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BLACK JESTER

Progressive Metal • Italy


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Black Jester biography
Neo-Classical metal band in the vein of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN with excellent lyrics and very well structured instrumentation. Their sound is extremely melodic, but they have excellent power and punch. Sometimes the tempo slows down to a Neo Prog approach, bringing a nice appeal to the music.

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Buy BLACK JESTER Music


Welcome to the Moonlight CircusWelcome to the Moonlight Circus
Avalanche Records 1996
Audio CD$8.20
$6.17 (used)
Diary of a BlindDiary of a Blind
Import
Spv Germany 2003
Audio CD$16.27
$2.38 (used)
Diary Of A Blind AngelDiary Of A Blind Angel
Northwind
Audio CD$33.33 (used)
Welcome to the MoonlightWelcome to the Moonlight
Import
2001
Audio CD$14.63
$5.72 (used)
WELCOME TO THE MOONLIGHT CIRCUSWELCOME TO THE MOONLIGHT CIRCUS
TEICHIKU
Audio CD$28.23 (used)
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BLACK JESTER discography


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BLACK JESTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 8 ratings
Diary of a Blind Angel
1992
3.20 | 13 ratings
Welcome to the Moonlight Circus
1994
3.31 | 11 ratings
The Divine Comedy
1997

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BLACK JESTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Diary of a Blind Angel by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.53 | 8 ratings

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Diary of a Blind Angel
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Black Jester was a short lived Italian band who released three albums and may have done some gigs too. This album was released in 1992 and that was five years after this type of music was anywhere near popular or social acceptable.

Black Jester and their music most of all reminds me about Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force without Yngwie Malmsteen's guitars. That is the best description I can give this music.

There are plenty of guitars here. But not Yngwie's trademark guitars. That is either because Black Jester's guitarist is not in the same class or the band could not be bothered. But the tangents, bass and drums is pretty much similar to what Rising Force did. The vocals here are pretty weak though.

The cover is pretty terrible and I am afraid that serves as an ample warning about the music too. It is melodic heavy metal without much melodic qualities or any qualities at all. There are some good decent songs here, but that is all. I give it a couple of points and that is all.

2 stars

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 Welcome to the Moonlight Circus by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.20 | 13 ratings

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Welcome to the Moonlight Circus
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Black Jester one of the unnoticed progressive metal bands from '90's from Italy with 3 solid album released across that decade, with great musicianship and some fantastic arrangements overall. Progressive metal with neo classical touch and aswell with that specific neo prog flavour of the early to mid '90's like a more a metalized neo prog in places, combined all these is Black jester. Their second album I got I guess more then 12 years ago and was one of the first prog metal bands I've came across as listner and I was pretty impressed back then as now after some re spins 3 more precise. Two of the founding memebers from Black Jester after disbanding - Paolo Viani (guitar), Alberto Masiero (drums, will formed Moonlight Circus , a band taken the name from this album title. Well, now talikng about this decond BJ offer from 1994 named Welcome to the moonlight circus issued at MII (Music is intelligence) is a good towards great release in this field. Not sounding at all like Dream Theter of that period, more towards Malmsteen and neo classical bands from that time, with worthy arpegious and solid arrangements. Fine vocal parts, and above all instrumental sections are realy strong. The greatest tracks are Mirror song and the title track, both lenghy where the skills of the musicians are on the highest level, great prog metal in the finest moments. Why this band is so unknown to larger public is beyond me. A 3.5 stars album to me, good towards great, prog metal with splendid moments in places, from complex arrangements to more light moments makes from this second Black jester offer a winner release in this field. Give this band a try they worth it .

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 Welcome to the Moonlight Circus by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.20 | 13 ratings

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Welcome to the Moonlight Circus
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Black Jester was an Italian band that created an attractive, refined sort of melodic prog-metal seasoned with some neo-prog elements: with a Malsteem-inspired lead guitarist, a Moore-meets-Kelly educated keyboardist and a well-oiled rhythm duo that felt equally capable to drive a heavy tempo and set a looser pace, the guarantee for a stylish instrumental foundation was solid, and indeed, it was realized in this album "Welcome to the Moonlight Circus". Lead singer Alexis D'Este combined Di'Anno and Fish, with all the magic and limitations implied from both sources. Before they definitely elaborated a powerful kind of prog-metal in their third and last release "The Divine Comedy", Black Jester solidified the sound originated in their debut "Diary of a Blind Angel" and took it to its mature level for the "Moonlight Circus" album. One minor flaw in this album is the formulaic sensation that comes to mind once you're getting closer to the last track: certain tempos are used recurrently in three or four tracks, but all in all, the fact is that the album's material is nice, tastefully arranged and it bears an effective dynamics proper in a prog metal context. The opener 'The Labyrinth' states an effective air of solemnity in the form of a mid-tempo rocker: the way that BJ takes advantage of the not too frantic pace in order to create a somber mood reminds me a bit of classic Queensr’che. 'Mirrors Song' lasts 8 ¾ minutes, which gives the band plenty of room to elaborate a sequence of various motifs through diverse tempos and moods - this track pretty much obeys the standards of prog metal. 'The Wayfarer' is a power ballad that sounds really like a metalized Marillion more than like your regular prog metal ballad. When the cover of Le Orme's early classic 'Sguardo Verso il Cielo' in the guise of 'Glance Towards the Sky', the power is let loose in all its glory: the song's essence is easily recognizable, but it is clear that the band has made quite an effort at arranging new ideas into it, especially in the instrumental sections. 'Consciousness Hymn' is a pompous multi-keyboard instrumental, very much a-la Wakeman with a bit of UK-era Jobson; the sound of winds that conclude this piece serve simultaneously as the starting point for 'Symphonies of Immortal Winds', arguably the catchiest rocker in the album, and again, in the crossroads of prog metal and neo. The namesake track occupies the album's last 11+ minutes. It evolves around three distinct sung sections, which are in turn introduced by particular instrumental passages - the circus-based coda provides a convenient dramatic flair to the track's overall mood. Not totally excellent, but almost, mostly a very good prog metal album with a featured room for melodic expansions: "Welcome to the Moonlight Circus" is likely to impress all prog metal heads who long to remember how the genre developed through the 90s in European areas.

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 Welcome to the Moonlight Circus by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.20 | 13 ratings

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Welcome to the Moonlight Circus
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by Don Quito

4 stars Most underrated prog band and hard to get item. I would said this album is an excellent addition to a prog collection from a great neo-classical/art-rock band. The album is well structured with complex great melodies, passages and odd time signatures. I would said Paolo Viani is a virtuoso guitar player, still underrated. He does an excellent job with both acoustic and electric guitars on many tracks. Same thoughts go to Nico Odorico on the keyboard. While listening to the album, I noticed their is a lot of influence by Dream Theater (most on the guitars and keyboards).

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 The Divine Comedy by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.31 | 11 ratings

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The Divine Comedy
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by bbeasley

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!

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 The Divine Comedy by BLACK JESTER album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.31 | 11 ratings

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The Divine Comedy
Black Jester Progressive Metal

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

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.

SUMMARY:

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!!!

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