Following hot on the heels of their self-titled debut from last year, “Astral Sabbat” is a three-track EP from Finland’s Jess and The Ancient Ones and sees the band on renewed form as the songs and performance here are a lot more energised and confident than they were back then.
The title track opens things up and immediately has a swinging sixties vibe about it, all flowing arms and mashed potato dance moves. Sounding not too dissimilar to Jefferson Airplane or The Doors if they were a bit more pop, the track is sheer musical delight with its organ flurries playing out over some powerful lead vocals and general good vibes.
This is followed by ‘Long and Lonesome Road’, a cover of Dutch band Shocking Blue’s 1969 song, which keeps the late-60’s vibe going strong but final track ‘More Than Living’ is a fifteen-minute powerhouse of a song that shifts moods as well as tempos, going from dreamy acoustics to doom to classic rock before returning back to the gentle strum of acoustic guitars to close on.
To be honest, as good as their debut was this EP dumps on it from a great height. Pushing their sound to include more groove, the band have really stepped up to the mark and delivered an EP that points the way to a bigger and better future as long as they can keep building on this solid foundation. Impressive!