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Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones - Jess and the Ancient Ones
Jess and the Ancient Ones
Jess and the Ancient Ones

Label: Svart Records
Year released: 2012
Tracks: 7
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 2, 2013
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Jess and the Ancient Ones

Rated 4/5 (80%) (15 Votes)

The 7-headed Devil's disciple that is Finland's Jess and the Ancient Ones has been quickly building a reputation for themselves as one of the finest newcomers in the Heavy Rock/Metal scene. Word has been spreading in several printed and online publications. The band claims as influences acts like Mercyful Fate, Roky Erickson, Blue Oyster Cult, Iron Maiden and even Abba. Lyrically, Jess and the Ancient Ones songs revolve around the occult experiences of band members Thomas Corpse and Thomas Fiend.

Jess, the band's female lead singer, is quite impressive with her 70's-tinged vocals. Her singing fits the band's ancient sound perfectly. She is captivating, mesmerizing and even ethereal here and there. When she is supported by her faithful 6-headed back-up team – creating a firm backbone for her vocal lines, things fall into place. It isn't easy to pinpoint a specific sound but I am sure people will associate J.A.T.A.O. with other occult-influenced groups of the 70s and 80s such as The Devil's Blood, Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth and even Coven. While occultism is what links these bands together, J.A.T.A.O. have managed to create a genuinely unique sound for themselves, undoubtedly a good thing. Moaning, Maiden-esque guitar melodies are exploited effectively within some of their songs. At their best, J.A.T.A.O. treat us to 11-12 minute tracks like "Sulfur Giants (Red King)" and "Come Crimson Death," songs that coin all over again what is meant by the word "epic" in connection with classic Heavy Rock of this type.

One of the most interesting songs from their self-titled debut is the jazzy "Devil (in G Minor)" a song that conjures images of some silent, smoke-and-gangster filled dive in Chicago from a dangerous, by-gone era. I love how the keyboards mimic that old-school, organic Hammond sound. That old-school vibe is obviously one of the most important and essential things for the J.A.T.A.O. team. It can be found everywhere on this 7-track album.

All in all, this record truly surprised me. I was relatively skeptical at first but my prejudices were in vain as it is actually very good and well worth checking out.

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