Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Lux Interna – there is light in the body, there is blood in the sun
Sometimes, I need a break from the death and black metal, from the grind and the crust, and I just need a different kind of crushing. Something that sneaks up on me a little bit, something that sounds like a change of pace, something that is but isn't. Something that makes me scratch my head a little and wonder if you can really call it metal. And sometimes I get just what I need.
Lux Interna have brought us a very interesting album. I have to say that I knew nothing about this band prior to listening to this. My mind is still trying to wrap itself around this music. I suppose if you are one of those true music nerds that has to describe everything you might come up with some “post this or that” tag for this, but if you've ready my reviews before you know I don't buy into that. It's either good music or not good music. This is actually awesome music.
It is heavy and bludgeoning in its own manner. This is music that seems wounded, that seems to lurch and stagger to us. I suppose you could call this a modern take on folk music. Certainly the instrumentation is there to give it this title, for along with the electronic stuff you'd expect there are violins, violas, and I'm sure I heard some banjo in there as well. But it is not light and airy, and it will settle on you like a gorilla sitting on your chest. And really, if you think about it, folk music is not really all that light and airy, nor all that cheerful. Someone is dying, someone has been cheated, someone has lost their true love. That's what folk music is. Its as dark as the real Grimm fairy tales. Folk music is a lot like the truth. People think that as long as they know the truth, its all sunshine and unicorns. But reality isn't quite like that. Sometimes the truth rips your guts out and dances a jig in your entrails. It's real but it isn't always pretty. And this is like folk music through the filter of some nasty, droning metal.
The vocals on this really struck me. Imagine Peter Steele of Type O Negative fame, and you'll have an idea of the timbre of the vocals. These are not overtly expressive vocal lines, they are more droning in nature, but expressive in their own way just the same. These songs tell stories, these songs feel as though they've been lived in and experienced. The mix of instrumentation on each of these tracks is exactly right, the tonalities, melodies, the interplay of the various instruments fits each song. My favorites all come in the middle of the album. “Spiritloom”, “Wounded Stag”, “Seed”, and “Threefold” all move together and yet separately. The songs move through their passages, they ebb and flow, they build and release, and they are beautifully crafted. This is simply an amazing album.
These aren't the raging anthems of thrash or death metal, but they get the blood pumping just the same. There are different kinds of heavy and Lux Interna show us the gentler side of heavy. Make no mistake though, this is music you will feel, this is not just ambiance. Sit back, turn this up, and really listen. And be prepared to be moved.