Album Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones – Vertigo (Svart Records)

The Savonian occult rock behemoth Jess and the Ancient Ones have emerged with a new album! Their brand of heavy guitar and organ-led swagger has progressed from the twin guitar metal blast of yesteryear to Jess and the Ancient Ones’ very own take on soulful late sixties garage psychedelia. Titled Vertigo, the new record is set for release on Svart Records on May 21st this year with a foreboding sound of lysergic doom.

Songwriter and guitarist Thomas Corpse comments:

To me this album sounds like a dark horse – a brother to the previous album. There’s a strange ominous feeling that hovers upon the entire album, maybe it’s the feeling of nostalgia that’s arising from the lyrics.

Vibrant and colourful, there’s nothing muted about Jess and the Ancient One’s brand of occult psychedelic rock. That much is clear as they come out burning brightly and with energy that just takes hold on Burning of the Velvet Fires. Well, as clear as it can be when covered in a haze of incense.

The old-school garage psych is a much more prominent part of World Paranormal. Peppy and catchy, it’s a dance-inducing number that leans towards a mainstream poppy sound while still having a rock and roll beat. It’s then followed by the dark groove and powerful vocals (a constant thing throughout) of the eerie Talking Board. A track that oozes sinister intent but is still exceptionally chilled out sounding. At least until its final minute where it descends in something truly horrifying.

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Love Zombi’s (something we certainly do) giallo style synth start gives way to a energetic rock number. One that would get the dead up and moving through the sheer willpower of this track to get things rocking out. As does Summer Tripping Man, one of Jess and the Ancient Ones’ wildest sounding tracks. Whereas Born to Kill showcases some racing riffs and deeper bass hooks. A track that has the vibes of hunting or being hunted throughout a concrete jungle.

Their ritual is coming to an end though and it’s with a groovy, gothic bang and darkly psychedelic twisted touch that Jess and the Ancient Ones disappear into the gloom. What’s On Your Mind and Strange Earth Illusion are two very different tracks but with the same kind of impact. The former, fast and frantic. The latter, mellow and moody. What really makes the finale stand out more though is the epic length, something this band utilise to tell a longer and more detailed musical tale. It’s very impressive and well thought out.

Perhaps the best thing about Vertigo is how it doesn’t sound dated even with its old-school occult and psych rock vibes. It’s a modern taste of this sound from a modern band who know how to do it well.

Jess and the Ancient Ones – Vertigo Full Track Listing:

1. Burning of the Velvet Fires
2. World Paranormal
3. Talking Board
4. Love Zombi
5. Summer Tripping Man
6. Born To Kill
7. What’s On Your Mind
8. Strange Earth Illusion


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Jess and the Ancient Ones - Vertigo (Svart Records)
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