Lamia Vox – Sigillum Diaboli CD Cyclic Law 2013
Although having not come across Lamia Vox before, they have recently joined the ranks of Cyclic Law (who have issued this their sophomore album), which will no doubt bring them into greater recognition. Being the solo project of Alina Antonova, Lamia Vox evokes a sound and aesthetic which is sits very much at home in the ‘classic’ early to mid 90’s period of Cold Meat Industry (CMI). This is dark ambient music at its core, but approached from a more songlike perspective with the use of ritual, martial and neo-classical elements (…or more simply this is ‘occult dark ambient’ as coined by Alina).
Passing comparisons to the likes of In Slaughter Natives, Sephiroth, Desiderii Marginis etc will give an impression of stylistic linage, however this is not to say that Lamia Vox are merely retracing the well warn paths forged by others. Given the maturity of the compositions and the stylistic flair on display, it ensures that Lamia Vox have carved a niche of their own. However another possibly unavoidable comparison is Aghast, due to the use of Alina’s vocals – ranging from ghostly whispers to choir like vocal textures – which are used sparingly throughout.
The heavy martial/ tribal percussion of ‘Lapis Occultus’ sets the ritualistic aura of the album early on and acts as a backdrop for whispered and sung twilight evocations. Likewise mid album track ‘Enemy of Heaven’ arrives as a particularly rousing composition within a martial industrial construction. Here the militant snare drum provides focus, but offset against a deep piano melody, rousing orchestral textures and choir like vocals. Following track ‘Liberation’ again approaches full martial/ neo-classical guise being a great example of a swelling orchestral and choir movement. Alternately the stalking sub-orchestral brass movement of ‘Evil Comes From the North’ gradually builds with ominous tribal percussion and hypnotic synth textures, which in part gives rise to comparisons to the tribal flair of Sephiroth. Likewise the darkly foreboding classical style of the title track ‘Sigillum Diaboli’ reaches ecstatic heights with its swelling orchestral brass and percussion, which also brings to mind the best parts of In Slaughter Natives’ purgatorial bombast.
Although not wanting to denigrate Lamia Vox by a potential overuse of CMI related comparisons, conversely this should be viewed as a clear compliment. Given its shadowy tone and sophisticated execution, ‘Sigillium Diaboli’ is proof enough of Lamia Vox’s skills within the sonic dark arts.