REVIEW: LUX TERMINUS – “The Courage To Be”
My introduction to Lux Terminus began when I saw them open for Imminent Sonic Destruction in Ferndale, Michigan. I was enchanted with this band from the start of their set. Vikram Shankar (keyboards), Matthew Kerschner (drums), and Brian Craft (bass) created sweeping soundscapes and gave a compelling performance. When I heard, that Lux Terminus had recorded their debut album called ‘The Courage to Be’, I was ecstatic to hear it. This new album will be available on August 24th, 2018.
‘The Courage to Be’ opens with “The Departure” which is the first of a four-part suite woven into the album. This song feels like a cool summer morning as the first notes of the sun come into play. The suite forms the musical core of the album with other songs adding short novellas of sound. Part two of the suite is called “The Journey”. This is my favorite track on the album. The theme established by the keyboards at the start is cinematic and casts a magical spell. A delicate bass solo cascades into the full band quickening the pass as your adventure begins. The sensation of moving past sweeping vistas adds to the ambience of this song.
“The Road Home” is the third installment of the suite. The pacing of the song and its arrangement suggest a journey at early dawn. The music gives you the sense of questioning anticipation. As if to ask whether this trip back home will end in delight or disappointment. The answer is revealed as you listen and the story you create unfolds.
The final passage of the suite is the last track on the album called appropriately “Epilogue: Fly” featuring the gorgeous vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project, VUUR). The music and words provide you with the emotions of surrender and acceptance. Warm and dream-like, this song is a gentle caress.
There is much more tucked into ‘The Courage to Be’ including the mechanical brilliance of “Electrocommunion”, the pulsing juxtaposition within “Abberation”, and the galloping funk of “Miles Away”. Each of these songs provides a wealth of sensations and mental imagery as the music saturates your mind.
A special note should be made for the epic title track “The Courage to Be”. As I listen to this song, I’m struck by the wonderful interplay of Vikram, Matthew, and Brian. Complimenting performances where the musical arrangement lets the instruments move and breath within the piece. The interaction of bass and drums is particularly awesome. This song also features wonderful solos by guitarist Timo Somers (Delain, Vengeance) and cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous, Musk Ox).
Beautifully written and performed music is a gift we can all share. Lux Terminus give us a beautiful gift of rich and entrancing music that awakens the senses on ‘The Courage to Be’. This album will take you on an amazing journey riding shimmering waves of keyboards, bass and drums. Fans of progressive rock will rejoice in the inspiring music of Lux Terminus. Their music is the light at the end and a balm to the soul.