CHRIS CAFFERY - The Jester's Court

August 21, 2018, 3 months ago

(Metalville)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal riff notes chris caffery

CHRIS CAFFERY - The Jester's Court

You know, there's a whole generation who only know Chris as a member of TSO and, sadly, nothing of his Savatage days. Regardless, here's his sixth solo effort, again handling both guitar and vocals (as well as some bass and keys), but also got a few "names" to make appearances, including Brian Tichy (WASP/ex-Whitesnake) on drums, Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, guitar) as well as some TSO friends. A very dynamic platter that varies tempo and sound, not always in the metallic realm either. See the countrified piano and acoustic pickin' on "Protect My Soul" or "Checkmate", a voiceover billed as a match between jester and king, then becomes a multi-voiced, nearly a capella, round leading into the title track. Anomalies, not the rule.

Right from the swirling guitar opener "Upon The Knee", Caffery announces his intentions. The guitarist / songwriter adopts a harder edge and more of an articulate growl on these eleven songs (‘70s vibe instrumental "Luna Major" rounds out the dozen, heavy on the keyboards). More of a staccato plod to "1989", while the clickety-clack of European metal (and bits of his former employer) inhabits "Inside My Heart". Speaking of the 'Tage, there's more than a hint running through the stilted rhythms of "Watch", which begins with the ubiquitous DJ/mic man at any gentlemen's club. "The Feeling Of A White Lie" begins with piano and pitch shifted electronics, then decides to question the relationship, be it interpersonal or chemical dependency. Symphonic laced love ballad, "Baby You And I" closes the disc, Chris turning over some of the vocals to a smoother voice. Been a while, but Chris finally seems to have created his best overall effort. Recommended!


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STRIKER - "Heart Of Lies" (Record Breaking)

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SOUNDSCAPE Premieres “Paradox”

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