Inconcessus Lux Lucis is the ugly child of assaulting music that reaches out of the frame and pulls in the listener, dragging them down further and further into this hellish depiction of fire and fury. Their newest record, The Crowning Quietus is a constant belligerent beating that is frantic from the start. It draws a final conclusion of a killing blow disguised as the growling and howls of instrumentation, the rough cutting vocals, and the atmosphere that feels ripped straight from the worst nightmares.
From the rattling shackles and devil-worshipping chants of “With Leaden Hooks And Chains”, Inconcessus Lux Lucis makes a presence known that strays from the straight-forward attack that will be present in just moments and builds an introduction. A desirable set-up that takes the listener in with a fondness for the deader things in life, a place of uncertainty as Inconcessus Lux Lucis stays unconventional and adaptable through each track. The way they move suddenly into “Amour Rides Upon Midnight” is a display of strength as the instruments start to flood and becoming a drowning pool of noise. It is a theme that carries well throughout The Crowning Quietus which shines upon the danger and the overpowering sound. Most of the record is filled with relentless double-pedal work on percussion, the vocals, and the guitar that is being handled from WSJ. There is then also the electric bass which is handled by ALJ and has this overbearing amount of weight behind it. The bass never truly comes through as a foreground instrument in Inconcessus Lux Lucis, but is instead used as a backing piece of transportation for each track. It carries the direction behind the other instruments and shakes well as a cranking piece of the puzzle.
Even as The Crowning Quietus continues to pound away, it makes an effort to take slight breakdowns which act as moments of refraction where the sound is being transferred from one instrument to the other. Creating a sense of depth behind the sound of Inconcessus Lux Lucis is where the band begins to illustrate a sense of professionalism behind their overall sound. The mixing and mastering that was done by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio is outstanding and really gives justice to the envisioning of what just some of Inconcessus Lux Lucis’s potential truly is. It is the layering of sound that makes the record feel so full and truthful. It is immensely harsh and critical at points, but the damaging nature is empowering and takes a certain amount of stress behind the style of The Crowning Quietus.
But it is the final track that takes a complete shift into different territory and becomes almost an entirely record altogether. “Fever Upon The Firmament” begins as the other tracks before it, but leads a transition of sorts where the guitars and vocals suddenly become cleaner than previously stated. The track acts like another band wrote and recorded the final track as it is performed with such a different stride than originally approached on in The Crowning Quietus. It takes a note from the transitioning effects on the record and flows well into the different style while never losing touch of what Inconcessus Lux Lucis began with. It still has the underlying hint of assertive and aggressive style, but tones it down and becomes more approachable with the final moments of The Crowning Quietus.
Inconcessus Lux Lucis is deadly, striking from both far and close ranges with a focus on illustrating a sense of dread behind their music. It is the brick-bodied layout that becomes a stance on the tracks present and create a hanging feeling of suspense over The Crowning Quietus. The music is lovely from a productive standpoint and shows signs of immaculate talent. there is nothing holding back Inconcessus Lux Lucis as they become a powerhouse with each release, showcasing a sense of adaptability and prowess behind The Crowning Quietus.
Prod. By: Musa // Listen Here – Youtube
There is a certain essence about capturing an attributing sound of the past, the flair of the gentle and smooth sounds of Funk’s Golden Era, the glimmering potential of thousands of sounds coming from a single time frame. Curtis Harding in certain moments stands out for acting as a mirror that reflects the soulfulness, but is also a shining example of a modern rendition of hopefulness in his future. It is the versatility of the Michigan-born artist that gives the inspiration of Face Your Fear, a smooth glide of transitions that lead to a second full-length masterpiece.
It is the first moments of “Wednesday Morning Atonement” where Harding takes a passionate and deliberate turn to this fluttering use of string ensembles which resemble something similar to a Pixar film. Then as the thunderous guitar and percussion floods into the frame, Harding uses his vintage style to become a catalyst for his strong vocal performance that begins to echo over the instrumentation like a wave of beauty. Harding’s style is incredibly similar to something that could be heard over the radios in the 1970’s, images of southern light creep into the mind as Harding creates an emotional experience for his sound and captures the internal mix of substance. It is something that comes as almost indescribable as the amount of simplistic, but pleasant to the ears sound is precious on Face Your Fear, becoming a shifting work of art at every turn.
