Pesanta Urfolk: Lux Interna + Ash Borer + Hell

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Pesanta Urfolk LogoReviews by Jason Guest

Underground American label, Pesanta Urfolk specialise in very limited releases from a wide spectrum of genres. Here, we review three of their latest.

  • Lux Interna – There is Light in the Body, There is Blood in the Sun

  • Ash Borer – Cold of Ages

  • Hell – III


Lux Interna – There is Light in the Body, There is Blood in the Sun

Like the psychedelic forest folk of Hexvessel and the ritualistic dark ambience of Arktau Eos, the spirit folk of Lux Interna propagates a world entirely its own. And like Hexvessel and Arktau Eos, Lux Interna’s silhouetted aesthetic welcomes any and all, an open invitation awaiting those who care to explore its expanse of hues, textures, and contours. The experience of this album is the worship of being, of existence, of the immutable and inexorable bond between humanity, nature and the cosmos. While the deep, deliberate vocals intone that of the mystical and the spiritual, gentle and delicately pulsating rhythms move the album along as the acoustic instrumentation proffers mournful, melancholic and mellifluous melody after melody. The light of introspection guides this tender work from a place within that transcends the Cartesian traditions of the west and fully embraces the inescapable unanimity between ephemeral experience and eternity.

On the surface, this may appear to be an album of little more than self-indulgence, but there is much more contained within its elusive depths. This is an album that requires patience in order for the experience to be fully grasped. It can be laborious at times but there are few albums that can be said to be as thought-provoking and as moving as this. With each track conveying a story of its own, the grander narrative of the whole album becomes so much more. Lux Interna, the “inner light” indeed.

7.5 out of 10

Released on 27 May 2013, this album is available in both CD and vinyl LP formats. For the LP version, there will be a standard pressing of 400 copies on 200-gm black vinyl, and then a special limited edition that’s letterpressed and strictly limited to 100 copies.

Track listing:

  1. King Winter
  2. Tongues
  3. Nida
  4. Spiritloom
  5. Wounded Stag
  6. Threefold
  7. Seed
  8. Black Bird
  9. Tabor

Ash Borer – Cold of Ages

Ash Borer’s brutally cold black metal approach may be very different to Lux Interna’s but they have much in common as transcendence is at their core. The three-and-a-half minute atmospheric introduction to ‘Descended Lamentations’ is haunting, gently so, as its dark essence progressively grows until the black metal might is discharged in the next six minutes of icily hypnotic riffs. From a ghostly pallor to an abyssal dusk, the track traverses the grey landscape between these two extremes, conjuring up the depths of the distant and the abrasiveness of the intimate and intense, pressure building until we are released at its close. ‘Phantoms’ drags the tempo down as the vacant nature of the track manifests itself in the discordant guitar work and the hollows of the ambient coda. ‘Convict All Flesh’ and ‘Removed Forms’ take the two extremes of blackened fire and fevered atmospherics even further, exploring and pushing the dynamic and expressive range to its full. Both are incredible tracks and both share the capacity to surprise of the first two tracks.

Like Lux Interna, this is not a linear album and requires indulgence and much patience. There are a few clock-watching moments – the four tracks are between eleven and nineteen minutes long – but the tracks work well individually, if a little too long. And though it may not feel as much a coherent holistic experience as an album as Lux Interna’s does, it’s still a cathartic journey, albeit a less forgiving one.

Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

7 out of 10

Cold of Ages double-LP is available in both a limited edition of 323 copies, on 200gm vinyl with a slipcase, and also a 160gm black version which is unlimited.

Track listing:

  1. Descended Lamentations
  2. Phantoms
  3. Convict All Flesh
  4. Removed Forms

Hell – III

Two tracks in forty minutes. Yep, you guessed it; it’s another album that requires your attention. And it deserves it. More sludge than black, these two tracks follow the same intriguing journey that both Lux Interna’s and Ash Borer’s albums do. Long, atmospheric, and chilling passages very slowly develop into monolithic slabs of crushing might. The clean guitar parts are cast against a barren backdrop, with the reverberating drums casting their grim shadow across the vast canvas. Dark melodies course their way into the miasma and the icily harsh vocals tear at the veil between suffering and death. Walls of distortion climb and climb and come cascading down for the blackened majesty of the two tracks to give way to the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful orchestration and poignant melody. Like the albums above, Hell’s III is an experience all of its own, an album that fashions its world from remnants of our own and provides as much liberation as it does torment. You’re on your own.

Hell III7 out of 10

The Pesanta Urfolk vinyl LP edition of HELL’s III is strictly limited to 472 copies, and is available on black/blood-red vinyl with a poster and insert. It is being jointly released on cassette by Eternal Warfare.

  • Find Hell on Bandcamp here

Track listing:

  1. Mourn
  2. Decedere