Lux Occulta - The Mother and the Enemy Review
by Daniel Walker
Some people think that this band threw the whole kitchen sink into their sound on this album, making it difficult to find that one golden spoon of identity with which to feed the listener. This is an overstatement, though. Actually, I would say that they threw in about half or less of the sink's contents. The Mother and the Enemy isn't one of those albums that you can easily say classify as such-and-such a genre meets this meets that. If you really want to get into that kind of territory, head over to Unexpect's new release, In a Flesh Aquarium. Sure, this gets a little nutty, but there's enough continuity here to prevent the mind from getting frazzled.
First, let's talk about the background of this band for just a bit. Their name is Latin for "Hidden Light" and they had some members of Decapitated in their ranks. There was some confusion about this being a side project, but Lux Occulta was formed two years before Decapitated had even graduated from infant food. The Mother and the Enemy was the band's last album before splitting up, and is self-proclaimed to be the crazy one. An oversimplified assessment, definitely, but it works. Jagged technical riffing meets grim synthesizers, haunting choir vocals, chunks of groove, flirtations with dark synth-pop and even quirky jazz. This album has some elements that might seem unconventional, but it adds to the harrowing, evil atmosphere. After all, evil is a highly variable, deceptive force. Many bands out there tend to play with oddball elements throughout the duration of each song as if it were a demented circus, but Lux Occulta's circus is slightly saner, though still teetering on the edge of a merry-go-round. The topic of humanity being the enemy of creation fits with the insanity of the music. Human beings and their self-created worlds are insanely complex, and capturing some of that complexity is on display here.
Maybe this album doesn't strike me as an identity crisis because I've heard so many daring admixtures of music. Plus, I'm in a bit of an identity crisis myself. Still, I think what makes it sound unfocused is how it stops and starts. If you like blackened thrash metal, death metal, and a little weirdness for good measure - well, then you should like this.
1. Breathe In
2. Mother Pandora
4. Most Arrogant Life Form
5. Yet Another Armageddon
7. Midnight Crisis
8. Pied Piper
9. Missa Solemnis
10. Breathe Out
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