The gentle caress of Face Your Fear on the following self-titled cut, “Face Your Fear” is just simply gorgeous and the real grace behind it is the backing instrumentation that fills the gaps of sound with movie-esque strings. It is a simple gesture, but a substantial one that begins to continue to register and indicate Harding’s immaculate sense of identity behind his music. The percussion is a tender endeavor that takes the listener in and never becomes an overpowering tool, but instead continues to lay the backing methods that eventually cascade into “On And On”. Focusing more on becoming upbeat and using horns, “On And On” is an abrupt transition into a cheerful styling that takes a new rendition of something similar to Amy Winehouse’s discography of blaring horns and a standard jazz syncopated drum beat. It is a collection of sound from Harding that hunkers down and captures eloquently the feeling of soul that transitions into the overarching levels of Face Your Fear.
Even when progressing farther into “Welcome To My World”, Harding keeps the same consistency of smooth, soul-influenced vocals that work almost perfectly into the instrumental that takes more of a spaced-out approach of synthesizers that never take complete control, but instead provide backing aspects. Harding explains, “Welcome to my world baby, sun shines in your eye”, as the instrumental begins to pick up momentum and shift with faster strikes on the cymbals that takes a nosedive back to the first found tempo. Harding has an overarching control of the track that then transpires into Face Your Fear in the final moment of “As I Am”. The subtle and crawling ending of Face Your Fear that takes everything Harding showcased previously is shown once again as one project. It is a beautiful finale that strikes a chord with the soft-spoken Harding, commanding the production to create a gentle outro that fades into a quiet silence.
Harding takes Face Your Fear into a new level of tribute through sound without ever creating a feeling of unoriginality. He takes the feeling of the 1970’s and transforms it into a modern twist of immaculate beauty from the production, the vocals, and the instrumentation that is almost perfect. The last seconds are a graceful send-off into the future of Harding which sounds brighter than ever.
Faith No More was at one time two separate entities, balancing on two different sounds. There was the Faith No More that had brought Mike Patton on to record and give life to the lyrics of their last record, The Real Thing. Then there was the Faith No More that gave Mike Patton creative control and let the band flourish in a cloud of strange style, ripping the safety net from beneath them and trying death defying stunts in the form of sound.
It begins with the ferocity of “Land Of Sunshine”, an iconic opening that captures the slapping bass and rough, almost writhing guitar that Faith No More become so incredibly popular for. It is the raw genius of making an album that abandons the rules and instead adopts to create something entirely fresh and new with each listen. From the little quirks that Patton shifts with his voice, the way that Mike Bordin on percussion is on top of everything and keeps the instruments on this platform that is level with Billy Gould on bass, Roddy Bottum on the keys, and Jim Martin on guitars. There is an allure behind Faith No More and how they can illustrate segues in these moments that really should not be successful, but fly off the board in a manner of glory. The first half of Angel Dust is a mostly heavy rock influenced jump of chart smacking cuts that rely on the highly replayable crunch of strings and bass solos that slide through the fret board in an almost grinding fashion that complements the rest of the band’s style.
But it is the moments like “RV” where Angel Dust suddenly hits a brick wall and becomes this carousel of horror that takes a trip to the desert where the guitars become an oasis of beauty surrounded among the ugliness. The way that the track has Patton explaining “I think it’s time I had a talk with my kids, I’ll just tell ‘em what my daddy told me, ‘You ain’t never gonna amount to nothing’”. It is an ugly depiction of what Patton calls “White Trash” in America and takes a strange, but welcome transition of sound with an even stranger story attached. It is then the cascading guitar drop that leads into “Everything’s Ruined”, a mostly subtle track that begins to fade in the riffs and leads which then segues into these choruses of simplistic gorgeousness where the keyboards can lead in the background and create these glorious moments of synths that seem to rise up and create the real depth behind the track. Faith No More has an incredible way of providing large amounts of sound into one simultaneous mix that conforms so well together and makes for an outstandingly produced record overall.
