The fourth album proper from Lux Interna sees them taking their sound away from the dark folk where they have deep roots and into more alternative rock territory. There Is Light In The Body, There Is Blood In The Sun (Pesanta) is still wantonly bleak but with the fuzz guitar on ‘Tongues’ and the intense overall grind there’s an undeniable feeling of Nick Cave in his Grinderman/Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds guise.
Lux Interna continue the revolving door of talent but at the root of it Joshua Levi Ian’s rich baritone is the key component. Bonded with Kathryn Mary’s poignant delivery it’s an irresistible mixture reminiscent of the Black Francis/Kim Deal partnership of The Pixies.
The downbeat but oddly throbbing ‘King Winter’ starts the album with a haunting Ian/Mary vocal round over a simple guitar riff and layered percussion. Monstrously beautiful ‘Wounded Stag’ is the highlight of the album with its hypnotic, cyclical guitar piece and lingering vocals.
There are times when the slow grind becomes a loud grate and the intensity borders on Swans-style acute disdain. Sometimes the elaborately long tracks struggle to keep the snails’ pace and it’s hard not to wonder if the extended time limit was worthwhile. However, when it goes right, the lush musicianship and haunting melodies burrow into the brain leaving a powerful lasting effect. A slightly new direction may raise some eyebrows but is subtle enough to build on existing foundations.