Released: 2013, Pesanta Urfolk
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
For all that they bang on about "crafting aural alters to inner light" and "seeking fire in the tension between transcendence and immanence", self-professed Greek 'spiritfolkers' Lux Interna are actually really good. Ignoring all the pretentious literary bullshit they try to fashion a spiritual enigma from, their blend of doom, dark Americana and Neofolk makes for highly enjoyable listening in their brand new studio release.
Through hollow corridors of shamanistic chants, reverb-soaked minor chords and tribal drum patterns, the nine-tracker haunts, lulls and transfixes its listener into...well, a stupor. It's a no-hold-barred, heady-as-hell mixture of gorgeous melodies and 'resolving' notes, a stretch of hypnosis that still manages to maintain track separation and prevent each individual mantra from bleeding into the next. But for anyone with visions of pan-flutes, waterfall sounds and New-Age shops, hold the bus: this is no wishy-washy ethereal drag.
It's a dark, droning and potent listen, and one that is best experienced with full-on concentration, not as a half-arsed background spin. That's not to say that it wouldn't function perfectly well in the role of the latter - it's just that if this record served as anything ancillary, it would be severely short-changed.
Dozens of instruments, including violas, banjos and even a rattle, merge into lush arrangements and broad soundscapes, for a highly atmospheric and almost eerie vibe. The disc's principle of minimalism exploits repetition as its strongest weapon, and it's this very continuum that lilts its receptors into a dream-like state.
The production is also excellent, with myriad textures from all manner of strings, picking techniques and high and low-end resonances coming to the fore; the treble-infused guitar melodies weave with the delicate drone and heavy bass seamlessly, to enchanting effect.
It's certainly not an upbeat, commercial or energetic choice. But to approach Lux Interna with any other objective bar getting lost in the splendour of musical richness is to either completely miss the point, or not have a clue what they're about.
If you're looking to abandon yourself in a sonic tapestry while rolling around the introspective caverns of your head, this is the album for you. An excellent, hybrid example of its kind, and to be passed over at your peril.
Review by Rhiannon Marley