Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Apocalyptic Blues

There is light in the body…
There is blood in the sun:
LUX INTERNA Review + Stream

Metal dudes sure have something for twisting and subverting the traditional music of their homes.  Viking metal fits in Scandinavian tunes, Negură Bunget breaks up its blackened tunes with frequent pipe solos, and it seems like all of Neurosis have been involved in their own county project at one point or another.  This last group, the ones peddling burnt Americana, are the most successful, and it’s understandable why: the landscape of America’s music stretches to the darkest corners of the continent, murder ballads and crossroads and “Cocaine Blues.”  It may not sound like heavy music, but its soul is bleaker still.

This is where the power of a band like Lux Interna lies.  Though moments of down-tuned distortion and bludgeoning percussion pop up on there is light in the body, there is blood in the sun, the San Franciscan’s newest, the group matches these with sections of relative quiet, which prove even denser and harder to unpack.  Their pedigree stretches from Nick Cave to pitch-black interpreters of American music like Those Poor Bastards and Murder by Death, if not back to Howlin’ Wolf and Son House.  They make music that understands a lack of volume won’t stop a song from rattling your ribcage.


This comes to mean that dynamics aren’t what the band places its emphasis on.  Rather, Lux Interna find a way to subvert more traditional means of generating drama, emphasizing ebb and flow rather than tension and release.  An impressive amount of percussion pushes each song along, shakers and cymbals and hand drums and snares, sometimes pounding, sometimes lilting.  “Seed” maintains its fractured samba groove for the entire run, allowing male and female vocals, in addition to guitar stabs, to unfold overtop.  “Tongues” roils and breaks over a rolling bit of tom work that would make Swans proud.  Working a genre that either eschews drums or uses them simply, LI explores the rhythmic edges of their music, and brings back something that struggles with life.  It moves.

In structure, these songs often have the loping nature of traditional American folk tunes, repetitive chord progressions that walk an unsteady line between mesmerizing and rote.  Sometimes they veer too far to the second end, as on “Blackbird,” which lazes in a dream without truly congealing, but more often the group hits a sweet spot, snatching something that works and droning atop it.  The vocals have the quality of an incantation, words repeated more for their sound or purpose than meaning, buried in the mix but ever present.  You’ll catch snatches, but even on the clearest songs, like the Carissa’s Weird-isms of opener “King Winter,” the harmonies are more important than whatever is being harmonized.  Like a blue yodel, they’re about evocation more than explanation.

It’s not a perfect album, but it is, blessedly, an interesting one.  Unlike other bands of their ilk, LI don’t seem content to write the same song ten times over the course of an album, instead trading in bluesy doom, psychedelics and Johnny Cash.  Its flaws are worth paying attention to, and prove that after a decade, the group keeps morphing and trying.  A career is a route, not an end, and Lux Interna will see you on the back roads.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Shannon Day

    June 18, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Nice to see CVLT noticed this one. “There is light in the body…” is the best dark Americana album of 2013 – hands down. The double LP is stunningly beautiful (in both sound and vision – the artwork is by D.V. D’Andrea) and hasn’t left my record player since I got it last month. And you absolutely must see Lux Interna live. I just saw them perform twice in Germany in May, and they blew my mind both times. POWERFUL stuff. This review makes a few good points, but in my opinion, it misses the mark a lot – especially in regard to the lyrics and vocals. Take a listen, read the lyrics, and see for yourself – this an incredible album.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


via Lazer Horse There’s nothing funny about death really. But there is a lot of certainty to it. There’s not a person who’s ever...

Black Metal

During the first year of CVLT Nation, I was turned on to this unreal band from Wales called GHAST. Their release Terrible Cemetery was...

Black Metal

More Chaos! More Fury! More Rancid Riffs! only begins to tell you how CVLT Nation’s Blackened Everything Vol. IX is going to get you...


By Sascha via Behold The Blessed Wax Trial – Moments Of Collapse LP, 1986 This is not a write up about the Straight Edge...

Copyright © 2020 ZoxPress Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.