Around the second half of Angel Dust, Faith No More becomes a furious group of madmen that shift the straight forward rock tracks into these contorted jumps of rough lyricism and even harsher instrumentation. The track “Crack Hitler” has Patton singing behind heavy distortion as his voice sounds as it is being transmitted through an old Ham Radio which as Patton has shown before, might have been the case in the recording studio. He has been known to push the boundaries of sound, and with Faith No More, they are a catalyst for odd approaches in the second-half of Angel Dust. It becomes an ever-present sense of intrigue for the remainder of Angel Dust, but becomes the strong descent into madness when the orchestral mess of “Jizzlobber” comes bursting into the scene in a psychotic dash of insane screams that becomes a highlight of Angel Dust and a timestamp on how immaculate Faith No More can become when put under the exact pressure and weight of production. It is an angry display of vocal athleticism from Patton, but also a display of strength behind Bottum who creates these organs that begin to flood the stage and overtake the remaining sound for the track, eventually engulfing Faith No More in a retribution of gospel work.
The final moments of Angel Dust take off the rough and grumbling sheath and instead show a calm side that is a fitting end to the madness that ensued. From “Midnight Cowboy (Theme From)” or “Easy”, Faith No More becomes a symbol of creative steps that was not afraid to stumble, fall, and eventually float to the top with their minds left in a twisted, mangled mess of excitement.
Can’t believe I missed this… // Listen Here – H09909’s Website
Chazwick Bradley Bundick who is professionally known as Toro y Moi creates beauty from the tips of his fingers as he begins to morph and form melodic vibrations with each press of the keys. His style is reminiscing of the rainy city streets right as the sun falls, he is able to start a sense of emotion that is missing in most modern renditions of sound that hunkers down and captures a world of wonder behind his third studio release, Anything in Return.
A revitalization is necessary in growth, and Bundick is a master in the craft that can channel goose bumps from the sheer amount of elegance that comes from the instrumentals alone. Then, when paired with Bundick’s soft, but prolific vocals, Toro y Moi becomes an image of absolute beauté. He opens with “Harm In Change”, an uplifting exchange of synth chords and rattling percussion that shines on the production where Bundick creates sequences of building depth that is ever-present on Anything In Return. The entire album plays like a dance of steps that segue and shift so well together, making for a journey that never misses a beat. From the opening moments to the final closing, Anything In Return is a gift of excellence that borders on the levels of genius while never appearing to try too hard. It is a masterpiece that shows the glimmering moments of the world of music, begging the question of how Bundick made each composition and transition flow so well.
As the record reaches a midpoint, Anything In Return shows some of Bundick’s most powerful discography selections with “Cola”, “Grown Up Calls”, and “High Living”, displaying Toro’s illuminating adaptability behind production. From the almost somber sense of style on “Cola” where Toro y Moi is at his most vulnerable, reaching into his humanistic side of the mostly synthetic record. It is a show of human touch that engulfs the listener in a wrap of soft warmth that is approachable and relatable behind the dazed production as Toro eagerly explains, “Some days slip by me, and I think I know why, I make it through”. The track is loving and shows potential as it reaches into the following of “High Living” where Toro instead takes a slightly more upbeat drive that uses lots of electric chords that simmer and reflect off of the watery and cascading synths. It is truly a beautiful arrangement that demonstrates a reformed sense as Bundick displays these stumbling little splashes of life in the percussion and key changes that take “High Living” to new heights of expression.
“Grown Up Calls” begins to filter in with these vocal samples of higher pitched singing that then brings in Bundick as he explains, “I’m alright, out here with you. It doesn’t bother me; I know you think it does. It’s us making grown up calls, you got more than my love”. There are instruments upon instruments featured and brings the depth to new levels as Toro y Moi begins to use more percussion, voices, and different methods in the background to fully illustrate a whole orchestra of sound behind him. Anything In Return is a sense of elaboration that can create an enthralling draw within and a sense that begs to be replayed after each listen.
There is a sense of adventure behind Anything In Return that continues to echo even four years later. It is a sense of pride that Bundick has behind the instrumentation and the vibrations that it displays, there is a method behind his beauty and the way that he can end on a final, filtered note strikes a chord with how incredibly complex, but approachable his style is.
Pittsburgh TrapWay // Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Run The Statik // Listen Here – Soundcloud