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

IN CAUDA SEMPER STAT VENENUM

Jacula

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.26 | 52 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars With an album title that translates from Latin to mean "Poison Is Always At The End", `In Cauda..." conjures up images of abandoned medieval castles, gloomy dungeons, dark forests at night, a tormenting presence lurking nearby. It lures you into a dark dream state, and can completely alter your mood. You find your head nodding along to the plodding and commanding music, completely lost in a trance.

The predominantly instrumental album is almost totally driven by the Charles Tiring's overwhelming church organ, and it's absolutely beautiful. Good to hear the real thing, and not some clinical cold emulation or keyboard imitation you might get these days. Long meandering organ dirges, often accompanied by Jacula main creative force Anthony Bartoccetti's dirty heavy-rock guitar riffs, creating a dominating and oppressive sound. His searing electric guitar solos push you even further down. Black Sabbath and early Pink Floyd might be some slight reference points. However, the music is in no way heavy metal, but it might be seen as being quite ahead of it's time and an influence on that particular genre.

Some may find the album hugely tedious and monotonous, but I find the repetitive nature of much of the music to be one of it's greatest strengths. It draws you in, hammers down on you, and can often create a feeling of being lost, trapped in a nightmare, or deep in personal reflection.

My personal highlight of the album is the somber piano driven instrumental `Initatio', with evocative sighed wordless vocals by Fiamma Dallo Spirito. She has a weary, tormented and sorrowful tone to her voice. The track is equally ambient, subtle and surprisingly low key, it might even be one of my favourite instrumental pieces in my entire prog collection. It brings me to tears.

Although the album has a strong dark occult influence, I don't feel you need to be Satanic weirdo to appreciate it's haunting beauty! I follow a lot of Christian beliefs in my life, and I don't find this album offensive in the least. I truly appreciate being immersed in such an evocative personal and emotional musical experience. The old cliché of beauty found in despair and darkness certainly holds true for this album.

The cover of the album perfectly complements the murky tone of the album. Almost as unnerving as the cover of the first Black Sabbath album, It's quite a haunting and horror filled image, well worth particularly grabbing the vinyl reissue edition to really let it compliment the music.

I feel a little intimidated posting this review, when others such as Finnforest have already provided a definitive and more detailed review. I don't know if my simple comments can really offer much more that hasn't already been said. But I felt compelled to do so anyway, due to how much this album has meant to me over the years, how I'm constantly drawn back to it, and how I love finding new hidden secrets within it with each new listen.

Hypnotic, maddening, suffocating, emotional....the debut album of Jacula.

Really four and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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