage punk. Wow. "Sunset Boulevard" gives you the creeps with its scary beginning and stays pretty weird and spooky. The second short instrumental "Peace, Blood And Charlie Cocaine" reminds me of Blue Öyster Cult which is never a bad thing. There's even a drum solo in there. Then the band returns to the start theme but with a different twist with "Another Fire Six Feet Deep". The album is finished off with the light and cheery "Happy Ending". What can I say, the Jesters of Destiny still rule!