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Antonius Rex

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Antonius Rex Anno Demoni album cover
2.23 | 29 ratings | 6 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Anno Demoni (11:58)
2. Missanigra (4:52)
3. Jacula The Witch (2:46)
4. Ego Sum Qui Sum (7:40)
5. Soul Satan (5:40)

Total time 32:56

Bonus tracks on 2001 reissues:
6. Gloriae Manus (7:50)
7. Morti Vident (3:52)
8. 1999 Mundi Finis (3:21)

Total Time: 48:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Antonio Bartoccetti / guitar, bass, vocals
- Doris Norton / synth, vocals
- Charles Tiring / church organ, piano
- Albert Goodman / drums

- Colin Coldweis / violin (not confirmed)

Releases information

Composed 1969 to 1974, recorded 1974 to 1979

Artwork: Travers

LP Musik Research - AR LP 00-499 (1979, Italy)
LP Musik Research - AR LP 00-499 (1992, Italy)
2xLP Black Widow Records - BWR 058 (2001, Italy) With 3 bonus tracks, previously unreleased

CD Mellow Records - MMP 118 (1992, Italy) New cover
CD Black Widow Records - BWRCD 058-2 (2001, Italy) With 3 bonus tracks, previously unreleased

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ANTONIUS REX Anno Demoni Music

ANTONIUS REX Anno Demoni ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (28%)

ANTONIUS REX Anno Demoni reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This is one of the weirdest Italian progrock albums from the Seventies. The prime mover is Antonio Bartoccetti (guitar, bass, vocals), his almost hallucinating compositions are based upon seances and the cooperation of a medium! Female singer Fiamma Dello Spirito (also flute and violin) sounds like a nice witch, keyboardplayer acts like the alter ego of Christopher Lee with his chilling church organ sound and medium Franz Parthenzy seems to come straight from hell. If you like horror and progrock and you want to sublimate some satanic urges, this CD could be a deadly serious experience!
Review by silvertree
1 stars This album shouldn't be listed under Jacula but Antonius Rex ! Please beware if you are ready to buy this one. I don't know why I'm attracted to gothic type music and such but it's a question of taste and there's not much I can do about it. Anyway, I was really interested in this Italian progressive group I had heard of in a positive way. I also had heard some Jacula which I found fantastic. But what a deception with this one ! I have the original album with 5 tracks. I'll try to describe what it sounds like : a lot of synth using a maximum of 5 notes, a synth sounding like a violin for the (very basic) solos and (very basic) drums, some church organ (ah, that's good you might say, but there's isn't much - stick to Yes 's Going For The One - and percussion sounding also very synthesized to me. As for the vocals, well, you get some whispering in Italian... The only interesting track is Jacula the Witch where you have the only nice melody with beautiful singing by a female voice. However, this track, like all others, is ruined by a special effect sounding like a bat, you know, the kind you get in a supermarket during Halloween ! This is totally absurd. It must be a joke ! The other seemingly interesting track is Soul Satan where you finally have a real band playing but not enough to get you interested. What is more, it sounds like a demo... All in all, stay away from this. I can"t say anything about the bonus tracks as I don't have them. If you are interested in the genre, try Devil Doll instead. By the way, this is the very first time I have used the one star rating and hope it will be the last.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Not recommended

"Anno Demoni" was released in 1979 around the same time as their departure album "Ralefun." Both came from a period where Antonius Rex was gaining momentum as a unit but wishing for some space to deal with the new job of parenting (see my review of Ralefun for more history from this period.) Anno Demoni (AD for short) is different than their other works and very strange in structure. In some ways it is a compilation, in that the ideas were culled from unused pieces dating to the early '70s. The tracks were recorded and constructed at various points in the mid-later '70s and embellished with sound effects in an attempt to give the album a more cohesive feel (which doesn't work.) The Rex themselves rate this album higher than Ralefun on their website but I have to disagree. To me AD is well below the standard of this group and the weakest effort I've heard from them.

Even from the weakest Rex album there are some worthy moments. But not many. Parts of "Gloriae Manus" and "Jacula the Witch" contain the gothic organ, doom wrenched drumbeat, and siren song vocals of Doris Norton which recall the late Jacula/first Rex period in sound. But there is no conceptual glue here, no feeling that these tracks support each other or draw the listener in. It feels tremendously hollow, especially the very weak material in the middle of the album. "Soul Satan" in particular is silly and sloppy with a horrible vocal and "Missanigra" bores me like no other Rex has. And then there is the critical and embarrassing mistake that dooms this album to the low rating I have to award here. Someone went nuts with the Common Loon sound effect. The Loon (for those who don't know) is a water bird like a duck but with a haunting, other-worldly cry it makes at dusk. Used very sparingly, the Loon call can add a nice effect to any song trying to create a certain natural world effect. Used constantly throughout FOUR of the album's six tracks was either a mistake or bad judgement. It sounds ridiculous quite frankly, especially on the track "Soul Satan" where they actually use the bird call in the rhythm of the song! It's timed in there like a cymbal crash and overall it renders the material beyond consideration. There is a "wind chime" (I think) sound effect that is also overused. There is simply no reason to purchase this album given the other great material out there from these artists.

