Samael Lux Mundi

Samael Lux Mundi
With new album Lux Mundi, Samael demonstrate their ongoing mastery of the particular industrial metal hybrid they pioneered more than a decade-and-a-half past. Coming out straight into mid-to-high gear, they're up front with their intentions. Lux Mundi's opening track, "Luxferre," begins strong and quick, balancing a heavy rhythmic groove with synth melodies. The pacing and balance shift from song to song, as they splice in slower marches, more frenzied metallic flourishes and bombastic orchestral accents, all in constant motion above a rhythmic, mechanical anchor. Album closer "The Truth is Marching On" gives the best glimpse of Samael's black metal associations, but that side of the band stays familiarly below the surface, less audible than other deviations, like the Middle Eastern inflections in "The Shadow of the Sword." Without a careful listen, Lux Mundi's solidity sounds overwhelmingly consistent, but Samael work a lot of texture and nuance into that restrictive framework. Nine records into their career, the band aren't seeking to redefine themselves, but rather to once again express what they do (and have done) best. (Season of Mist)