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In the Company of Serpents: Lux

I talked about this album on the Sea of Tranquility YouTube Channel and promised to write up a review shortly after that episode went live. Unfortunately, time and circumstances got in the way and my plans for a quick review had to be changed. The good news is that I like this album just as much (if not more) than I did when I appeared on the show.

This is an album that deserves not only a careful listen, but also your best intellectual attention. I hope that saying that doesn’t bring up memories of homework and pop quizzes. I’m not talking about that sort of thing. What I am talking about, though, is the kind of attention that wants to make sense of what this album is doing thematically. You see, this album is thinking through fundamental principles and the ways they inform larger topics like hermeticism, occultism, and philosophy. The album title, Lux (“light”), points you toward one of the most fundamental things of all, as does the cover art which connects to images of the Sun in Tarot.

Speaking of the Tarot, the opening song “The Fool’s Journey” brings to mind the figure of the fool and his quest to understand whether his journey is going in the right direction. The song doesn’t answer that question, but it does focus on the way how small decisions can make a difference between disaster and success. Thinking on a larger scale, the band is imagining the world at this moment in terms of the fool and whether or not we will fail or succeed.

Sure, this can get murky, but I like it when bands think through these kinds of things. They write good songs, so why can’t they also figure out what they all mean?

The most important thing is to listen to the music. “The Fool’s Journey” is a stellar track that rewards your listening with some of the coolest bits saved for the end. If you like that, keep listening so you’ll hear “Scales of Maat” and, later, “The Chasm at the Mouth of the All.” That track is especially good. I’m listening to it now and I just want to stop writing and listen.

Most of the songs here are dark and moody affairs, but two tracks (“Daybreak” and “Nightfall”) show off the band’s gentler touch. Both are lovely and I am hoping someone will work out how to play the guitar parts on both of them right away. If you listen, you can also hear some other instruments playing along.

Overall, this is a strong, thoughtful, album. It’s heavy, sludgy, beautiful, epic, and dark.

Track Listing:
1. The Fool’s Journey
2. Scales of Maat
3. Daybreak
4. The Chasm at the Mouth of the All
5. Lightchild
6. Archonic Manipulations
7. Nightfall
8. Prima Materia

Added: July 31st 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 380
Language: english

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