Maquiavel Music, 2001
Genre: Experimental Black Metal
1. Breath In
2. Mother Pandora
4. Most Arrogant Life Form
5. Yet Another Armageddon
7. Midnight Crisis
8. Pied Piper
9. Missa Solemnis
10. Breathe Out
Lux Occulta - The Forgotten Arts
Pagan Records, 1995
Genre: Doom Metal/Black Metal
4. Passing Away
5. The Path (You've Chosen)
This is certainly the demo, but I have a feeling they are from the re-release "Maior Arcana", which has the demo remastered. So the quality of this is probably necessarily good for a demo tape. Be that as it may, I do want to discuss Lux Occulta's career in order as much as I am able.
I've tagged the genre as "Black Metal" above... but I have mixed feelings about this. I would not say this is very much of a Black Metal album. I feel like this is more akin to Doom Metal, but on some aspects this might be a bit fast for Doom... so this is really hard to pin down. I know a lot of places label it as Black Metal, but I think Lux Occulta is doing something a little different from that.
The demo opens with some symphonic keyboards before a think and slow moving guitar picks up to strengthen the composition. I feel the keyboards are more of the forefront for this demo, they seem to be the part maintaining the melody. It's a great part of the song though, because "Creation" is instantly a strong song. Despite the fact that the guitars chug away in the background, I don't seem to get frustrated by this, because the song is quite well composed. It is certainly very different, but I would say it isn't too far off from the things Paradise Lost were doing. I think a huge difference is that on some levels Lux Occulta are a great deal darker, but at times very beautiful. The song "Love" opens with a wonderful flute piece courtesy of Barbara Pizun, which really sets the tone for the emotion behind the piece. Tinges of Black Metal show up in "Love", but moving on to "War" brings us back into the slow and mid-paced metal. However, the guitars are more in charge of the melodies this time and the keyboards are further in the background. Clearly Lux Occulta know how to construct their songs in different ways to give people different feelings and different atmospheres. This is one of Lux Occulta's strongest points and would carry them through the years quite well. The vocals stay pretty much within the confines of standard Black and Death Metal styles. Jaro Slav is a good vocalist and able to switch to the different ranges, but he doesn't blend anything together. The lower growls and higher are totally separate pieces.
The booklet is fairly strange for an extreme metal release. Luckily I found some very good scans on discogs. The flowers laying on the water in the cover are a theme throughout the booklet, not something you'd expect. Very little of the lyrics seem to have been printed and the band photos are just various pictures of statues. I assume they are local things in Poland.
I the end I think these songs represent an interesting beginning for Lux Occulta. Showing that they are going to be blending some strange styles together to create something that isn't really out there right now. Usually I would say if you like this you should try that etc... but I really can't think of anything off hand that sounded anything like this in 1995.
Here is my favorite song from the demo: