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Jacula Pre Viam album cover
3.35 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jacula Is Back (7:08)
2. Pre Viam (9:25)
3. Blacklady Kiss (6:15)
4. Deviens Folle (5:58)
5. In Rain (5:53)
6. Godwitch (6:37)
7. Possaction (5:38)
8. Abandoned (Lp only) (5:01)

Total time 51:35

8. 18 Veritates (CD only video) (4:41)

Line-up / Musicians

- Antonio Bartoccetti / guitar, bass, vocals
- Anthony Bartoccetti / piano, church organ, Hammond, synths (Mini-moog, Korg Trinity, Yamaha DX-7 Centennial, EMS Vcs3, Roland Jupiter 6, Arp 2600), Apple Mac Pro, programming
- Florian Gormann / drums

- Blacklady / vocals (3,5,6)
- Katia Stazio / vocals (2,4)

Releases information

LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 135 (2011, Italy) With a bonus track

CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 135-2 (2011, Italy) With a bonus video

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JACULA Pre Viam ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JACULA Pre Viam reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It came as somewhat of a surprise to see that Jacula would release a new album in 2011. Mainman Antonio Bartoccetti has been active in music since Jacula ended (though it has to be said somewhat sporadically) with their second album Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus way back in 1972, after which he formed Antonius Rex along with Doris Norton who's startling vocal work was a key element of Jacula's sound. Why Bartoccetti should now choose to resurrect Jacula I couldn't say, particularly in view of the fact that Antonius Rex's last album had a very similar title, Per Viam as opposed to Pre Viam. Perhaps he felt the strong vampire imagery was more suited to the Jacula name. Whatever, it doesn't matter as Pre Viam is a brilliant piece of work.

As you'd expect from Bartoccetti the music is suitably dark and gothic. The feel of the original Jacula is present though with an updated sound. Long gone and missed is the wonderful church organ work of Charles Tiring. His place is taken by Bartoccetti and Norton's son Rex Anthony who is responsible for all keyboard work, Norton also being absent. Piano and orchestrated synth sounds largely, though not entirely take the place of organ work but still manage to retain a dark vibe as well as often being hauntingly beautiful. A couple of pieces include drums and Bartoccetti's electric guitar work, the nearest they get to a standard rock band format. Other than that the music is fairly low key going for an atmospheric approach where acoustic guitar sits alongside Anthony's keyboard work and is often content to lock into a repetitive yet effective pattern. The absence of Norton robs Jacula of their vocalist whose place is taken by spoken word vocal contributed by someone who goes by the name of Blacklady, though these only make an occasional appearance.

Whilst Pre Viam won't be to everybody's taste, fans of Bartoccetti will lap it up and despite missing the church organ I'd probably consider this my favourite Jacula album overall.

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Blood and fire

The key to this album is perhaps forgetting about the past. I know that sounds kind of harsh, but if you are anything like me and absolutely adore the first two trailblazing albums of this band, then you will undoubtedly find yourself in quite the pickle just approaching this record with a clean slate. The thing is, those two albums were unlike anything else from around that time. They foresaw the whole doom genre by at least a decade, as well as cemented Jacula's status as something of a mystical vampire-like act that fed off burning absinthe and the blood of unborn babies.

If you can approach Pre Viam on its own terms, just like one preferably should any other album, a wonderful little album opens up in front of you, and even if the Jacula of old with the gargantuan church organs are a thing of the past - you'll almost certainly pick up those inherent dark traits of mastermind Antonio Bartoccetti.

This is essentially melody driven RPI with all the charisma and sweetness the "genre" can muster teamed up with the dark menacing presence of that special little something that Jacula always had. They are Gothic unlike any other band I've come across, and if you are sitting out there thinking about Type O Negative and Bloody Kisses, warm red wine and raw lamb chops, then imagine this type of thing transcribed onto an Italian symphonic setting. The metal side of the aforementioned band is also quite present on Pre Viam, and even if I am not among the biggest fans of slapping metal on old recipes - announcing them to be brand new and everything, I must admit that it works pretty well within the confines of this album. There is just something about the combination of hard hitting guitar riffs and the softness of the Italian sprinklings found throughout this album that coalesce rather beautifully together. That and the impending raptures of organ and synthesizer breaks that on occasion break through the thickets, are very much proof of just how well harmonized these different ingredients are mixed together. Come to think of it, there are indeed some organ sections on here that reflect the old Jacula heritage, and what this does is, basically, to give you a small but highly efficient peep back into the past, and as short-lived as these may appear, they do add a little je n'est c'est quoi to the proceedings here.

