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Antonius Rex - Pig In The Witch CD (album) cover

PIG IN THE WITCH

Antonius Rex

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

1.00 | 1 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
1 stars Described by Antonio Bartoccetti himself as a "techno experiment", the 1992 release of a short 8 minute 12' single under the Antonius Rex name is a truly baffling and horrible lapse of judgment by the duo of Bartoccetti and Doris Norton, with help from their son Rexanthony. Although the previous album twelve years earlier from 1980 `Praeturnatural' contained slight dancier elements worked into the usual gloomy atmospheres and nightmarish horror soundscapes, `Pig In The Witch' is a repulsive commercial dance/club track with virtually nothing to associate it with any of their other works, not the vintage 70's albums nor the comeback releases much later in 2005. I'm all for an artist trying something different, but to put out a dance track with all the moronic and inane top 40 dance pop stylings and cliches that makes that sort of music such garbage is too much to defend.

Beginning with Bartoccetti's growled call of `Pig in the witch!' (which doesn't even make any sense), pounding commercial dance beats pound the listener over the top of a promising programmed electronic loop of a snorting pig, over and over. This short burst of potential is soon eradicated with a wailing sultry female dance chick urging the "Party people" to "Get this party started" - I KID YOU NOT. We then get a four minute `dance floor anthem' full of pumping techno bass and eventually moronic blasting tedious keyboard melodies, along the lines of the `Mortal Kombat' movie theme tune. There's very brief traces of Doris Norton's piano, but it's so incidental and unimportant that it makes no impression. The second side remix is virtually identical, with less female wailing but still plenty of calls for the "party people". God help us...hmmm, considering it's Rex, maybe not.

If the band had tried for a more industrial hard dance sound, perhaps like the early Nine Inch Nails releases, this would have allowed them to retain their dark horror with a more contemporary and modern sound. At least they would have kept even the barest shred of dignity and credibility.

At least the LP cover is decent - big blood red lettering and a photo/illustration of Bartoccetti in the centre that compliments the rest of their albums perfectly. At least it creates that illusion, until you play the damn record.

I read a comment elsewhere on the 'Net that called this random release `A short joy'. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we should be grateful that the Rex clan never attempted anything like this ever again. The later Rex albums `Switch On Dark' and `Per Viam' saw the band morph into a dark synth-goth group that successfully merged programmed electronic beats with their usual darkly classical moody soundscapes, so perhaps this failed experiment was necessary for Bartoccetti to figure out how to include these elements appropriately in their later comeback work.

The music of Antonius Rex is often meant to be frightening and depressing, but this single travesty completely changes the meaning of those words.

One star.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 1/5 |

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