Dark, brooding, ominous, and very gothic...these are just some of the ways to describe the latest from Antonius Rex, titled Switch on Dark. Part prog rock, part gothic horror metal, Switch On Dark is definitely something different from the folks at Black Widow Records. Comprised of Antonio Bartoccetti (guitars, vocals, lute), Doris Norton (keyboards), and Monika Tasnad (witch vocals), the trio is joined by guests Rexanthony (piano, synth, digital drums, producer) and Florian Gorman (acoustic drums). For the most part this is creepy stuff that almost comes across like a soundtrack to a bizarre horror movie, complete with eerie keyboard & piano melodies, bone crunching guitar riffs, and odd vocalizations. Opener "Perpetual Adoration" is filled with trancey/ambient keyboard and synth flourishes, starting things off in almost spacey prog rock fashion, but then things get awfully menacing on "Damnatus In Aeternum", a real creeper with ominous piano, evil whispering, and massive guitar riffs. The darkness continues on the near 20 minute title track, complete with haunting church organ & synths, more odd whispering & groans, and Bartoccetti's blistering guitar lines. To say that this track gives you the feeling of some dark, creature filled haunted house is an understatement. In fact, looking through the booklet that comes with this pretty lavish and well thought out & designed digipack, it's obvious that this whole affair is just dripping in the occult. The next two tracks, "Darkotic" (complete with crashing thunder sound effects, ghost whispers, and massive guitar riffs) and "Fairy Vision" continue along similar lines, as the horror show keeps rolling.The closer "Mysticdrug" tries to inject some symphonic elements, but at about the halfway point the maniacal whispers creep back in, along with tons of terror inducing keyboard orchestrations before Bartoccetti makes an appearance with some lovely acoustic guitar followed by ripping electric guitar solos.
Switch On Dark is not something you will want to put on every day, but if you really want to create a dark and ominous mood (or scare the beejesus out of your guests at your next Halloween party), light a few candles, turn off the lights, and let this creepy little gem from Antonius Rex take you on a 60 minute journey that you won't soon forget.
1. Perpetual Adoration (7:29)
2. Damnatus In Aeternum (3:40)
3. Switch On Dark (19:28)
4. Darkotic (8:55)
5. Fairy Vision (Esoteric Edit) (14:26)
6. Mysticdrug (5:30)
7. Perpetual Adoration (video)