For the most part Pre Viam is instrumental, but all of a suddenly you get these high soaring sections of serene female vocalizations that just grip a hold of you and transport you elsewhere. They are cold and beautiful like giant blue icebergs, and whether you choose to look at the art work, or just recognize the whole feel of the thing, -that chilling and clean structure in many ways convey this record's Gothic essence right down to the t.

If you're into vampires, old abandoned castles with motes, sea-snakes and ancient myths surrounding the place - then I urge you to hunt this album down. It is indeed surrounded in what feels like an ancient horrific cobweb, which is as untouchable and seductive as the early morning mist. 3.5 stars.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well, I have to confess that Jacula's music is not the easiest to listen and dig, nor the easiest to review, but I will do my best. As you may know, this is a project created by Antonio Bartoccetti in the latter sixties, which was followed by Antonius Rex, a new moniker though the music would be the same; now, in 2011 the name of Jacula returned in order to release "Pre Viam" through Black Widow Records, surprising us because we thought that project was already dead.

This album follows the same path of its predecessors, sharing the darkest and gothic side of progressive rock. It contains seven compositions that together make a total time of 47 minutes. The first track is "Jacula is Back", whose first minute give us an introduction to its dark, funeral gothic world. Later the organ enters and along with those strange noises, produces some kind of fear, tension. Before the third minute a delicate guitar appears contrasting with the previous sound, here, it sounds softer and even gently but it only lasts for a minute, because later the music explodes, keyboards and drums join and the sound is heavier, sorrowful and rockier. And the song continues with that rockier mood, including guitar riffs and metal-like drums.

"Pre Viam" is the longest composition of the album, reaching almost ten minutes. It starts softly with acoustic guitar, then keyboards put some nuances little by little, sharing an evident sense of uncertainty and nervousness. There is a female voice, which is sensual but scary at the same time; the synth work is wonderful because it produces almost everything, from the atmospheric tranquility to the fragile tension. The charm in Jacula's music lies in the imagination, I mean, each and every of the songs are a perfect motif to create stories, put words, sounds, images in our heads and create a parallel world.

"Blacklady Kiss" is a slow-tempo track in which as you can imagine, will listen to the voice of precisely, the Blcklady, accompanied by soft but cardiac piano notes and synth atmospheres. The second part of the song is completely different, the structure of the first one vanishes and now the rock element is present and evident with the guitar riff. "Deviens Folle" starts again with acoustic guitar, later beautiful, yet sorrowful piano notes accompany it, along with the obligatory keyboard background. Later it changes a little bit, creating once again an ambient of tension. This song is great, at first I thought it was weaker than the previous ones, but I was wrong, one has to give it a chance, listen carefully to it and then will understand what is it about.

"In Rain" shows a soft first minute with a peaceful keyboard sound, later the organ enters along with some church male vocals, it continues like this for some minutes until the song morphs once again into a rockier track, offering that mandatory guitar riff. "Godwithch" has a rain sound as background all the time, while a repetitive but addictive piano is playing and increasing its intensity little by little.

The last track of the album is "Possaction", in which we will find the funeral drums, the scary organ and sorrowful and painful voices as background, adding even more fear, accelerating our heartbeats. A great track if you are willing to have nightmares, so go and listen to it with the lights off, nice headphones and you will surely be moved by its scary sound. What a song to finish this album!

Nice comeback from Jacula, a solid album, though I stay with "In Cauda Semper?". Anyway, Pre Viam deserves 3.5 stars.

Enjoy it!

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have to admit that I find what Antonio Bartoccetti is doing in Jacula and Antonius Rex quite difficult to describe and then translate into reviews. I got this album as a promo CD long time ago and that means I have to review it. I should have reviewed this album many months ago, in fact. Thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#581131) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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