Jewel - La Morta! review

Band: Jewel
Album: La Morta!
Release date: 2006

01. Blacque Moon
02. La Morta
03. Mystery Of Fate
04. Kings Of Tomorrow
05. Sympathy For The Devil [live] [bonus]
06. Don't Let Them Take Control [bonus]
07. Lost In A Memory [bonus]
08. Mirage [bonus]
09. I Dream On [bonus]
10. I've Been Trying [bonus]
11. Excalibur [bonus]

The Dutch Metal Cult Series is a commendable initiative by Dutch label Rusty Cage Records. Rusty Cage have taken it upon them to re-release classic Dutch metal from the Eighties and adding bonus tracks to the original releases and re-mastering the material. I, for one, could do with re-releases of such little gems as Jewel's La Morta and Defender's City Ad Mortis and the underrated Lunatics Without Skateboards Inc.'s Welcome To The Asylum amongst others. Well, luckily those three are among the first five releases, the other two being Mysto Dysto, and Hammerhawk. All five can be ordered together for 45 euro and separately for 10 euro each.

Jewel - La Morta!
Jewel started off as Sword in 1982 and released one single (I've Been Trying/Excalibur), which is included here. Of the other Sword tracks Don't Let Them Take Control was re-arranged and resurfaced on La Morta! as La Morta and a re-arranged Lost In A Memory would eventually see the light of day as Blacque Moon.
In 1986 Sword changed its name to Jewel due to the fact there are already some other bands around called Sword. The most famous, eventually, being the Canadian Sword (of Metalized and Sweet Dreams fame).
Jewel soon became a household name in the Dutch metal scene due to their incessant touring and lively concerts (Rick Ambrose and Henky Backer being the eye-catchers here). Their original sound is characterised by Henky Backer's guitar playing, which is heavily influenced by classical music without going off into Yngwie Malmsteen territory.
All the recordings on this cd have been re-mastered and it must be said that, just as in Defender's case, it all sounds a bit clearer and with more punch now.
Dutch Metal Cult Series' La Morta! is a great historical document due to the inclusion of the Sword material (the single was nigh to impossible to get hold of even in The Netherlands in 1983) and once again shows what a shame it was that Jewel was never picked up by a record label and released everything on their own Classic Trash Label. Even back then record companies were afraid to sign original bands. Well, it seems that in 20 odd years nothing has changed.
Hopefully Rusty Cage Records will sometime get around to re-releasing Jewel's Nou Al Moe? Live album, which was a perfect document of what they stood for live, and their studio full-length Revolution In Heaven.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse | 22.11.2006


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