Jess and the Ancient Ones

1. Prayer for Death and Fire
2. Twilight Witchcraft
3. Sulfur Giants (Red King)
4. Ghost Riders
5. 13th Breath of the Zodiac
6. Devil (in G minor)
7. Come Crimson Death

Jess - Vocals
Thomas Corpse - Lead guitar
Thomas Fiend - L. guitar & bg. vocals
Von Stroh - Rhytm guitar
Fast Jake - Bass
Abraham - Keyboard
Yussuf - Drums & percussion



Recorded in Necromorbus Studio

Released 23/5-2012
Reviewed 24/5-2012

svart records

I think that every once in a while something that surprise you comes along, like when the starter motor of your car suddenly fails to take one example everyone can relate to. I think the same can be said about albums, most are nothing special but every now and then something that really makes a mark comes along. Finnish band Jess and the Ancient Ones does not only have the naming skills of grand masters, their occultly oriented rock or OOR as the genre is generally called is laden with references to music of old with touches of jazz club music, Led Zeppelin and a whole lot of other mystic and wonderful things. The septet yesterday released their debut album through Svart Records which is a label that is quite new to us to collaborate with and this is the first (but not last) album from them that we review.

If you look at the cover art you come to suspect what it is you will hear, it is like being transported in space, time and dimension to a cellar in some old moulded wooden castle with the drawbridge on the verge of collapsing into the shark infested moat when you walk over it. Down there in the cellar it is so dark that you cannot make out any faces on the entities around you and on the dimly lit stage in the fog of all the smoke stands Jess and her friends playing their music that is perfectly suited to an environment like this. The guitar sound that feels a bit seventies with a nice gritty sound, the haunting voice of Jess, the overall atypical rock/jazz crossover sound lends itself perfectly to the environment of occultism and magic. It is a production that has one foot in each of two regions, one in the modern sound of today and the the other in the sound of the past with a more gritty sound.

I would say that it is a musical adventure we are treated to, the contrast makes this very exciting and for someone with a vivid imagination it is a journey that takes me to many different places and I don’t even have to open my drawbridge and walk along the many magical castles and fortresses neighbouring my own fortress. I would say that Jess and her ancients sounds like nothing I have heard before, there are touches of familiarity but meanwhile they move in directions not usually explored by rock/metal bands and this makes it such an exciting album. But not only that, it is also unpredictable and of course the songs are great and even though the album is 53 minutes long and most of the seven tracks have really long playing time, it does not feel long as it is so varied and it takes out many different directions while still maintaining some kind of constant goal.

It feels like it is very difficult not to get carried away with superlatives for this amazing effort and maybe it deserves such a recognition. It is music unlike most other stuff you will hear, the magic and occult does not just take place in the lyrics but also the music itself tells this story, a story of witchcraft at twilight and of devils in G minor or crimson deaths, there is just this story, this adventure waiting here for you as a listener and that is why I highly recommend this album to anyone with an idea about what music should be about. I have no illusions that this will be an album that does well but it deserves to be sold a lot and be heard as it is just a great album not only with individuality but also with an amazing quality.

An impressive debut to say the least, a transportation device into my already twisted mind which did not really come closer to normality with the help of this album. I think it is a doorway actually, a doorway into a magical world where I happen to meed wizards all around, a doorway into this magical world where Jess and here ancients really belongs. All I can say is: Buy this album!



Label: Svart Records/Infektion PR
Three similar bands: Within Temptation/Mercyful Fate/Led Zeppelin
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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