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CD REVIEW: JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES – Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

| 5 January 2016 | 1 Reply


Label: Svart Records

Release Date: December 11, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Occult Garage rock is not my normal fare, but something urged me to check out the latest release from Jess and the Ancient Ones – and I may have a new genre to start looking at occasionally, as this disc caught me just right.  Disc opener “Samhain” has a cool vibe to it that recalls the groove from their last EP, with a surf metal feel that wraps itself around the track, thanks to some great guitar work from Thomas Corpse and Fiend, as well as a keyboard sound that is lively and fills the background.  “The Flying Man” brings more cool riffs and solos to the collection while giving the vocals room to soar and steer the mood and direction of the track.  The rhythm section comes together and delicately controls the tempo of the track without becoming too heavy or dark.  “The Equinox Death Trip” showcases the bass and drums prowess of Fast Jake and Yussuf respectively from the outset of the track.  The song grows and matures as the guitar and keyboard join the fray, only to blossom even more once Jess’ vocals wrap themselves around the lyrics.  “Crossroad Lightning” starts with an ethereal vocal that grows in depth once the drums and percussion kick in.  The songs depth comes from the simplicity of the musical track set against intricate lyrics and a different guitar sound than most of the other songs on the collection.  “Goetia Of Love” has a very 60’s feel to it that marries the occult metal vibe with a lighter pop groove and creates one of the more diverse tracks on the disc.

“In Levitating Secret Dreams” provides the first single and video from the disc, as well as being the shortest song of the nine recorded.  The tribal sound of the drums, combined with various fills adds depth to the track underneath a full vocal sound and the combination of guitar and Abraham’s keyboards in the mix.  “Wolves Inside My Head” is an interesting track as it features not only a heavier sound and vibe from the band, but some sound bites that add a bit of mystery and dimension to the song.  The guitars have a different sound and Jess’ vocals are clearer than on most songs on the disc.  “The Lovers” is an interesting track that brings more of the surf metal vibe to the forefront, mixed with a great cadence that gets the foot tapping and the head banging.  The vocals deliver the intensity of the lyrics while the guitar and keyboards swirl in the mix.  Closing the disc, “Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever” is an interesting song… all 22+ minutes of it.  The musical interlude that opens the track shows a softer, more introspective side of the group, while preparing you for the rest of the track.  The way the vocals and bass dance together in the verse and chorus, while supported by the guitar really shifts the sound of the song, while keeping the nature of the track light.  A wall of sound appears later in the track with a full guitar and keyboard sound tangle with Jess’ vocals.  While gaining a progressive edge near the end of the track, the beauty in the songs simplicity is maintained to the end.

​​​​​​​​Tracklisting: Samhain – The Flying Man – In Levitating Secret Dreams – The Equinox Death Trip – Wolves Inside My Head – Crossroad Lightning – The Lovers – Goetia Of Love – Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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