ANTONIUS REX (Praeternatural) LP/CD
The history of AR goes back to the year 1969, when this project was founded under the name Jacula from Antonio Bartoccetti. After the mysterious death ofa band member , mainman A. Bartoccetti, who was disgusted by the music scene , and his wife Doris Norton took a break, but after that they returned just to record six different records between 1977 - 1980. Then the band split-up. Out of this six records, two has been re-released by Black Widow and "Praeternatural" is the third one.
The original had seen the light of day in 1980 on Music Research in a limited edition of 1000. If you listen to the last track "Vox Populi" on the album, one can listen to the complete band history, what is very unusual, because I don't know any band, who has done that before. For all die-hard Rock 'n' Rollers, AR isn't the right cup of tea, but fans of dark and doomy progressiv sounds, should give it a try. Guitar and keyboard sounds are nearly equal, and most of the songs are close at the 10 minutes mark.
The entire record is like a never released soundtrack for some kind of an occult-thriller, and comes close to John Carpenter and stuff like this. Sometimes it more medieval, without becoming to cheesy or pathetic, and a few spoken-word parts are making the album more interesting. I must admit, that I'm no great fan of symphonic progressiv metallic sounds, but AR are building up a sinister tension-laden and various atmosphere. Here are moments to find, when the music is a bit more 70's influenced, without being retro. Try to imagine the 80's sound of Hawkwind or later Dead Can Dance, and you're coming close to it. Currently, mainman Bartocetti is sitting in his castle, working on new material and one can be excited how the mysterious history of AR will continue...