Note: This article is to review the audio portion of the collaborative book+CD between Krist Mort and Lamia Vox. This is not a free-standing release.
Voix femme has long served as an accent within the dark ambient and, more broadly, post-industrial underground. With the exception of steadfast female-fronted acts such as The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud and Hybryds, most projects that have garnered use of the female voice have erred towards a passing exoticizing of it. Arguably, the last few years have permitted an ever-growing platform for new arrangements of expression, which have mostly evolved from self-establishing female artists. Lamia Vox has, in recent years, come to be a prominent highlight of this movement.
With Lamia Vox’s third major release, Inlumaeh, our beloved enchantress conjures a soundscape that is as vulnerable as it is insidious. Moving away from the bombastic persuasion of 2013’s Sigillum Diaboli, we find Alina Antonova parlaying a type of subtlety that is evocative of forces that are less representational and more private in gesture. As holds true with the concepts displayed in Krist Mort’s photography to which this EP is promotional of, elements of light and dark are at confluence with each other.
Embedded within Inlumaeh’s single track are three distinct rituals, each crafted out of disparate sensibility, but all conjoined by a unique pathos. “Rituals I” unfolds as if crossed in oneiric spell. A female whisper invokes over a tense, blaring drone, building towards Lamia Vox’s signature cinematic percussion as a hushed rattle interrupts the procession. As “Rituals II” surmounts, the listener is lulled into ethereality in throw of Antonova’s call. We are forever guided by it, twisting through a hallowed background of bellowing and soaring chants; a testament to the final ritual, which affixes itself as a quiet decree. Lamia Vox’s call coaxes further, giving pause to percussive rattle and a panning acoustic lilt and twiddle. “Rituals III” pronounces as an antebellum, but in precedence of what?
Within a style of music that is dominated by male bodies and tacitly congealed in exploring prescribed modalities, Lamia Vox is hot melting breath. Her artistry fails in conforming or developing itself upon many of the heavily masculine artifices of expression custom to the post-industrial sphere. Instead, her production marries a controlled, simmering aggression with a deeper sensuality in a manner that is both novel and astute, provoking the listener into consumption of a femininity that is neither frail nor trodden.
Fiercly autochthonous, Antonova’s voice is a direct pronouncement of her sinister craft. As an inflection of performance, Inlumaeh does much to vie for our curiosity towards subsequent expression. The rituals have defined grounds for the unremitting female-bodied project that is Lamia Vox. The threshing floor is cleared. The enchanted are waiting.
1) Inlumaeh Rituals – I, II, III