We are pleased to provide a stream of the first Jesters of Destiny release in 30 years, The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown, out April 7 from Ektro Records. Making new music wasn’t difficult for Jesters Bruce Duff and Ray Violet, though the founding masterminds admit they were perplexed by the emergence of new sounds after all this time.
The pair began the writing cycle for The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown independently and without a central goal in mind. When they realized that the songs contained the classic sense of Jesters-style eclecticism, they agreed to work on the third installment in their long and winding story.
When it emerged on the short-lived Metal Blade subsidiary Dimension Records in 1986 the outfit’s debut album Fun at the Funeral was notable for two things: Its twisted (but memorable) title as well as a fusion of sounds that were almost impossible to imagine in the twilight of the Reagan era. Though other metal bands voiced their appreciation of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sade and U2, the Jesters actually grabbed bits and pieces from a wide range of sounds, threw them in the cart and raced to the cash register.
These far-reaching tendencies (everything from Black Sabbath to Prince and the Chocolate Watch Band) have caused some to call Jesters of Destiny the first-ever alternative metal band. That term didn’t yet exist in 1986 or even a year later when the Jesters issued their covers collection, In a Nostalgic Mood or even during the sessions for what would have been the group’s third effort, No Laughing Matter. Instead, Duff and Violet preferred to call their band of rock Gleeful Doom, conceding that after all these years they might be siding less with glee than doom.
There are still songs about the devil, heavy riffs and that trademark sense of humor. Enter Bruce Duff who offers a Jesters’ eye view of 30 years of silence. “This is our third record,” he says, “we took 30 years off. It wasn’t like we were sitting around though. We’ve been working on these songs for a while and we think it connects with the same stream of consciousness we previously mined but without looking back to ‘80s sounds. We think it’s pretty current,” he offers. “It also required a lot of current.”
The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown is being issued on vinyl (the version you hear with this premiere), digitally on CD and via download/streaming. The vinyl and digital versions are different from each other. The CD has different mixes of two of the songs, and three songs not on the vinyl, including a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Two Minutes Silence.”
Once more, the record is out April 7th via Ektro Records and may be pre-ordered.