(Review by Patrick De Sloover)

Probably the strangest album that I got to hear in years… Antonius Rex is an Italian trio that released already two albums in the past: “Switch On Dark” (2006) and “Per Viam” (2009), but is totally unknown to me personally. The helmeted knight on the front cover artwork made me suspect that this was a kind of Heavy Metal band with stories of ancient times, when dragons, knights and kings ruled the world. 

Well, the first track is the title track of this third album, and I thought it was a kind intro, to get the listener into the right mood. This musical trip took about 6 minutes, and in between a lot of musical influences we heard whispers, screams, spoken words and above all a very creepy feeling. You know that something is going to happen, as the atmosphere is very terrifying and intense. This is a track that guides you into a world of the unknown, a world of musical landscapes with passion and threat, reaching a transcendental fusion. As the tracks go by, it becomes pretty clear that this has nothing to do with heavy metal, or knights in general. 

This is music that wants to be described as Occult Prog, in the deeper meaning of the stylistic arrangements. The three persons who are responsible for this psychiatric event by some and as esoteric-magic by others, are Antonio Bartoccetti on Guitars, Vocals and Bass, Rexanthony on Vocals, Keys and Synths and Monika Tasnad as a Medium. The songs on ‘Hystero Demonopathy’ have all a very special vibe, and although every track is totally diverse, they all fit as one.  Antonius Rex is a band that likes to get their pieces from post-classic, dark, doom, post-progressive and after-rock elements. They all melt it together and I guess that Monika, the Medium, assemble them all.

This is the perfect example of a love it or hate it album. I must say that this is not my typical kind of music, as I prefer some spikes and leather elements, but in a way, Antonius Rex succeeded in perseverance. I didn’t skip any track during my road trip, and while I was cruising down the highway, I guess that it gave me a piece of mind, even when the pace was really slow, neither the depressed feeling that this music evokes.

Antonius Rex isn’t a band that you will like when you are into the shredding part, or the heavy part of metal. There aren’t that much guitar solos on this album, but if you want some heavy riffing, I advise the track “Are Mine”. This one has some yelling and screaming strings, but all with one common idea: to intrigue people. A really strange band, but with some cool ideas and it all reminds me to 1996, when I got in touch with the French band Elend and their album ‘Les Tenebres Du Dehors’. Not comparable in musical  style nor direction, but that one shocked me all the way as well.  I still remember that album after all those years, and perhaps the same will happen with Antonius Rex in the year 2030…

My rating: 77 / 100