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Jacula Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus album cover
3.51 | 93 ratings | 10 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. U.F.D.E.M. (8:50)
2. Praesentia Domini (10:50)
3. Jacula Valzer (5:00)
4. Long Black Magic Night (6:21)
5. In Old Castle (9:36)

Total time 40:37

Bonus track on 2007 reissue:
6. Absolution (8.28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Vittoria Lo Turco / lead vocals, violin, flute
- Antonio Bartoccetti / guitars, bass, vocals, producer
- Charles Tiring / church organ, harpsichord, Moog, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Travers

LP The Rogers ‎- TRS 010001 (1972, Italy)
LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD108 (2007, Italy) With a bonus track recorded in 1981, previously unreleased

CD Mellow Records ‎- MMP-136 (1992, Italy)
CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD108-2 (2007, Italy) With a bonus track recorded in 1981, previously unreleased, plus a video

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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JACULA Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus ratings distribution

(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

JACULA Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
4 stars This is one weird album indeed. Even more weird when you consider some of the musicians involved. For example you got keyboardist Charles Tiring. He was not your typical twenty-something like you usually expect in prog rock bands. At the time this album came out, he was said to be 68 years old (not likely alive these days) and married to an 18 year old, which meant that didn't exactly endear himself to the rest of the band (he left after this album and they became Antonius REX). The rest of the musicians included Anthony Bartoccetti on guitar, bass and vocals, Doris Norton (known as Fiamma Dello Spirito on this album) on vocals, violin, and flute, and someone named Franz Parthenzy conducting the medium.

What's also weirder was they were exploring the occult, performing under séances. While other prog rock bands simply used keyboards like the Hammond organ, Charles Tiring went totally hog wild on the pipe organ, although he used the occasional Moog for sound effects, and harpsichord and piano on occasions. There are times that it's really difficult to call this prog rock, because it's not rock, and pipe organ is sometimes the only instrument used.

The album opens up with "U.F.D.E.M." which is often regarded as the album's high point. Here you get pipe organ and harpsichord, with Doris Norton singing in Italian, sounding a bit like an Italian Anna Meek (of CATAPILLA fame). "Praesentia Domini" is largely pipe organ, but near the end comes some chanting in Latin, obviously a séance. "Jacula Valzer" is a nice, pleasant jazzy piece with that atmosphere of a bad early '70s horror film. This one features some nice flute and piano. "Long Black Magic Night" is another worth mentioning. Violin and flute dominates, and Doris Norton chants in English, and comes to demonstrate just how lousy her English is. This song even more just screams "bad horror film". Listening to this, you can just imagine the cobwebs, vampires, and a pipe organ. The last piece, "In Old Castle" is the most pointless piece, as it's all pipe organ and nothing else.

"Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus" is a truly like or hate it album. Some just call this a bunch of Satanic nonsense, others call it spooky and Gothic. I can be certain GOBLIN had heard their share of JACULA and Antonius REX in their lifetime, especially since GOBLIN was best known for scoring gory Dario Argento horror flicks (luckily GOBLIN went for a more conventional prog/fusion direction, with normal instrumentations, even though they sometimes used pipe organ). The original LP of "Tardo..." isn't easy to come buy, but Mellow Records reissued it on CD, if you can find a copy for cheap, get it, for a curiosity, but I bet you that you'll probably be waiting for Halloween to play this. Weird album indeed that might scare a few people away.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Jacula ends with a haunting masterpiece

Not just an album. Out of this world! Jacula (later Antonius Rex) represent one of the most original and underappreciated groups of the '70s Italian scene and that's saying something. Controversial but above the fray. Beautiful but full of nightmarish impressions. A road map to certain points in the dark world brought to you by an artist who graduated from Milan Catholic University with a degree in Philosophy, and the green-eyed Goddess who would become his wife, his writing partner, vocalist, violinist, flautist, and keyboardist. The team was joined by the 68 year old eccentric who brought the traditional church organ to this piece of music history. In reading about the band I've seen many people belittle them for mostly unfair reasons, as both this and their previous work are spectacular. In fact an album like this reminds me just how positively boring many of today's most popular bands are to me. This on the other hand was music for the ages recorded for free spirits by those who would not compromise. It was, and is, a perfect moment that could just as easily have been lost to history. But those who know better would not let it perish.

