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Jacula - Pre Viam CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.35 | 29 ratings

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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.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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