Lux Interna may, on paper, seem to be an oddity within the musical realm. Here is a band that plays the likes of Stella Natura amongst various Heathen Folk and Black Metal bands, whom are widely accepted as one of America’s best versions of what many refer to as Neofolk, while singing the songs of Angels to those whom often are or were blasphemers of the ‘Good Book‘. This is not merely some Christian diatribe though, yet instead a very well educated and thoughtful introspection on the works of Jacob Boehme, Rosicrucian, and Alchemical texts. To listen and comprehend such a work is no simple task. It is, simply put, an Esoteric work that we are dealing with. Perhaps the reason that so many of us have wandered towards the gates of Lux Interna is to be graced by, as the name translates, our internal Light. There is light in the body, there is blood in the sun, there is a journey for us to take, one from Creator to Earth, from Earth to Creator.
We all have a Light within, a spark that leads to the profound first Breath, which began our beating hearts. Perhaps it is through all these years of collectively traveling the underworlds that we as a culture have come to a point where we need something different, we Need Light. This may not be so surprising after all, considering that all throughout the Occult is a teaching that is centered around the Resurrection. The language of Alchemy is from a time and place where Christianity dominated, and these things have been central parts of the music many reading this listen to. Even the original form of Baphomet, the sacred Goat, is created from a Catholic named Eliphas Levi, representing duality; male/female, good/evil. How many bands ignorantly use this image? So no excuses for the symbols used, Lux Interna has granted us with the ability to stare without, from within.
From the opening moments of “King Winter”, we are guided into an Alchemical journey of self-discovery. It is easy to discern that something has sparked the Light within. The mix of vocals is a welcome warmth on a cold night, with percussive elements that keep it interesting while not relying on being heavy or loud like so many others.
With a gentle hand and passion erupting from the volcanic voice of Joshua Levi Ian, a prophet with a guitar in hand and a story to tell, the album carries on to the track “Tongues” which has an instantly mesmerizing distorted guitar riff, inducing a trance-like fervor. “Nida” has a vocal delivery that sends chills up my spine. It seems difficult to understand why Joshua does not always use this style, as his vocals are often a somewhat low tone, while still retaining a passionate delivery. Kathryn Mary’s Angelic voice adds a softness that would lay the most bitter of hearts to rest. It is truly a shame that her voice is such a small part of the album, with these two things being the only distinguishable flaws in a work that is asolutely a reflection of the Heavens. The craftsmanship of these songs is impeccable, from the sermon of “Spiritloom“ that shakes with minor chords that speak like Frankincense smoke.
“Wounded Stag” is another track which seems to be a single, containing a banjo and a chorus calling forth Lazarus in a manner that is instantly reminiscent of Nick Cave. A future collaboration just may be in order, if Cave could be so lucky. The string work on “Blackbird” by Kris Force adds a whole other dimension to an already incredible band. With Kathryn’s vocals, this is probably my favorite track. Kris is from the impeccable Amber Asylum, who are for me, a very special band. Songs like this embody the magic that is Lux Interna. I can’t say I always feel this way while listening to the album, and perhaps that is what is most confusing. At times, this is just interesting Americana folk, nothing bad but also not containing that ether which is almost surreal. While no terrible songs exist, when you have one track that, afterwards, leaves you suspended in disbelief, the surrounding material is not quite as luminescent.
Yet, they can and often do have those elements which show the height of musical force, a power that shifts everything. It is not my intention to be overly critical, I am even more so with this though as I recognize the brilliance that is the work of Joshua and the incredible musicians he works with.
Another influence that seems to creep in is one whom are undoubtedly friends of the band, Lasher Keen. More so than ever is a jovial feel, with whoops and hollers in the background of songs like “Seed”. Still, the foreboding Gothic vocals and overall Esoteric nature still keeps this song dreary enough, and the focus on classical instrumentation such as Cello helps bring out a sense of Baroque. This could best be described using terms such as Romantic and Gothic, after all, with a similar Spirit of such anomalies as Goethe and Baudelaire. This musical laboratory has the intention of changing coal to Gold, a Hero’s Journey leading from Sol Niger to Kether, pulling out the Light from the dark before the Dawn.
The work in this case is composed of instruments instead of vials and chemicals, which create a comfortable eeriness that is quite peculiar and capable of invoking strong reactions within the listener. Perhaps those of us whom have become too attached to the darkness feel disdain over loosening the grasp of that which for too long has ailed us. Yet at times, it is only fear that leaves us in the Shadows, knowing that to step into the Light means seeing for the first time all the horrendous scars which we bear. It may seem strange to some, but this music for me is Spiritual, it belongs alongside any other form of Religious music. While the subject matter may make some cringe, that Spirit is something, regardless of the form, that I can always appreciate. Perhaps those aspects which fail to alight these mystical emotions are merely an attempt to lessen the impact on those whom are not ready for such a journey. If so, I look forward to the future of Lux Interna, and any disparagement’s you may trust are only due to the recognition that the full potential of this group is yet to be reached.
The following is a track from Lux Interna’s There is Light in the Body, there is Blood in the Sun which has been edited by Kris T. Force & Kathryn Mary. A luxury vinyl edition is available now through Pesanta Urfolk.
01) King Winter
05) Wounded Stag