Album Review – Samael “Lux Mundi” 2011

  Don’t get too excited. Samael seem to have rewound their sound close to the beginning and are now replaying it. In 2009 they released Above, an admitted throwback to their black metal roots that almost (and maybe should have) come out as a side-project. With Lux Mundi they continue their time-travel, this time landing about mid-career with a record that would fit comfortably between Passage and Eternal. Perhaps too comfortably.

The band’s signature style is definitely on display: industrial beats with martial orchestral flourishes march steadily through each track with the pomp of a Roman Triumph. Unfortunately, while Lux Mundi (along with its accompanying Antigod EP) capture the flavour of imperial majesty, they also contain something of a parade’s tedium and contrived artificality.

There’s nothing strictly wrong with the material, it’s just that what sounded revolutionary on Passage and confidently dominant on Reign of Light or Solar Soul now seems a bit tired and forced. It brings to mind the worrying notion that Xy and Vorph may not have any tools left, at least none that fit into the Samael toolbox. Panem et circenses! 6 out of 10

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