qJewel - La Morta - Metal Temple Magazine

La Morta

Jewel

OK, Holland (or the Netherlands) have not offered the maximum 'amount' of bands in the […]
By Grigoris Chronis
March 11, 2007
Jewel - La Morta album cover

OK, Holland (or the Netherlands) have not offered the maximum 'amount' of bands in the worldwide Metal scene. Still, many of the country's acts succeeded in having their names heard many miles beyonde the native borders. Genre-free, most of the Dutch steel has always been of good 'species'...something that does not seem to apply to the JEWEL case.
Once upon a (Metal) time there was a Dutch band called SWORD. What a great name this was for a Metal act (by the way, who can recall the legendary Canadian fellow classic metallers by the same name?) this was! Anno 1986, SWORD decides - after a mere 7 single release - to re-baptise the band under the JEWEL moniker. By 'updating' the vocalist position, the quartet aimed at countless regional gigs (one of them caught on cassette tape for national circulation) prior to the release of their self-financed La Morta EP in 1988. Whoever can recall some famous Dutch band by the time will stop counting at one hand, so JEWEL had equal opportunities in eating some good slice.
(Jumping ahead, future actions for the band resulted in the 1990 release of a live album, a set of gigs in Russia, the 1991's Revolution in Heaven CD release and the Pugnandi Causa VHS release prior to the band's split-up. The dream was over...)
Now - in terms of music - JEWEL were clever enough to combine Speed Metal (of that era) themes with notable neoclassical premises. No, not in the Y. MALMSTEEN etc way. JEWEL's (and SWORD's, in a lesser climax) music was raw and primitive enough to let any 'velvet playing' demonstration let loose in the foreground. The drumming is non-stop, the bass playing is furious, the guitar riffs are razor-ous and the vocals are sharp as a blade. But - in terms of song themes and interludes - the band focuses on displaying some 'classical' elements, something that goes on really well...for that era, only. The sound is so 'untreated' that proves to be a drawback for such a mix, even if - in the pure Metal field - La Morta will please all old-school 'in-your-face' 80s Euro Metal  maniacs.
Added to this good Rusty Cage Records re-release is a set of 6-7 takes from the SWORD days. The sound is more ruthless here - but the band itself is 'more of Metal', too - and the NWOBHM influence is more than obvious (especially anything that has to do with the RAVEN maniacs). Thus, I enjoyed more the bonus 'goodies' than the EP itself...

5 / 10

Mediocre

"La Morta" Track-listing:

Blacque Moon
La Morta
Mystery Of Fate
Kings Of Tomorrow
Sympathy For The Devil (Live)
Don't Let Them Take Control
Lost In A Memory
Mirage
I Dream On
I've Been Trying
Excalibur

Jewel Lineup:

Rick Ambrose - Vocals
Henky Backer - Guitars
Wim Smits - Bass
Henk Mulder - Drums

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