JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES - Jess And The Ancient Ones

Jess And The Ancient Ones - Jess And The Ancient Ones

7 songs
52:58 minutes
***** ***


Jess and the Ancient Ones is a rather peculiar band name, and therefore it didn’t come as a surprise that this Finnish band is deeply into occult rock. The line-up is also something else. You don’t encounter septets in the metal genre that often. This one even has three guitarists. Their first release was a single released in late 2011 and met with general praise.

The eponymous debut has a strong retro touch with an authentic Seventies flair. I especially like the vintage organ sound that reminded me of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. One of the seven tracks is only four minutes long, and also stands apart with its soulful piano sound. The remaining songs are running between six and thirteen minutes and take advantage from incredible variety. The material is kept in a rather mellow mood but shows the band from its darkest side. Occasionally they happen to act more melodic or rocking; progressive and psychedelic elements also creep up from time to time.

Vocalist Jess has a firm and deep voice which perfectly fits the music. Comparisons to Devil’s Blood may be in order, but JATAO nevertheless do their own thing. Their lyrics are also less occult or satanic that those of the aforementioned artists. The band creates wonderful soundscapes that thrive thanks to the frequent piano parts. A good example for the band’s genius is the concluding Come Crimson Death which starts as a typical piano ballad before becoming gradually edgier, and towards the end, after ten minutes, adopts a mystic atmosphere that invites you to listen to it all over again. A higher rating could have been justified if the band had dared to perform even more playfully and experimentally. Despite many breaks the overall impression feels occasionally a little calculated, which isn’t that big of a problem though.

Those who are into retro hard rock as well as funeral doom will definitely be fascinated by Jess and the Ancient Ones. Their debut album is a successful journey into the dark side of the Seventies. It will certainly not get any party started, but with the right amount of gloom and candle light, their music should give you goosebumps all over.

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