If you like the mystery of the occult, are a horror freak and are inspired by music that is a mix of progressive rock and psychedelic music, you might be in the right place when you listen to Atrox Locus made by Mater A Clivis Imperat. Atrox Locus (Latin for A Terrible Place) was released March 2022. But before it was finally released a lot of water went under the bridge!
If I tell you that the album is an extremely complex yet immensely interesting work you probably will keep reading on this review. And yes it is true it is an extravagant work that hypnotizes, captures and leads the listener towards a voluntary state of imprisonment made up of successive, consecutive, almost non-stop listening. Mater A Clivis Imperat finds its origins in the first decade of the new millennium. Guitarist Samael von Martin (Mad Agony, Death Dies, ex Evol) and keyboardist Natalija Branko united to create a project that wanted to be the soundtrack of the poetic works by Marta Telatin. A poetess and fortune teller. But it still would take years for this type of musical concept to find the right actors, musicians and singers, the correct setting and the necessary inspiration. A few years later Samael meets Isabella, with whom he shared the stage with Deusdiva. The fabulous but also penetrating narrative voice of Isabella is probably a turning point in the history of this release. Keyboard player Alessio Saglia and soprano Elisa Di Marte are added later on. And with the help of drummer Tomas Contarato the project gets into shape even more!
You might ask yourself what has become the final result of this collection of people working together. Horror rock? Occult rock? 60s and 70s prog? Psychedelic music? Well to be honest it is all there when you dare to listen to this weird but at the same time intriguing musical concept.
Throughout the forty minutes of music you can hear impressive church organ sounds, great incisive guitar solos, Gregorian chants, sharp strings and deadly grooves. And to be honest you sometimes hear several musical parts which are difficult to describe and are yet from time to time very entertaining.
Maybe it is the soundtrack of a film that never was made and tells of horror, mystery, adventure, passion, blood, betrayal mortal and eternal oaths. Listen for yourself if you have the chance and discover if it sounds like Antonius Rex, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Goblin, Jacula, Devil Doll, to name but a few! You might find it as interesting as I did find!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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