"a highly experimental collective centered on Antonio Bartoccetti and vocalist/violinist Doris Norton, who uniquely pushed the boundaries between progressive, gothic and classical music. Their compositions were elaborate and dark, written by Bartoccetti, one of the Italian prog rock scene's most charismatic figures, and drenched in the blood red, funeral church organ of collaborator Charles Tiring. .their second album has an uncomfortable, spectral atmosphere. [Record Collector's Ian Abrahams]

It is written that after the first Jacula album in 1969 (see my review for some background on this band) Antonio Bartoccetti and Doris Norton took some time off. They traveled around Europe visiting old castles and returned to the Marches area where they found one to live in. It is at this location in 1971 where they began composition of this second and final Jacula album and again they note the use of séance in their writing. In '72, now into the classic years of the Italian prog scene, they rejoined organist Charles Tiring and medium Franz Parthenzy in Milan's Angelium studio to record their new work. It was nearby at the Teatro delt'Arte where they also performed their only concert under the Jacula moniker, where a small crowd was treated to a show described as "magic" and "hypnotic." Material was performed from both of their albums. This second album is arguably stronger than their fine debut, perhaps more daring, and shows improvement in their skills of performing and arranging. It was a musical discovery for me that I simply have to share in some detail.

The lone five tracks (plus the bonus) that make up this dark, atmospheric feast are more focused than those on the debut. There is more urgency and greater dynamic variation. Rather than being on a path all their own as in '69 Jacula were now surrounded by the peak of the RPI movement. With all of the influences and activity around them they could have morphed into something more commercial; instead they doubled down and produced an album of unbelievable sincerity. They even dropped much of the Sabbath like electric guitar from the first album, probably because Bartoccetti didn't want the comparisons. He has said that he enjoyed Iomni's guitar style but that it was squandered a bit on the trappings of a rock band's repetitions. Jacula fiercely stays away from any commercial intention here with an avant-garde mixture of classical and progressive styles. Side one is Jacula at their most intense in places: Charles Tiring again glows with majesty on the church organ, harpsichord, and Moog. In UFDEM he plays more intently than on the first album which could sometimes be laid back in vibe, no such feeling here. Bartoccetti adds in some wicked bass slides here, but the main attraction is Norton's fierce vocals, she just pours herself into it. All of Norton's vocals go beyond "singing" which often is mostly entertainment; she truly communicates.she channels emotions and images. "Praesentia Domini" begins with a gorgeous mix of synth and organ but then turns into one of Jacula's most sinister tracks. Norton and Bartoccetti begin a spoken word chant that sounds like a ritual summoning or perhaps a séance but the effect is really creepy for those with tender ears. The chanting is Latin and just increases with intensity joined by disturbing Moog (?) effects before the organ comes back for a dramatic ending. There first two tracks may be difficult for newbies but hopefully listeners will endure to side two which is more forgiving-just remember, give yourself time to get used to their sound, it grows on you after a spell.

Side two is where "Tardo" really becomes a solidified classic and betters the first album a bit. In "Jacula Valzer" Doris Norton's wistful, seductive, other-worldly vocalizations float atop a strange mixture of flute, guitar, and effects. The melody here is just mind bogglingly feels like childhood innocence being lost to some kind of madness or feels like danger disguised as a siren song. It is a break in the heaviness of the music around it and yet it is no break at all, but rather an illusion of levity. From this ethereal foreboding it just gets more and more delicious. "Absolution" begins with these amazing male choired vocals that instantly brought to mind what Therion would do decades later. (This is a bonus track on the newer BWR editions that is placed in the middle of side 2, but it's such a great track it actually strengthens the album to a significant degree-don't buy an edition that doesn't have the bonus track.) The beautifully haunting vocals are soon joined by the pipe organ and a peaceful guitar chord sequence. The effect of these gothic vocals and repeating guitar pattern are hypnotic, mesmerizing. Near the end is one of Bartoccetti's wailing SG solos, used much more sparingly here and thus more effective. As if that one wasn't awesome enough "Long Black Magic Night" is the rose on this black marble alter that is side two. Just fantastic. It begins with a flute solo that says so much in the melody.again, it feels to me like a soul wandering across a foggy moor, or like a person coming to terms with an ending (or beginning?) Haunting flute leads to Doris's vocal in English this time, over her own violin that sounds amazingly like someone crying. Her accent is heavy as some have noted with derision but the vocal is absolutely effective anyway. It's like she's reciting something in a sad, detached way that sort of lulls you to trance. She closes with the prophetic sentence "the long, black, magic night has begun." After a short pause she repeats the sentence a second time but you hear this brilliant twist on emphasis. The first time the sentence is delivered in a sort of monotone recitation style as the whole track was. But after the pause when she repeats the sentence, you hear a chilling excitement rise in her voice like a vampire whose spotted blood. Very subtle, but you can hear her go from a narrative to character mode, seemingly thrilled that the "magic night" has begun. You can practically see her face changing from solemn to mischievous grin as her words are followed by a loud ominous low end reverberating note. Closing the album is the beautiful "In Old Castle" which is another long Charles Tiring organ work that allows the listener to decompress a bit after the unease of the previous three tracks. This one sounds a bit more like the debut album-who'd have thought I'd ever fall in love with the sound of an old man playing church organ unaccompanied. So it's not jaw dropping needn't be. On the whole, a stunning piece of work.

