Engorged with ominous heaviosity, bounded by crepitations and rustling sussuri, Lueur (“Glow” or “Gleam”) is pregnant with doom and yet still somehow surprisingly optimistic in outlook — from time to time, at least. “Retinae Tenebrae”, for example, is filled with a surround-scape of rainforest pulsations that underlie the sound of cascades and birdsong in just the way that ambient background music usually doesn’t. Instead, this is music that envelops and enfolds, though those relaxation and recuperative activities more often accompanied by the direst of new age panpipe noodlings — massage, aromatherapy, yoga, whatever — could only be enhanced and invigorated by listening to Lueur.Empusae, guardians of roads and the screaming bane of travellers in Greek mythology, follow this lead on occasion, Colin H Van Eeckhout‘s (Amenra, CHVE, etc) vocals swelling up in a banshee hail of emo-strength anguish and ire, or in fleeting hints of post-Dead Can Dance chorales of (seemingly) wordless swells and threnodies alike. At other times, the mood is quelled, portentous tones mingled with plucked stikes and plinking ripples, rolling in on epic-level piano and electronic waves that fill the orchestral space with a grandeur that verges just the right side of pompous, the whole conjuring fleeting imagery behind closed eyes as the light fades. The final blast of doomy noise and increasingly intense vocal acrobatics pulls everything into an all-consuming black hole of sound, crushing and filled with angst-riding sturm und drang, Van Eeckhout’s tonsils almost audibly vibrating as the screams rebound powerfully into the receding void. It’s all very theatrical, perhaps requiring a certain willing suspension of disbelief in faerie magick and an immersion into the tropes and emotive travails that comes with the darkening ambient territory; but who doesn’t need a little drama in their music every now and then?
-Antron S Meister-