Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Black Jester - The Divine Comedy CD (album) cover


Black Jester

Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars Italian band BLACK JESTER were choosing for their third album with Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy not the easiest theme. Regarding the level of the three compositions and the instrumental skill of the musicians one has to admit they managed this challenge quite well. The result of their efforts is a very diverse album offering lots of melody as well as pretty much Prog-Metal power. Guitar play by Paolo Viani is excellent, reminding in its complexity and speed often of heroes like Satriani, Vai or Malmsteen. Rocco Prete's keyboards are brilliant as well, providing a very good symphonic sound, especially with his great organs. Bass player Gil Teso and drummer Alberto Masiero are doing their job very well, it's just a pity that the production of the album is not perfect and doesn't show both of them in their best light.

First one of the three longtracks Inferno is proofing its title well after a short symphonic introduction - furious guitars, double bass drum in a very diverse and intricate composition, all in a rather heavy and dark mood. Just the really bad vocals are a bit disturbing. Musically really great stuff!

Second chapter Purgatory is much more mellow in its first part (The Angel And The Fisherman ) with a nice quiet melody played by acoustic guitar. Harbour Of Sinners, the second part is presenting us odd-timed bars with rhythm changes and a harpsichord interlude follow by guitar and keyboards played in incredibly fast speed.

Third chapter Paradiso is the best composition and offers right in the spirit of the title a more friendly and lighter atmosphere. It's starting very quiet, "heavenly" and "releasing of the purgatory", later on the tempo is raised again but the music is in a much more cheerful mood than in the previous chapters. Towards the light and Sailin`on the rainbow's wave are both very nice and emphatic compositions, Lost in the open skies is creating some nice tension and The divine parade is starting quietly, slowly gaining intensity and leading into a very lush final.


Actually it's difficult to give a fair rating to this album. With another singer and a slightly better production it would be close to a masterpiece. But like this I think 3 stars is an adequate rating.

Nevertheless if you can ignore the low quality vocals and you're into good Progmetal music it's still worth checking out!!!

Report this review (#1328)
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite the sub-par production of this album (I thought it was recorded live when I first heard it) it is an excellent piece of work that I always enjoy listening to from time to time. The singer's voice takes getting used to, for sure, but I don't mind it at all. The music is fantastic, the musicianship is high and there is both metal and melody in equal amounts.

"Inferno" is a sprawling, half-hour long track that is mostly excellent, but is not without it's lackluster moments. If the band had made it shorter it would have worked out much better, I feel, but all in all it is a great track (and I just love that riff when the heavy part first comes in at the beginning!)

"Purgatorio" is my favourite song on the album. Starting out with a beautiful intro, it only gets better, changing from driving prog-metal to symphonic neo-prog and back again. A very well executed song.

"Paradiso" is beautiful (as suggested by the title), and is a great way to end the album. Fantastic synths abound on this one, and there are some excellent guitar solos.

All in all, not a perfect album, but a very good one. If you like melodic prog-metal (and don't mind a heavily accented voice) you'll like this album!

Report this review (#1329)
Posted Sunday, March 6, 2005 | Review Permalink

BLACK JESTER The Divine Comedy ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BLACK JESTER The Divine Comedy

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.