This second and last Jacula release is a masterpiece in my world, if there ever was. When you read people at other sites trying to write this off as "bad horror movie music" you can be assured they haven't done their homework. Even in the height of the Italian classic period, prog's finest moment to some of us, this album stands out not as typical symphonic progressive but as a true original of dark experimental sound. One blogger wrote that this album "achieved its mood without hokiness or even a hint of self-mockery." Absolutely right. Jacula handled their material with a deep respect, something than Antonius Rex did not always do in my opinion. In a transcript from a 2003 Belgium radio show, the unnamed host proclaims "This is my favourite album of all time (to be followed by Saint Just and Comus.) If I could only save three recordings from this world it would be those three. I read some reviews of it. And I have to say, some songs are not understood at all." Amen to that. This album to me is right up there with "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" as one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated classics ever released. It is for open-minded and adventurous listeners who long for something truly different from the sea of predictable prog-rock with the professional eye-candy album covers. To say it made an impression on me would be an understatement. As mentioned in my review of their first album just be prepared to truly listen, as you would at a chamber music recital. Jacula is not rock and roll.

Be sure to look for the 35th anniversary edition which is a Japanese mini-lp sleeve that comes with a cool booklet, an awesome bonus track, and a bonus video directed by Doris Norton. Jacula may well be a love/hate experience for many listeners but for those who dig it, oh man..

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I'm not very educated on field of Italian progressive rock scene of the seventies, though that appears as interesting area of music. Sadly have to admit that this record did not please me at all, and I have to explore the scene later with some other records. I'm sorry if I disturb anybody with my opposing feelings and uneducated approach to this expression of art, but this record really did not turn me on. Actually listening it trough was an irritating experience.

The opening track sounds like some kind of nightmare (ambiguously), with organs playing wildly something, and a deep pitched lady is singing over this. The second song continues the style, starting in a more tender, psalm resembling hymn, and is slightly more pleasant to listen to, until some kind of reciting begins (ritual music?). Following song starts with a tender acoustic guitar / piano / flute pastoral with some ghost singing distantly behind, and liked this one. Later more surreal keyboard texture adds tension to the song. Fourth song continues the acoustic style in minor key and pretty flute melody. Some descriptive narration follows, and builds up the major content of this song. The last song is a solo church organ song, no narrations or other elements included, and it's a decent composition, though I'm not big fan of this kind of classical music.

Though I did not like this record, it's wise to verify other opinions given to this album, maybe you would like it though I did not. If you like music influenced very strongly by classical music, more exactly a reflection of Christian church music related to occultism in popular culture horror genres, try listening this. The acoustic side of the record pleased me, but I did not like the church organ stuff nor the descriptions, so an integral aspect of the album was lost from me. A blind purchase before verification is not my personal suggestion.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This second album from "Jacula" capitalizes on their great and debut effort: heavy keyboards, dark themes, even satanic as some might say. Although, the latter aspect was also suggested without much reasons from a band which I quite like ("Black Widow").

There are still some moving organ parts available like "Praesentia Domini". A dark crescendo piece of music which goes from the most sublime church organ play one can imagine. But I honesty have to tell that once the "vocals "enter the scene; the whole is quite falling apart. Same applied to the opening track as well. It reminds me of some collaboration of Klaus Schulze with some vocalists if you see what I mean...

I quite preferred their debut album to tell the truth. This one holds too many dull vocal parts. The band did say it all during their very good "In Cauda Semper?" and I really can't stand these vocalize lines from Doris Norton. Such a piece as "Jacula Valzer" could have been fine as a soundtrack for a horror movie. But you won't get any picture here.

