Jess and the Ancient Ones is a female-fronted Finnish occult rock band with pyschedelic influences. Jess and the Ancient Ones was formed in 2010 by Thomas Corpse (guitar) and Thomas Fiend (guitar/backing vocals) to “explore the dark magical realms beyond the mundane.” They are joined by Jess (vocals), Von Stroh (guitar), Fast Jake (bass), Yussuf (drums) and Abraham (keyboards). They cite as influences “Mercyful Fate, Roky Erikson, Iron Maiden and ABBA.” Yes, ABBA. I like this band, but I love their name which brings to mind H.P. Lovecraft.
The other day, I picked up Terrorizer presents… The Devil’s Music, a special collector’s edition of the UK’s extreme metal magazine dedicated to “the New Wave of Occult Rock.” I read an article called “The High Priestesses” in which a number of the genre’s fresh “Satanic Sisters and Hells Belles” were showcased. I discovered some cool bands like Blood Ceremony (with Alia O’Brien on vocals), Demon Lung (with Shandra Fredrick on vocals), The Devil’s Blood (with Farida “F. The Mouth of Satan” Lemouchi on vocals), and others. But, Jess and the Ancient Ones is the band I felt compelled to post about, for now.
Jess and the Ancient Ones‘ self-titled debut (2012) opens with the awesome “Prayer for Death and Fire” which blends an up-tempo Steppenwolf-esque riff and Deep Purple-ish organ with Jess’ powerful vocals and occult lyrics. “Twilight Witchcraft” is a similar psychedelic rocker, while “The Devil (in G-minor)” is a bluesy ballad in which Jess’ vocals burn like fires within her soul. But, my favorite track is “Come Crimson Death” which starts gentle, but slowly builds to blazing climax just short of twelve minutes later.
Jess and the Ancient Ones‘ latest EP, Astral Sabbat (2013), has only three tracks, but the third track, “More Than Living”, clocks in just under fifteen minutes, and it’s one of this band’s best songs. An epic masterpiece. The first track, “Astral Sabbat”, is driven by a riff that sounds like a darker re-working of The Munsters‘ TV theme song (but it works) and, in between, is a surprising cool cover of “Long And Lonesome Road” originally by ’70s Dutch rockers Shocking Blue (who are best known for their hit “Venus”).
Watch the video for “Astral Sabbat” here:
2012.05.23 – Jess and the Ancient Ones (Svart Records) [Album]
2013.02.22 – Astral Sabbat (Svart Records) [Album]