Lux, by In The Company Of Serpents isn’t your standard sludgy, doom ladened, stoner fayre, it’s so much more than that, it’s an album of great depth, and some profound moments, made with some incredible technical skill, and lots of passion.
What can I say, I was expecting something full on and gnarly, and after looking at the artwork I was ready for a full on assault, but was treated to a rich, well thought out album, with some fantastic instrument playing, and multi layered concepts, not often seen in the doom sludge genre.
This album is like a play in three acts, with interludes to direct where the story is going, and at times it reminds me of a Clint Eastwood style spaghetti western; it’s moody, and atmospheric, and I felt like I was being led by the protagonist of the piece through the musical storyline, as it unfolded.
Opener The Fools Journey sets the scene, its ambient start gives way to a full on burst of growl, before slowing again, it feels somewhat like a sudden rain shower, followed by an equally dramatic stop, and moment of respite, before a second downpour. It builds and builds, before bursting into a wonderful doomy grindcore ladened finale…
From here we’re taken on a rollercoaster of a ride, there are ups, and downs, moments for contemplation, before the next round of the tale.
It builds and it drops, and there are some moments of real surprise, until we arrive at the final track Prima Materia. A slow build as we progress, until the final third, where it can be imagined that the hero kicks in the saloon doors, with guns blazing, cutting down the villains, before the inevitable stand off with the head honcho, while all the while we are by his side. It’s a trip.
this album is so much more than just taking from other sounds, its completely its own thing, it sounds unlike anything else currently doing the rounds…
My favourite two tracks of the opus are Scales Of Maat, a six minute, eighteen second dark and broody ramble, complete with Soundgarden/Alice In Chains overtones and a notable vocal, as if Satan’s very own bowels were calling to us. The Chasm At The Mouth Of The All is a very catchy track, and for me the stand out for the whole album, a standard progression, quiet verse, heavy chorus, quiet verse, heavy chorus, but so nicely controlled, not too much, not too little.
There are definite comparisons to be made throughout. There’s a few Necrotism era Carcass style breaks, the whole Soundgarden and Alice In Chains vibe during Scales Of Maat, some Megadeth and Corrosion Of Conformity in the mix, and even a little Leonard Cohen style intro on The Chasm At The Mouth Of The All, which is eerily reminiscent of scenes from the movie Natural Born Killers. But this album is so much more than just taking from other sounds, its completely its own thing, it sounds unlike anything else currently doing the rounds in the record stores, or online.
After finishing the album I felt like there had been something more to it, a definite time line, and a story being told, so I dug a little deeper…
After reading the press release about spiritual elements, meanings, and mystical thesis, it was clear to me that I had been following a concept, albeit a tad different to the artists vision perhaps, but I guess you go with what you know, and I’ve seen my fair share of spaghetti westerns in my time.
I felt like I had been taken on a ride, and I left satisfied.
If you are looking for something different, but that still gives you those heavy doom tingles, then you would do far worse than to check this album out, as it hits the spot where it needs to, and still leaves you satisfied.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish