Empusae - Lueur album review

Industrial/drone enlightenment, with an Amenra ally

Cover art for Empusae - Lueur album

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The prolific one-man project of Nicolas van Meirhaeghe, Empusae’s 11th full-length juxtaposes cold industrial plains with verdant spiritual reverence, split into two 20-minute meditations. Guiding Light’s ponderous persistence gradually increases in imperialistic grandeur, layering in brass and a sombre male chorus, before it all comes crashing down with a tortured guest vocal of Amenra’s Colin H Van Eeckhout, borne perhaps out of his own solo adventures in ambience. His tortured exhortations are right at home within soundscapes that question the very fabric of reality whilst revelling in its innate grandeur, exerting a subtle, crushing pressure you only become aware of when it’s too late. Retinae Tenebrae arrives on a wave of ominous electronica, hollow, clattering echoes over birdsong, and natural ambience reminiscent of the harrowing calm of all of your post-apocalyptic fantasies. Its piano-led midsection emanates from a distant house that tempts the senses with sanctity as much as it does with dread. Bridging the gap between industrial, ambient and drone’s oppressive enormities, Lueur proves to be an unravelling cerebral experience.