Monday, November 21, 2011

Antonius Rex - Zora

While we're on the weird outer rims of heavy metal, let's stop over in darkest Italy, home to many truly bizarre bands of all sub-genres.  Antonius Rex, the brainchild of Jacula leader Antonio Bartoccetti and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Doris Norton.  Of their many simultaneous projects, this is the darkest and most explicitly occult, enough so that they were dropped by their label and forced to self-release it in limited quantities some years later.  Mixing the baroque organ fugues and jazzy psych of Jacula with a cinematic adventurousness influenced by Goblin and Morricone, with the pair's sometimes distracting vocals and breathless narration kept to a minimum.  This version is a recent reissue containing the extended track listing of later versions but with the original, suppressed cover art intact.  One can hear influences on occult rock modern bands, especially Blood Ceremony, but nobody has the freeform batshit wildness of this monster.

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