Miserere Luminis
Miserere Luminis


5.0
classic

Review

by Claire Q. STAFF
February 8th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pinpricks in the fabric of the sky

Miserere Luminis tells of a curious perspective: that of ancient beings who tire of their eternal existence and disdain divinity, even as they inhabit their own rarified plane; there, they remark on corruption of the celestial, indulge in talk of self-harm and self-loathing. Loftiness seems to characterize this work: not only because of its proud shirking of black metal conventions, but also because, more generally, it tackles the challenge of remaining sympathetic whilst aloof, of self-indulging in a justifiable manner.

Miserere Luminis immediately feels different: most obviously, there are very few blast beats or tremolo riffs; the drumming is unusually weighty, almost lumbering at times; the chords, in their simple elegance, help to counterbalance the lyrical melodrama. A section of “Birth of New Ages” trades on eerie ambiguity, with a hint of sickening sweetness, before collapsing into punctuated chaos; “Senectus” and its sombre piano lead, meanwhile, demonstrate effective restraint, each note ringing out into the dark. In line with the theme of fading stars and dimming skies, “IV” features a gentle, chiming melody that suddenly dies out. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact way in which the album leaves behind space — perhaps it’s the general sense that individual notes are given room to breathe — but I can’t help but feel that it is unusually sparse for its genre. “Ciel Tragique” is a good example of how Miserere Luminis rely on subtle, minimalistic cues — syncopation that could have gone unnoticed because of the song’s slower pace, but ends up lending a slight groove to the drumming and rhythm guitar.

Thematically, Miserere Luminis deal rather unorthodoxly in the otherworldly, down to their intricate masks and insistence on anonymity. This is an elaborate, self-aware performance — an inhabiting of roles that may come off as ridiculous, and then twisting the melodrama into surprising beauty and tenderness. Each narrator within the spectacle can stake a claim to some form of divinity, but they do not possess its usual benefits — rather, they explore, understand and experience inhuman depths of suffering and decay. “I have seen what no eyes could see / I saw a world crumble down”, goes pained shrieking on “Birth of New Ages.” They even observe “[aeons-old] seraphs [who] fell from their thrones”; that they both witness and escape this fate is testament to their bizarre resilience.

Now, it remains that Miserere Luminis seem to glorify ugliness, pain and death in rather unsubtle ways; they employ a blunt rhetorical device in alluding to the perversion of that which is supposed to be eternal and Good. On “The Mist”, the narrator proclaims that he wants to “spit in the eye of God” and wishes He would “see him as the failure of his dream of greatness and beauty”, whilst “Ciel Tragique” speaks of the “broken wings of a sick angel” and an injury that is the “eye of hell.” It’s hard not to read these as a display of cliché, tired acts of rebellion, but perhaps that’s the point — “we are as tired as the stars”, says the funereal “Senectus” in a line that resonates in its resignation. The in-universe justification for all this, then, is that we should allow these beings who have suffered so much the small comfort of being able to lament as they wish. Despite their remarkable nature, they are passive — only seeing and receiving — but perceive themselves as corrupted despite never having explicitly sinned; their existence is both striking and pitiful.

But within the album, there’s a clear preservation of light and sweetness which cannot be immediately reconciled with its hyperbole. That act of preservation, I think, serves to capture a portion of the celestial essence that the beings mourn; and struck by such harmonious beauty, radiant even as darkness encroaches, we understand why one might be driven to madness and grief in witnessing its corruption. Furthermore, the exaggerated rhetoric sets up a dichotomy between celestial light and corrupting darkness, but also leaves a vast space in between; and it is this space that the melodies paint and manipulate, creating nuances that are hostage to neither light nor darkness.



Recent reviews by this author
Existe Vivre et Laisser MourirMilanku Monument du non​-​être...
Portrayal of Guilt Let Pain Be Your GuideEntheos (CAN) Le Zahir
Hail the Sun Mental KnifeEnon High Society
user ratings (33)
Chart.
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Slex
February 8th 2019


6174 Comments


What a stellar review
This sounds so awesome, can't wait to listen

Digging: Shin Guard - 2020

Hawks
February 8th 2019


68337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow someone finally reviewed this lol nice.

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2019


8226 Comments


Album stream:
http://gris-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/miserere-luminis-gris-sombres-for-ts

Very elaborate and well written review, I feel that paragraphs 1, 3, 4, and 5, since they’re at work detailing the album’s concept, they could be condensed to two paragraphs placed at the beginning, and followed by an expansion of the musical descriptions in following paragraphs.

On another note, since you are francophone, my immediate rec is a French band called Hyrgal.

clavier
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2019


847 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Voivod thanks for the structuring feedback! i was struggling to zero in on the musical descriptions because i wasn't really sure how to fit in more of those details into the overall thesis.





Digging: Feed Me Jack - Ultra Ego

naughtcturnal
February 8th 2019


815 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favorite albums of all time. Nice to finally see a review of it. Great job!!!

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 8th 2019


29859 Comments


Excellent review.

Lucman
February 8th 2019


2104 Comments


Umm, on that bandcamp link this is nearly 1600 dollars for me. Don't think I'm ready to part with that kinda cash lol

Digging: Dirge (FR) - Elysian Magnetic Fields

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2019


24951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, can't believe this finally got reviewed. I absolutely love this album. Really nice review.

Digging: Akasha - Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

clavier
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2019


847 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There's definitely a cheaper way to get this lol (sepulchral productions page?)

Lucman
February 8th 2019


2104 Comments


That's hilarious though. Love em already and I haven't even heard them.

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2019


2957 Comments


oOoOoOoOo this is nice, didn't expect the 5, dope review claire

"Umm, on that bandcamp link this is nearly 1600 dollars for me. Don't think I'm ready to part with that kinda cash lol"
bands do this if they don't want you to purchase copies from the BC page but want to let you know they do or have sold them through a third party, you'll often see records going for 666 euros because satan and check out my indie merch store or something

zaruyache
February 9th 2019


20525 Comments


huh I remember this being a big album back in the day. Surprised nobody rev'd it until now ha.

zaruyache
February 10th 2019


20525 Comments


bumping on principle

naughtcturnal
February 10th 2019


815 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Can't believe this project isnt nearly as popular as Gris or SF. And to those who mentioned having a hard time finding a copy of this, last time I checked Northern Silence still had a sweet digibook of this still in stock but that was a few months ago

lalchimiste
February 13th 2019


1077 Comments


Prior to being picked up by Northern Silence, there was barely no digital streaming for this appart for some YouTube links if I remember correctly.

Anyways, glad they are getting some recognition. All of these guys projects definitely carved themselves a really unique niche out of the Québec BM scene

Digging: Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy