I mentioned in passing on 9/11 that Lustre’s 2013 album Wonder may be the most beautiful record I’ve heard this year. So when I noticed yesterday that Lustre has also contributed to a forthcoming split, I had to investigate.
The split will be jointly released on vinyl next month by I, Voidhanger and ATMF, with cover art by Francesco Gemelli. Lustre’s contribution is a song entitled “Like Flowers of Gold”. Like so much of Wonder, the song casts a hypnotic spell, its seductive melody repeating in an extended loop against a backdrop of deep, groaning tones and ghostly/ghastly whispers. Atmospheric music such as this need not be complex nor instrumentally intricate to be emotionally affecting, but it does need to be well-written, and this Swedish one-man band does have that talent.
The second band on the split are new to me. Austria’s Aus der Transzendenz produced a debut album (Breed of A Dying Sun) last year, and this new song “Vixerunt” appears to be the band’s first new music since then. Where Lustre’s track brings a moonlit, pastoral ambience, “Vixerunt” races like a storm front, yet it is also an atmospheric piece of music.
The drums rumble, the bass is bounding, and the dramatic tremolo-picked melody comes in waves. The vocals vary between harsh, goblin-like rasps and echoing clean passages. It, too, relies on repetition, of a more energetic and intense variety, and it makes a good companion to the Lustre track because both have a mystical (maybe even mythical) quality, albeit created in very different ways.
Listen to both songs below.