Well, fuck, I should have known that 2009’s return to a more pure Black Metal sound, with the album Above, was too good to last. But I dared to hope that the Samael guys had come to their senses and would stick with that style from then on. I just remember the glory days, damn it! I suppose that I’m making this new album seem like a shit sandwich, and that’s not at all the case. It’s just disappointing to hear these Swiss virtuosos go back to a more Industrial take on Metal, no matter how good they are at it. And they are amazing. There is a hell of a lot to like on this album, including some aggression scattered throughout these songs, like sane people in Indiana: rare but appreciated. Vorph’s generally excellent vocals are, as always, worth mention, too. Mostly, however, Lux Mundi is more about precision and atmosphere than intensity, and that would be fine if I could just get Above’s awesome ass-kickery out of my head for 666 seconds to fully enjoy it.
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Lux Mundi and Above are two very different albums - so different that it may actually be easier to think of the two as separate projects. Above was brutal, aggressive and above all, Black Fucking Metal. Lux Mundi is essentially a continuation of Solar Soul. In the continuity, Above stands out because it is so different than the album before it and the album after it. My biggest disappointment in Lux Mundi isn’t in the music but the fact that Vorph and the gang didn’t take the Black Metal sound and incorporate it more into the music. Opting to go back to their tried and true formula seems like playing it safe. I’m not expecting Samael to go back to their Black Metal roots but after Above, I was expecting more chaos and brutality. Lux Mundi is still a solid album with good songs and loads of atmosphere and I definitely agree with Ray’s rating.
Hell fucking yes.
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