Thursday, April 5, 2007

Jacula-In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum(1969)+Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus(1972),LPs,Italy

One of several aggregations of musicians led by Antonio Bartoccetti and Doris Norton (aka Fiamma Dallo Spirito) during the late 1960s/early 1970s, Jacula came together in 1969 around organist Charles Tiring and "medium" Franz Partheny. Relocating from Milan to London, Jacula recorded their debut album that same year - In cauda semper stat venenum was released on the group's own Gnome label in a limited edition of just 300 copies, for distribution to friends and the occult community - the album's subject matter dwelt heavily in that region. Jacula lay silent for much of the next two years, while (Bartoccetti, Norton and Tiring occupied themselves with the bands Dietro Noi Deserto and Invisible Force. In 1972, however, Jacula resurfaced with a new album Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus ("slow steps towards magic"}, which included a reprise of the Invisible Force b-side, the apocalyptic "1999 Mundi Finis", now titled "UFDEM". The departure of Tiring during 1972 spelled the end of Jacula; that same year, Bartoccetti and Norton launched a new project, Antonius Rex.
~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide

Review on "Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus"
This is one weird album indeed. Even more weird when you consider some of the musicians involved. For example you got keyboardist Charles Tiring. He was not your typical twenty-something like you usually expect in prog rock bands. At the time this album came out, he was said to be 68 years old (not likely alive these days) and married to an 18 year old, which meant that didn't exactly endear himself to the rest of the band (he left after this album and they became Antonius Rex). The rest of the musicians included Anthony Bartoccetti on guitar, bass and vocals, Doris Norton (known as Fiamma Dello Spirito on this album) on vocals, violin, and flute, and someone named Franz Parthenzy conducting the medium. What's also weirder was they were exploring the occult, performing under séances. While other prog rock bands simply used keyboards like the Hammond organ, Charles Tiring went totally hog wild on the pipe organ, although he used the occasional Moog for sound effects, and harpsichord and piano on occasions. There are times that it's really difficult to call this prog rock, because it's not rock, and pipe organ is sometimes the only instrument used. The album opens up with "U.F.D.E.M." which is often regarded as the album's high point. Here you get pipe organ and harpsichord, with Doris Norton singing in Italian, sounding a bit like an Italian Anna Meek (of Catapilla fame). "Praesentia Domini" is largely pipe organ, but near the end comes some chanting in Latin, obviously a séance. "Jacula Valzer" is a nice, pleasant jazzy piece with that atmosphere of a bad early '70s horror film. This one features some nice flute and piano. "Long Black Magic Night" is another worth mentioning. Violin and flute dominates, and Doris Norton chants in English, and comes to demonstrate just how lousy her English is. This song even more just screams "bad horror film". Listening to this, you can just imagine the cobwebs, vampires, and a pipe organ. The last piece, "In Old Castle" is the most pointless piece, as it's all pipe organ and nothing else. Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus is a truly like or hate it album. Some just call this a bunch of Satanic nonsense, others call it spooky and Gothic. I can be certain Goblin had heard their share of Jacula and Antonius Rex in their lifetime, especially since Goblin was best known for scoring gory Dario Argento horror flicks (luckily Goblin went for a more conventional prog/fusion direction, with normal instrumentations, even though they sometimes used pipe organ).
get them here


musicgnome said...

Jacula. LOVE this album. Great, sinister stuff!!!

Unknown said...

Wow!! I can't believe how great this album is, thanks so much for them!

katastrophy said...

this is awesome, thanks so much for this!

Diego said...

Doris Norton and Fiamma are not the same person, Fiamma dallo Spirito is Vittoria Lo Turco, an italian singer and vocalist singing in the 70's, the source? Me, i am the grandson.