Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Lux Interna: There Is Light in the Body, There Is Blood in the Sun (2013)

There Is Neurosis in the Wovenhand

If you’re sick of my talking about dark Americana and want me to stick to the death metal, you can stop reading this review right now. If you’re eagerly waiting for the next recommendation, or just morbidly curious, Lux Interna should be next on your list.

I have not heard this band before. From my written and audio research I think it’s fair to say they’re a neofolk band, though nothing so light and airy as Amber Asylum. With There Is Light in the Body, There Is Blood in the Sun it seems they’ve done the same transformation Wovenhand took on their most recent release: They decided to make dark Americana heavy, weaving in a thick layer of bass and touches of electric guitar.

There are a lot of other similarities to Wovenhand here. Thematically, the song titles could be Wovenhand titles. From the lyrics that I picked out here and there, Joshua Levi Ian’s Abrahamic mysticism (talk of Lazarus and “new Jerusalem”) gives off the same vibe as David Eugene Edwards’ Calvinism. And of course there’s the Appalachian folk throughout, banjo included, and presence of drummer Jeff Linsenmaier (a live keyboardist/backing vocalist for Wovenhand).

But they are certainly not a Wovenhand ripoff. Lux Interna’s songs are more droning, using melodic themes and variations in their lush arrangements to propel them in much the same way as Neurosis. (How lush, you may ask? They managed to find space for a rattle.) Ian’s vocals are also deeper and smoother than Edwards’, and are augmented by bandmate Kathryn Mary’s breathy high-end. When she takes the foreground on “Black Bird,” an Amber Asylum comparison wouldn’t be too far off; since their Kris Force provided the strings and produced the record, that’s to be expected. But it is a nice dynamic touch in an album that thrives on finding dynamism in repetition.

Light / Blood is a frontrunner for best dark Americana record in 2013, it’s that good. But in a year that saw the excellent Har Nevo and will soon see a new Man’s Gin, I’m not ready to start making such comparisons. This has been a very good year.

The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pesanta Urfolk


  1. I'm getting a Nick Cave vibe, maybe some Leonard Cohen (both pluses in my book).