Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Antonius Rex - Zora (1978)


Here's the thing about Antonio Bartoccetti, founding member of Antonius Rex and their virtually indistinguishable predecessor, Jacula: I think he's full of shit. And I'm not the only one. Both bands claim debuts featuring heavy, proto-metal guitar parts that sound suspiciously like the output of distortion pedals that weren't manufactured until the 80's and 90's. Like, a guitar tone that some might argue would have been impossible to produce at the time. Last I checked, none of the original copies of these debut LPs had surfaced, by the way -- just the "reissues."

Both bands also have sophomore efforts that ditch these ostensibly groundbreaking, Metal Zone-y guitars, and consequently, sound much more like products of their time. Zora is one of these, and to me, it's all the better for it. Not only does it not have the specter of mistruth hanging over, but the sound is far more organic, cohesive, and unsettling. It sounds like the soundtrack to an Argento or Fulci movie that never was -- weird, semi-funky, synth-driven bits, creepy organ, witchy incantations, dissonant guitar squall (which, it's worth noting, has the analogue-sounding distortion that one would expect from a band at the time), ghostly male and female vocals, and moments of full-on prog euphoria.

Track listing:
1. The Gnome
2. Necromancer
3. Spiritualist Seance
4. Zora
5. Morte al Potere

The shape stalks again

2 comments:

  1. i love this band, and jacula. i don't care when the music was recorded, but yeah the jacula records sound pretty good for the "60s" or whatever.

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    1. I love both bands too. I've just come to prefer their non-controversial records.

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