Antonio Bartoccetti and Doris Norton started their long artistic partnership at the end of the sixties as Jacula and are still active today as Antonius Rex. Their last album, “Per Viam”, was released in 2009 on the independent label Black Widow Records. The packaging features a nice three folds digipack and a suggestive art cover...
The music every now and again could recall Goblin, Pink Floyd or Mike Oldfield and flows away as if it was the soundtrack of a horror movie or a thriller. In fact, I think that tracks such as “Micro Demons”, “Per Viam”, “Spectra” and “Angels & Demons” could be a perfect musical background for the reading of a Dan Brown’s novel... Liturgical chants, gothic organ and piano passages are intertwined with modern sounds and distorted guitars. Well, probably it’s not by chance that during the video of “Angels & Demons” the word illuminati appears! By the way, you can find this video on Youtube, while on the album as a bonus extra track CD-Rom Video there’s “Micro Demons”.
My favourite tracks are “Woman Of The King” where you can find some Celtic influences that remind me slightly of the atmospheres of Alan Stivell’s album “The Mist Of Avalon” and “UFDEM”, an old piece from the repertoire of Jacula dressed up in modern, more aggressive sounds that exalt the charming voice of Doris Norton. Good also the final track “Antonius Rex Prophecy”, a long piece featuring the narrative vocals of Antonio Bartoccetti and a slow “atmospheric” pace.
On the whole I think that “Per Viam” is a good album, even if it’s not really challenging and, at length, maybe a bit kitsch. In nomine Christi, amen.
Antonius Rex: Per Viam (2009). Other opinions:
Assaf Vestin: I quite like the feel of this album, its eeriness and oddity. I find its cross-over between a more electronic and synth dominated side and a more rock and heavy inclined tendency is well balanced. I'm not as big a fan of the artificial sound it boasts however. I'd have liked them to use real drums instead of the digital ones, which are the prominent ones here (there are also acoustic drums). These just sound life-less and turn what could be a powerful piece to something much duller and devoid of striking punch. If you seek a dark-sounding album, odd, creepy and scary sounding music, this album should satisfy your needs... (read the complete review HERE)
Jim Russell: Rex proves that simple melodies and hooks can be just as satisfying to proggers than a bunch of avant manic thrashing... (read the complete review HERE)
You can find an interview with Antonio Bartoccetti at Progarchives. Click HERE