Formed in 2007, Italian quintet Joyless Jokers sit right on that line that separates the Swedish death metal scene and the American death metal scene. Their new album, Taste Of Victory, blurs that divider with a devastating blend of melody and clinical, sledgehammer heavy ferocity. Okay, the Italians may not reinvent the wheel with their sound but, for thirty-odd minutes, you’ll find yourself listening to a fine example of what happens when the two worlds collide.

Setting their stall out early on, the Italian outfit dish out some polished, crunchy-sounding death metal in the form of opening song “Rain”, a track which hits its mammoth groove early on and leaves you safe in the knowledge that you know what you’re going to be in for over the next thirty minutes. Relentless in its delivery, the Italians have thankfully ensured that, rather than your head feeling like it has been stamped on, you will be shaking those locks courtesty of some catchy and very familiar Euro-metal hooks.

It’s a theme that runs throughout the course of this album although, as you progress through the likes of “Scream” and “Point Of No Return”, the style, while brutal in the execution, starts to lean more and more towards the European melodic death metal scene. Becoming stronger as it progresses, as the album heads into the final straight with the brilliant “I’ll Watch You Die” and the title track, both songs see the Italians lock the Swedish and American death metal scenes together resulting in a glorious, balls-out metal finale.

While it was abundantly clear from the outset that Taste Of Victory was never going to be something that we’d be surprised by, the quality of the meaty, chunky riffs, massive hooks and steamroller heavy death metal displayed on these eight tracks is up there with every other melodic death metal band doing a similar thing. Summing up then, all the elements are there, the execution is spot on and, really, I can’t find any reason not to recommend this album to any death metal fan.

Track Listing:

01. Rain
02. Murder In Me
03. Scream
04. Point Of No Return
05. Whispers To Shadows
06. Hopeless
07. I’ll Watch You Die
08. Taste Of Victory

Run Time: 33:06
Release Date: January 23, 2012

Check out the song “Taste of Victory”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.