Monday, 14 September 2015

Lux Occulta - Forever Alone. Immortal

LUX OCCULTA - Forever Alone. Immortal (PAGAN Records - CD 1996)
It must have been a long time since I’ve listened to Lux Occulta for the last time, surely more than ten or even more years ago, so it feels great to give “Forever Alone. Immortal” a listen again. More so, because this is such a great album. I actually was wondering if it survived the test of time or will it sound rather outdated and dull… why? Well, music style of Lux Occulta is not only difficult to describe, but also not so common these days. I am glad then that “Forever Alone. Immortal” is still able to really catch my interest and bring some excellent songs. By the way, I also can’t believe it’s been twenty years since this album was recorded! Damn! Time flies away fast. I still remember when I’ve heard of Lux Occulta for the first time and was getting their tapes from Pagan Records. And also this band was appearing in EVERY Polish fanzine, including my very first zine (I think they were the first band I ever interview!), where I actually included two interviews with the band. So, we were all very familiar with everything Lux Occulta was doing back in the old days.
I never really understood why Lux Occulta is being described as symphonic black metal band, but I suppose the categorization is not something what we should bother. Especially as at the same time someone could label them as black / doom or doom / death or whatever. That black metal thing is mainly noticeable in the vocals, if Jaro.slav uses the typical, maybe sometimes quite sorrowful, harsh screams. And also in the monumental and dark atmosphere, which along with some riffs, especially in the faster fragments remind me classic Greek black metal scene strongly. Tempo wise the music is mainly slow, doomy, but Lux Occulta music was very diverse and contained a lot of different emotions and ideas. It wasn’t just slow and melancholic, but often it also was fast and aggressive, all depends what songs we talk about. Basically each track is different and that’s great thing about “Forever Alone. Immortal”. More so, each song is quite long, some are well over ten minutes long (“Homodeus (Throne of Fire)”). Buteven though the whole album with six tracks is 56 minutes long, it’s not boring at all, there’s enough going on to capture interest and keep you focused on the music and all those fantastic arrangements, ideas, the band had etc. Take such “The Kingdom Is Mine (I Saw the Beginning)” and check how much is going on in this one song! I also like how Lux Occulta was using the keyboards, which were an active instrument and took an important role in many symphonic arrangements and song structures. They’re equal to the guitars, I would say, and are not just responsible for the backgrounds, but also accompany with melodies, some interludes etc. Additionally you’ll hear flute or violin, with some really beautiful melodies. But the music is not really complex or sophisticated. And as mentioned before, there are slow, doomy and melancholic songs like “Bitter Taste of Victory” or “Sweetest Stench of the Dead (The Battlefield)”, but also some tracks, which have some faster and more aggressive parts, like “The Third Eye (Illuminatio)” and “Homodeus (Throne of Fire)”. And they’re all fuckin great.
Finally “Forever Alone. Immortal” has very decent production, which I think correspondents well with the music style of Lux Occulta. And all in all, this is one of the best Polish metal albums from the second part of 90’s. I really like it and damn, I think this music sounds quite unique and original nowadays. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a vinyl edition one day also.
Standout tracks: “The Third Eye (Illuminatio)”, “Homodeus (Throne of Fire)”, “Bitter Taste of Victory”

Final rate: 80/100

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