What a nice surprise just before the end of 2021. MORBID JESTER’s first album, Until the Battle Is Won, originally released in 1994, is re-issued in CD and LP (the CD is released in January and the LP in August, 2022) and this is a very good chance to recall a great moment from the 90s heavy metal scene.
The band is from Germany, but did not follow the established German metal sound of that era, which means that their debut had nothing in common with BLIND GUARDIAN, HELLOWEEN or ACCEPT. On the contrary, MORBID JESTER followed the American heavy/epic metal sound and presented a great album full of epic melodies and 80s US heavy metal feeling.
The albums’ opener “In Co-Operation” is the only song with a speed/thrash metal vibe, but the rest of album is classic heavy metal. “Revenge”, “In the Night”, “No Name City”, “Another Life” and “Souldoctor” are five excellent tracks and among the best samples of 90s classic heavy metal that someone could listen to back then. Truly great songs with very catchy riffs and choruses where the hoarse vocals of Matthias Georg give an extra-ordinary epic feeling that is usually met is US metal bands.
The re-issue comes with two bonus demo-tracks which weren’t in the track-list of the original album. “Peace and Liberty” and “There’s no Place” are very good songs, less epic but more straight-forward heavy metal that the fans of old-school or 80s heavy metal will like a lot. Their sound is less clear than the sound of the album, since we are talking about demo recordings, but this actually adds to the whole classic feeling that the album and the band gave off back then – and this is the reason that the album became known to the fans of heavy metal in the first place.
MORBID JESTER’s debut has some songs that can instantly be characterized as classic, making the album a very good choice for those who miss the 80s heavy metal sound and mostly the US heavy/epic metal school of that era. Note that the band is still active, they have released three more albums, but the cult-status of Until the Battle Is Won still remains unchanged all these years.