Lux Nigrum‘s 2019 debut EP Burning the Eternal Return (which we reviewed and premiered here) made a striking impression. The music channeled chaos, but not in the sense of some flailing, disorganized cacophony. There was a palpable sense of fierce wildness and burning devotion in the music, but an equal devotion to the crafting of excellent riffs, which had both emotional power and magnetic musical appeal.
And so it was very welcome news to learn that this Chilean band would be returning this year with a debut album named Omnia Ab Uno, Omnia Ad Unum. The band describe it as “a conceptual album based on the Acausal Spirituality and the mysterious duality of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death, dealing with the unification of everything as One, and its own dissolution towards Ain.”
In February we had the pleasure of premiering a lyric video for the song “Adamas Voluntatem“, and today we’re equally pleased to bring you the sounds of the entire record on the day of its release.
The erudite but esoteric lyrics elaborate on the concept of Omnia Ab Uno, Omnia Ad Unum summarized above, “conceptualizing and practicing the unification from Light and Darkness, Thanatos and Eros, Above and Bellow, all the Dualistic Archetypes of life painted as the purest white over a virgin canvas.” They provide frequent references to the light of flames and prayers to sacred spirits, as well as the dissolution of light into darkness and the breaking of causal chains, leading to liberation from the ego.
The music itself seems genuinely inspired by such arcane concepts. Frequently, you can feel a sense of reverence and yearning from ringing harmonies, but this black metal is also undeniably fiery, often driven by maniacally battering drums, blazing and swirling riffage, and fanatical snarls and screams. In its most delirious phases, the guitars sound exotic and exultant, indeed like an occult ritual in which the participants elevate and spin like dervishes.
The music also exerts a primeval appeal, as the drums rhythmically rattle the spine and feral, slashing chords generate head-hooking menace. Just making your way through the wild opening track “Ain” should be convincing proof that Lux Nigrum have a dynamic approach to their songwriting, melding elaborate, fleet-fingered fretwork and athletic drumming, which collectively give the mind a swift spin through magical and burning dimensions, with more primitive, visceral, and even punk-fueled romps.
The proof of that mounts higher and higher as the tracks unfold. Some, like “Funeral Pyre of Will”, sound like rebellious riots. Others, like “Adamas Voluntatem” (a truly head-spinning track), are downright glorious. Still others, like the instrumental tracks “Omnia Ab Uno” and “Omnia Ad Unum” and the interlude within “Absence of Light and Darkness”, glitter and glimmer like the seductive beckoning of mystics.
Moreover, the same “Absence of Light and Darkness”, as well as album closer “The Holy Nachash”, create sensations of sinister and chilling danger — before erupting in electrifying frenzies and imperious stomps. That album closer, by the way, might be the darkest song on the album. Its violent phases are frightening, but at other moments the music also sounds steeped in misery and despair.
Throughout the album, the drumming is a persistently fast-changing and often jaw-cropping presence, as are the guitars, which are as likely to blare and claw as they are to spin up into supernatural spectacles. The band also give the bass moments to really shine (see especially “Adamas Voluntatem”), adding to the songs’ multi-faceted interests. The vocals, on the other hand, are relentlessly fanatical and ferocious, and even more so when layered together like the expulsions of a barbarous gang.
Produced in a way that sounds rough and organic rather than shined up like a silver chalice, this really is an album of many facets that exerts a strong hold from beginning to end. Not the kind of thing where minds might be inclined to wander, it will keep you on the edge of your seats. And as its concept foretells, the record really does seem like a daring unification of seemingly warring dualities.
The Lux Nigrum quartet of Fraters give thanks Karla K. for the cover artwork: “She followed some concepts by Frater Sine Cogitatio and Frater Bodhisattva and added her own essence to this piece”.
Omnia Ab Uno, Omnia Ad Unum was recorded by Matías Beltramin, and it was mixed and mastered by Miguel Díaz. It is being released in a limited edition of 1000 CDs by Australis Records, and the band will also provide a limited self-released cassette edition. To acquire the record and stream it, check the links below.
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