JESTER'S TEARS - Perception
Genre: Symphonic Prog / Powermetal
Release Date: 31 October 2020
Sometimes, the good things are very close, you just have to take a look around and pick them up. In case of JESTER’S TEARS, it feels a bit special for me, as while my musical journey led me all around the world, a hint of a friend was needed to discover these proggers next doors... And I’m glad he brought them to my attention. JESTER’S TEARS are heading from Munich, have been around since the 90s, and released two highly acclaimed albums back then (“Reflections” in 1996, and “Illusion” in 2001). Now, the quintet is back after nearly 20 years with their third effort “Perception”.
The chosen title is the thematical red line through the album and deserves a closer look: Every development of a personality starts with a perception. From time to time, each of us comes to a crossroad in its life, and sometimes it’s just a single perception that turns everything upside down. Which way we go after this point is very individual, depends on the person and situation. Some people grow on their experiences, others become psychological wrecks. The idea behind all songs on this album is to describe some of these moments, in order to create a message for mutual understanding and respect, which can be achieved through interest in the history of the other person.
The album starts slowly with a beautiful intro, then the band kicks in with the opening track “Harmony”, and gives a good first impression of what JESTER’S TEARS has to offer: passionate prog / powermetal with symphonic elements, great melodies, and varied songwriting. “The Only Way” continues in the same high tempo, with an amazing instrumental solo part in the second half.
Over the next songs, they develop their music with twists and turns, but always in a great flow. You’ll find slower, emotional tracks on “Perception, like “I can’t Deny” or “Dreams Aside”, that live by the strong vocals and interesting musical changes, but also epic (“Who Decides”) or groovy moments (“Sorry”). “Scream into Darkness” is one of my favorites because of its high dynamic, and the solos of all musicians here will conquer some proggy hearts for sure.
The album closes with another highlight: “Critical Thinking”. The song evolves in an interesting way, with changes in tempo and rhythmic. Once more, they bring in different musical elements, the spoken words in the middle part build up a special tension.
Alltogether, JESTER’S TEARS offer a strong album for your listening pleasure, that mixes elements of symphonic-, power- and progmetal. You’ll find epic orchestral moments as well as groovy or thoughtful. Amazing instrumental solo parts alternate with melodic episodes, the expressive vocals fit very well to the messages of the songs. The music has a great flow, stays varied and interesting. The production is good, gives each musician enough space to bring in their high technical skills. “Perception” is an album worth to explore and let it grow, recommended for the prog-lovers here. Give it a spin!
Dimitrios Tsiktes - Vocals
Tobias Dorner - Guitars
Bernd Huber - Bass
Philipp Schultheiss - Keyboards
Mike Sauter - Drums
1. The Wish
3. The Only Way
4. I Can't Deny
5. Dreams Aside
6. Scream into Darkness
7. Thorns in his Mind
9. Who Decides
10. Critical Thinking
Perception - 2020
Illusion - 2001 (Headless Records)
Reflections - 1996 (Rockwerk Records)