If this album would have been an all instrumental one, no doubt that it might have ended with a better rating. I really don't like the "singing" words of the lady in charge: passionless, talent less. In one word: useless.

I was quite impressed with their debut which was rather adventurous. But this one somewhat kills the spirit IMHHO. A song as " Long Black Magic Night" is a pure and long lament with little interest.

This album is quite a let down and a huge deception. Some good moments felt while listening to "In Old Castle" won't avoid the two stars rating. Stick to their debut one is my only advice.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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 ½ stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Ditching the metal-tinged distorted guitar that had featured on their debut and bringing in Doris Norton on vocals, Jacula's second album is once again dominated by sinister organ music and moody vocals. A bit more varied this time, the album is reminiscent of the fusion of Italian prog and horror soundtracks which would be pioneered in subsequent years by bands such as Goblin, so in this respect the unit seem to be ahead of their time, though what could have been a top-class album is reduced to merely being rather good thanks to lacklustre production and Long Black Magic Night; perhaps sticking to Latin vocals would have been helpful? Furthermore, on repeated listens the "spooky vocals and organ" gimmick wears increasingly thin.
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Many don't know who Jacula is. Knowing it you would also understand why the debut of Antonius Rex, the band emerged after the end of Jacula was entitled Zora. In the early 70s in Italy there was a huge production of porn comics, some based on horror. Jacula was of course a vampire girl. The name is similar to Dracula, but "Ejacula" means you can guess what...

So there's at least a bit of humor in the choice of the band name. Zora is the vampire girl of another comic, probably by the same author.

Said so, it's not strange that the music in this album is trying to setup a dark, satanic atmosphere mainly based on the church organ. The album and some songs have a latin title, which should recall the ambient of catholic churches.

The result is a fusion of classical elements. I don't know what U.F.D.E.M. means, but the lyrics are about the modern man in search of money, making the world dark. It ends saying "may this modern man, who denies Mistery and Eternity, die". "Presentia Domini" (Presence of the Lord) is entirely spoken in Latin. It's a sort of maledition to the modern man. It repeates "God sees you, God hears you, Deads see you, Deads hear you". Interesting the last chord is a major chord. The only major chord in all the song.

The following track, "Jacula Valzer" is instrumental. It sounds differently from what has been going on up to that. Flute, some mute vocals, similar to an Ennio Moricone soundtrack even if background dissonances are placed to remind us that this album is about sins and evil. So after 3 of the 6 minutes of the track the background and the foreground are swapped. I think to the distopic world of HP Lovecraft. This track has the atmosphere of Azrael's "Azatoth".

Absolution is a mass with a standard catholic formula in Latin, then "Long Black Magic Night", starting with harpsichord and flute playing a sad melody before coming back with the church organ on the closing track "In Old Castle".

It's quite obvious that GOBLIN have been influenced by this album, and possibly some echoes of it can be heard also in some works of Keith EMERSON (through his collaboration with Dario Argento) and later by others. The sometimes operatic vocals remind to today's masterpieces of UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA.

An excellent album, very original in its era. The organ is a bit too much present. Leaving some space tothe other instruments wouldn't have been bad, but the band wanted to create a dark ambience and succeeded. The refereneces to Satan, and Evil in general are closer to the christian medieval views, so I wouldn't think of Jacula as a band of satanists. They have just paisd a visit to the "obscure centuries".

No references to comics or vampires utside the band name and the album cover which is surely drawn by the comics author.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Weird... yes indeed. After listening to the first track I was really impressed by the atmosphere. "UFDEM" really catches attention, and it's the best track on the album.Very moving. Church organ and great harsh voice of Doris Norton. But then - in the second track, it seems to go a little too ... (read more)

Report this review (#69304) | Posted by kajetan | Monday, February 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The beginnings of the group go back to year 1971, in Milan, after a fleeting passage by the group ` Dietro Noi Deserto', Antonio Bartoccetti forms next to Doris Norton (in keyboards and owner of an incredible voice) the Jacula group and record its first disc in 1972. Antonio interiorizó in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#35429) | Posted by MANTICORE | Monday, June 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If not the rarest,it's certainly one of the most legendary records the European scene ever spawned.Turning completely around the leader guitarist Anthony Bartoccetti they created the most evil,scaring record ever made.An incredible overpowered amplified church-organ and the whispers from Fiama Dallo ... (read more)

Report this review (#3919) | Posted by | Saturday, January 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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