Last year, Finland’s Jess and the Ancient Ones delivered their eponymous full length debut. A superb release, with an eloquent combination of 60’s prog rock and occult lyricism. Having previously released standalone track “13th Breath of the Zodiac” on 7” single in 2011, it is no surprise that they have once again opted to share the fruits of their endeavour on the new three track EP, “Astral Sabbat”.
The title track is instantly recognizable as a JATAO creation. It is a psychotic blend of melody, horror, and psychedelia. Laced with effects and structured with a spiraling guitar line that would easily be at home on a Colosseum II album. Front woman Jess’ supreme tones are Omniscient as she implores us to enter the Astral Sabbat. The second song is a cover of Shocking Blue’s “Long and Lonesome Road”. This is a very fitting tribute as the Dutch pioneers sound is a huge influence throughout their work. While paying homage, they do not sway too far from the original. “More Than Living” is the epic conclusion of the whole Astral Sabbat cycle. At times, it caresses with soothing melancholia yet sporadically it ventures towards enlightened delirium. A beautiful song that shares everything that is great about Jess and The Ancient Ones.
Astral Sabbat is the natural progression for a band that constantly challenges themselves and the listener. If you haven’t heard these Fantastical Finns before, get your hands on this EP and lose yourself in their wondrous world.
Astral Sabbat is released by Svart Records on CD, LP and digital download on Feb 22th.
Long and Lonesome Road
More Than Living