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Antonius Rex - Switch On Dark CD (album) cover

SWITCH ON DARK

Antonius Rex

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.64 | 20 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Over thirty years separate their debut "Neque?" and this "Switch On The Dark". Needless to say that the band didn't reject their dark, bizarre, almost satanic image through the years.

Fortunately, after a short and insipid intro during which I was thinking: "here they are again", "Perpetual Adoration" provides a remarkable and bombastic feel featuring excellent keyboards. Almost symphonic! The band has not forgotten their sources of course. These are mainly present during each start of each piece available on "Switch On The Dark".

The problem is that they sound more funny than scary ("Damnatus In Aeternum"). But I guess that it is only a feeling you can get while you have listened to several of their albums. To try and sound scary and demoniac at all costs throughout the years leads me think that this band was actually only a caricature of themselves.

Even if I listen to this album at a late moment of the day (or early moment of the night if you prefer, namely 1 AM), I'm sure I won't have any nightmare. It all sounds too artificial, prepared, organized.

Still, the long title track is an excellent doom and very dark song. But the duo (even if helped by some guests) can't really compete with a full band IMO. In terms of song writing, their input is much too related to the ideas of one man with the inevitable repetition and lack of creativity that it implies.

Here and there some guitar breaks coming out of nowhere do break the overall keyboards feel; just as some aerial and excellent vocals enter the scene at half time. In all, this is a very good piece of music, which offers enough diversity to ensure that the listener will be in touch for the whole lasting (just under twenty minutes). I quite prefer the band while they are playing "real" music and avoid the desperate descent into gloomy and inacessible spheres.

As far as I'm concerned, "Switch On Dark" is their best song ever written. Heavy, symphonic, dark: brilliant and, yes: sounding satanic at times as well (I guess that it is difficult to change from orientation after such a long career).

The gloomy atmosphere awaits you at every corner of this work. It could have been a soundtrack for a scary movie for sure. "Fairy Vision" certainly belongs to such universe. But too much darkness kills the objective IMHHO. Nonetheless, this long vision (almost fifteen minutes) displays enough dark matters (no reference to "IQ" here), heavy parts, dissipated flavours to raise your interest. Another highlight.

This album is their best so far (but I wasn't quite laudatory about their earlier releases). Still, the four star rating is a bit out of reach. Seven out of ten probably.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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