Jess & The Ancient Ones: Jess & The Ancient Ones

The Devil’s Blood decamp to Finland.

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While one normally wouldn’t think that your average mild-mannered prog fan would go a bundle on the whole occult side of things, both the recent appeal and the success of bands such as The Devil’s Blood and Blood Ceremony suggests there might be some mileage in such endeavours. Add to that list Finland’s Jess And The Ancient Ones then. Two months ago they were an unknown quantity to us here at Prog, until the inclusion of Ghost Riders on the cover CD for Prog 26 alerted our ears.

Calling themselves progressive occult heavy rock and citing influences as diverse as Mercyful Fate, ABBA and Roky Erickson, it would be easy to merely label the band a new Devil’s Blood, but there’s a different kind of depth to their style, which also brings with it a dash of Kansas and early Heart to the likes of the 15-minute plus Sulfur Giants and the catchily rocking Prayer For Death And Fire.

The septet might boast three guitarists, but the swathes of Hammond organ from the mysteriously titled Abraham lend Jess and her merry troupe a far more progressive edge. It’ll be fascinating to see how the live shows pan out – a case of it’ll be all rite on the night perhaps?

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.