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Jacula - Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.52 | 91 ratings

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3 stars Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus is one of the more bizarre albums in my collection and certainly the strangest sounding release I've heard from the RPI genre. Jacula is the brainchild of Italian musician and composer Antonio Bartoccetti, releasing two albums before moving onto Antonius Rex.

The album cover sets the tone; a red cowled figure in a graveyard lets you know you're unlikely to be in for a few laughs over the next forty minutes or so. In reality Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus sounds more like a soundtrack to a gothic horror film than a progressive rock album. The music is dominated by a powerful church organ played by Charles Tiring which sounds fantastic. Likely to be a stumbling block for many listeners are the dramatic vocals of the very un-Italian named Doris Norton which I found a bit heavy going myself. Apart from actually singing she also chants and uses spoken word. On Absolution the vocals are handled by what sounds like a medieval choir.

The church organ dominated moments conjure up images of Lon Chaney in classic silent 1920's film The Phantom Of The Opera but there are also more ethereal moments as Norton's spoken word vocal is underpinned by melancholic harpsichord and flute on Long Black Magic Night and gently strummed guitar, piano, flute and mournful soprano wailing (for want of a better word) on the floaty Jacula Valzer. In Old Castle (sic) is perhaps best of all being church organ and nothing else; very haunting.

There's nothing quite like this album in my collection to compare it too, the nearest I can get is a three cd set of Bach organ works played by german conductor/musician Karl Richter but the link is rather tenuous being primarily down to sound of the church organ.

This album certainly wont be to everyone's taste but personally I quite like it. Not one to be brought off the shelf too often but now and again when I'm in the mood for a bit of gothic horror this will fit the bill nicely. 3 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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