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Jacula - In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.25 | 66 ratings

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3 stars Another under appreciated gem here that deserves the Big Mick treatment.

For those who want a snapshot description of the music... look at the album cover... look closely at it and conjure up thoughts of music that might fit it. Music that conjures up up images of rotting decaying flesh, souls not at rest but tormented by things that can only be dreamed of the the most vivid of nightmares. A cover so descriptive of the music... they used the same cover on their second album 3 years later.

Jacula was formed in Milan in 1968 by occultist Antonio Bartoccetti. After finding his creative partner in Doris Norton, a partnership that would last through the next decade, they recorded a landmark album in London in 1969. The album had a limited pressing of some 300 albums, and for many years was forgotten. In fact many texts list their second album as their debut album. The otherwise excellent 'Return of Italian Pop' book evens says the group was founded in 1972. This group though predates many groups of Italian Progressive music if not in formation.. but the crafting of what we now know as Progressive Rock.

The music is fascinatingly dark, moody, atmospheric brand of music that conjures up Sabbath like gloom and doom without crunchingly heavy riffs but through the use of the organ, the church organ in particular. Also absent are silly childish lyrics that some have tried to use to convey horror or darkness. There are vocals here.. spoken word in places.. chantlike in others..that are interspersed through the songs. Never the focus of the songs.. being a narrative if you will. Bartoccetti is often regarded as one of the finest guitarist to come from this period of Italian rock. This is not his album to shine but what strikes me about his playing on this in ...lets check the year here... a tone that is downright metallic. Very different from what others were doing in that year. Commonplace a decade later.. but to these ears at least... very novel for the last year of the 1960's. His guitar is mainly texture on this album though and it leaves plenty of space for keyboardist Charles Tiring. The album is an organ lovers FANTASY. Along with Battiato's 'Melle le Gladiator' this is the album I point out to people who want to hear Church Organ in prog.. not a solo or a dash of it. but driving a whole album.

Anyhow. Another short album by today's standards, but we don't mind do we. I'll take 38 minutes of high-quality music over 80 filled with filler anyday. An album that non-Italian speakers will have no problems dealing with. When a man says he wants to rip your guts out and savor it with a nice Brunello di Montalcino, you really don't need a translation do you. For me 4 stars, an album that I reach for when I am looking to match a particular mood ..or wish to set a particular mood. For the site.. 3 stars. A good addition to any prog collection. Obviously not a varied album and one that may only apply to certain prog fans.. and even then.. at certain times and moods. But when the time comes for wanting something dark and atmospheric.. there are few albums better.

Michael aka Micky

micky | 3/5 |


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