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Antonius Rex

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Antonius Rex Switch On Dark album cover
3.61 | 23 ratings | 2 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Perpetual Adoration (7:29)
2. Damnatus In Aeternum (3:40)
3. Switch On Dark (19:28)
4. Darkotic (8:55)
5. Fairy Vision (Esoteric Edit) (14:26)
6. Mysticdrug (5:30)

Total time 59:28

Bonus video on 2006 CD release:
7. Perpetual Adoration (4:08)

Line-up / Musicians

- Antonio Bartoccetti / electric guitars, lute, vocals
- Doris Norton / synths (MiniMoog, Yamaha), computer, EastWest digital orchestra, arranger
- Monika Tasnad / witch voice

- Anthony Bartoccetti / piano, synth, e-drums, producer, mixing
- Florian Gorman / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

LP Black Widow Records - BWR 099 (2006, Italy)

CD Black Widow Records - BWR 099-2 (2006, Italy) With a bonus video

Thanks to Ilmo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ANTONIUS REX Switch On Dark Music

ANTONIUS REX Switch On Dark ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

ANTONIUS REX Switch On Dark reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Superb concept album, dark and glorious

The man behind the infamous "Jacula" returns in modern form with the new dark masterpiece "Switch on Dark." I have not heard his older material so I come to this new project with an open perspective. "Switch on Dark" is said to be a concept album about the inhabitants of a haunted castle and that's exactly what it sounds like. Written by Bartoccetti and keyboardist Doris Nortan "Switch" features a top-notch production by Rexanthony.

This music is captivating, mysterious, glossy dark and elegant. It has the feel of affluence and nobility somehow. One side of the sound is a techno-rock guitar/electronica blend not unlike the band Garbage used though to different ends of course. Occasionally it moves towards doom-metal territory but never gets that far, always pulling back in favor of a more reserved symphonic feel. Another close comparison might be Devil Doll but frankly I find "Switch" to be a hell of a lot more fun. There are elements of the Oldfield sound in the beats of TB3 and the female "witch" vocal. There is classical piano, violin, and synths used to sweeping and grandiose effect, absolutely breathtaking stuff. There are occasional wild bursts of raw and brutal electric guitar loaded with distortion which could conjure early Sabbath, sometimes NIN (towards the end of "Darkotic.") And there are the vocals, often the Therion style of choirs alternated with "creatures" of various forms and the gasps of young women. Highlights right off the bat (no pun) with the classy perfection of "Perpetual Adoration" which is a very solid backdrop to the stunning video of the track which you can view online (just do a search.) But the real smash is built around the 19 minute epic title track which defines the album. Brilliantly slow in evolving it builds various keyboard and lead electric guitar sections around a cast of shady characters in various vocal forms. Strings sections create evil backdrops that sound like the moment that Lord Vader enters the screen. Towards the end there is a beautiful female vocal section that reminded me of a dark version of Oldfield which ends abruptly with the woman seemingly sacrificed in front of our ears.was she killed? We're not sure but it slips right back into the calm pool of darkness that is no longer resistible. The finale of "Mysticdrug" shows Bartoccetti to be a more than competent guitarist (in addition to composing) as he wails on his SG over a lovely acoustic backing. Norton shows her talents with delicious assortment of keyboard atmospheres and handles the digital orchestra as well. This is heady and very effective entertainment for those who like things a bit spooky, a lot showy, with unflinching high self-esteem. And if you do a haunted house on Halloween for neighborhood kids, you just found the perfect background music to scare the sh*t out of both them and their parents.

Unease and foreboding are around every corner and yet the melodies so beautiful you can't help but get sucked in. Wholesome family fun, assuming your family likes to swing on the dark side now and again. Refreshingly different, fiercely irreverent. The CD gives you the video for "Perpetual Adoration" as a bonus, viewable on your computer. Kudos to Black Widow Records for this release and cool booklet.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Over thirty years separate their debut "Neque?" and this "Switch On The Dark". Needless to say that the band didn't reject their dark, bizarre, almost satanic image through the years.

Fortunately, after a short and insipid intro during which I was thinking: "here they are again", "Perpetual Adoration" provides a remarkable and bombastic feel featuring excellent keyboards. Almost symphonic! The band has not forgotten their sources of course. These are mainly present during each start of each piece available on "Switch On The Dark".

The problem is that they sound more funny than scary ("Damnatus In Aeternum"). But I guess that it is only a feeling you can get while you have listened to several of their albums. To try and sound scary and demoniac at all costs throughout the years leads me think that this band was actually only a caricature of themselves.

Even if I listen to this album at a late moment of the day (or early moment of the night if you prefer, namely 1 AM), I'm sure I won't have any nightmare. It all sounds too artificial, prepared, organized.

Still, the long title track is an excellent doom and very dark song. But the duo (even if helped by some guests) can't really compete with a full band IMO. In terms of song writing, their input is much too related to the ideas of one man with the inevitable repetition and lack of creativity that it implies.

Here and there some guitar breaks coming out of nowhere do break the overall keyboards feel; just as some aerial and excellent vocals enter the scene at half time. In all, this is a very good piece of music, which offers enough diversity to ensure that the listener will be in touch for the whole lasting (just under twenty minutes). I quite prefer the band while they are playing "real" music and avoid the desperate descent into gloomy and inacessible spheres.

As far as I'm concerned, "Switch On Dark" is their best song ever written. Heavy, symphonic, dark: brilliant and, yes: sounding satanic at times as well (I guess that it is difficult to change from orientation after such a long career).

The gloomy atmosphere awaits you at every corner of this work. It could have been a soundtrack for a scary movie for sure. "Fairy Vision" certainly belongs to such universe. But too much darkness kills the objective IMHHO. Nonetheless, this long vision (almost fifteen minutes) displays enough dark matters (no reference to "IQ" here), heavy parts, dissipated flavours to raise your interest. Another highlight.

This album is their best so far (but I wasn't quite laudatory about their earlier releases). Still, the four star rating is a bit out of reach. Seven out of ten probably.

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