Black Widow did a nice job with the reissue correcting the early Mellow release that improperly credited the album to Jacula. The sound is good and the booklet contains a nice Bio. But I can't even give this 2 stars to recommend to fans as I really find the overall release and concept to be pretty poor. It is for Rex completionists only--even the bonus tracks are not necessary if you own the early material.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars As "Finnforest" pointed out, this album is some sort of a compilation of tracks released between 1972 and 1979. The least I can say is that they should have remained unreleased, and when I see the global ratings for this record, I 'm apparently not the only one to feel so.

I quite liked the debut "Jacula" album released in 1969. It was the first incarnation of this band, but unfortunately "Antonius Rex" could never justify the hopes from their early days: even if only their debut was really good.

What's available here is quite disturbing musical parts: whispering "vocals", boring background themes (attempting to be scary) and extremely little acceptable music (not even talking about good one).

The more I listen to this band, the more I am disappointed. A short and beautiful break is still available under the splendid "The Witch". Some three minutes of glory and peaceful music with superb vocalized parts. The highlight for sure (but compared to what?).

Some fine church organ (which is a TM of the band) is displayed during the dark "Ego Sum Qui Sum") as if the band was willing to capitalize on some sort of black magic stuff?This band has been thrown into the RPI melting pot, but believe, this has nothing to do with the great Italian symph genre.

The music available is quite bizarre, but passionless and rather boring. Best avoided as most of the recommendations except one reviewer who gave the masterpiece status to this album. All tastes are in nature?

One star. Poor vocals, poor music, poor everything.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Although looked down by some Jacula/Antonius Rex followers for being something of a compilation of unreleased pieces, different takes and reinterpretations of earlier works, taken on it's own merits, I think `Anno Demoni' is a perfectly adequate horror soundtrack-styled work, full of convincing dark arrangements and drizzly atmosphere. It was the first Antonio Bartoccetti and Doris Norton album I bought, so I might go a little easier on it than others because I'm somewhat nostalgic about it, for it led me to search out and immerse myself in their other work.

After a brief typical Rex organ introduction, `Gloriae Manus' instantly falls away into a slow distant rumble that borders on dark ambience, before hypnotic piano and that vile hammering drum similar to the first two Jacula albums looms heavy over the listener. Doris Norton then doubles on imposing gothic organ alongside maddening harpsichord that gives it that B-grade schlock horror movie comic book sound.

`Jacula The Witch' is a very moving and sad lullaby with a haunting wordless female vocal along the lines of some of the 70's Goblin albums. Gentle yet ghostly chimes float along in the background before being joined by a very reflective and somber piano melody soft Mellotron wisps. Easily the best piece on the album, and a shame that it's so short.

The 12 minute title track has eerie synths, macabre organ and plodding acoustic guitar playing over Mellotron, electric violin and tribal percussion. The middle section has a very jarring electronic looped pattern with oppressive cold synths that invade the mood - I'm reminded slightly of some of the darker keyboard sections of Pink Floyd's `Animals' album here. The finale diverts into an oddly Tangerine Dream-styled floating electronic piece. Vile taunting voices call from the distance throughout the piece, with a spitting and biting quality that gives them a highly sinister and threatening tone. This slow and gradually unwinding piece compliments the long ambient piece `Enchanted Wood' that concluded the `Ralefun' album.

`Soul Satan's is a slightly rubbish Italian prog/pop song with slight disco beats (which started creeping into Rex albums from 1977's `Zora' onwards) and awful ragged strained male vocals. It's not unusual for Italian prog albums to have boisterous and passionate vocals, but Antonio (if it's him who is singing, because he's the only one credited to vocals on the album) sounds like a drunk pirate on this one! But it's worth hearing for the endless murky soloing dirty bass mixed so loud playing all throughout the song.

`Missanigra' is full of spooky keyboard effects, chanted Latin voices, bat noises and creepy synth patterns but no real melodies to speak off. Just more of the same - somewhat undeveloped and uninspired horror ideas without actually being unlistenable.

The main album concludes with the perfect soundtrack for a haunted house movie, `Ego Sum Qui Sum'. Frightening harsh white-noise electronic orchestration constantly swirls around creeping violin dueling with more of that dirty melodic upfront bass from `Soul Satan' and dancing harpsichord . It's nice to hear the band step away from all the booming organ and find other ways to build their malevolent soundscapes, and it's quite an experimental piece for them.

The wonderful vinyl reissue includes a bonus 7" single with two shorter alternate pieces, `Morti Vindent' and `1999 Mundi Finis' from (I think) the `Zora' album. Probably more interesting to new listeners who haven't heard them on previous albums, although there are slight differences that Rex fans will pick up on.

`Anno Demoni' is only really disappointing from the perspective of comparing it to the other Bartoccetti/Norton albums. On it's own it's a perfectly successful horror themed prog album with decent playing, gloomy atmospheres and haunting dark melodies. Many of the other albums from their vintage period offer a lot more depth and emotion than this one, but it's still works well on a surface level. There is a somewhat nagging feeling of `same old', but even added elements like the violin give it a unique sound in the Rex discography.

Three stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It can sound boring and exagerrated,but also this Jacula album is from the highest qualification.Where for the hell you still can find darker,and more convinced attempts to create this style of music?Maybe the French master Igor Wakhevitch but...that's still another matter.To experience this music i ... (read more)

Report this review (#3925) | Posted by | Sunday, February 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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