Album review: E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR – Spiralo


Svart Records – Out Now.

Svart Records is an underground label from Finland whose support of the country’s local Metal scene is responsible, to a large extent, for the evolution of metal music in the land of a thousand lakes.

It is thus quite surprising that, with the exception of a couple of vinyl re-issues, the Turku-based organisation never managed to collaborate with local Doom legends Reverend Bizarre on a more professional level during the band’s twelve year existence.

This injustice is partly readdressed with the release of “Spriralo” – the second full length album from E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, a Cosmic/Electronic Rock ensemble which features in its ranks ex-Bizarre guitarist Kimi Karki.

I hope that you haven’t already started drooling in anticipation of solid, groove laden head banging riffs and sing-along melodic refrains, because you are in for some major disappointment here.

You see, E-Musicgruppe Lux Ohr is a synth-based project whose aim in not to get you to bang your head but to intrigue and stimulate what’s inside it with, the sole assistance of layers upon layers of spacey/otherworldly keyboard samples.

These samples never really evolve into anything more than repetitive, simple tones, but it is the clever way they sometimes collaborate and, more than often, compete with each other that makes “Spiralo” an intriguing musical proposition.

To make matters worse for the average Metal fan, the album consists of two ‘compositions’ (and I use the term in its loosest possible form), each being nineteen minutes and ten seconds long.

The first one, “Spiralo 1”, is supposed to be divided into three separate sections but ends up being a collection of varied futuristic keyboard tones which operate with the support of a simple, repetitive, key-generated bass.

The second composition, “Spiralo 2”, starts in a similar fashion but gradually incorporates themes that are more disturbing and otherworldly in nature and, closer to the ten minute mark, presents the listener with what well could be a lead guitar melodic solo and interloping keyboards, the kind that fans of bands like Kraftwerk will warm to.

Since Revered Bizarre decided to ‘call it a day’ back in 2007, its members have been involved in a variety of different musical projects, none more unique and more challenging to the  average Metal fan than E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr.

Now, much as I enjoyed listening to “Spiralo”, the truth is that, by nature, it is a release that requires a very specific type of mood in order to be fully absorbed and appreciated.

If, however, you find yourself in desperate need of introspection, no release is better qualified to take you on a full-blown cosmic trip than this one.

John Stefanis

Rating: *** (3.0/5.0)

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