In spite of being around for over a decade via this band and a previous outfit under the moniker Whorethorn both bands have slipped by me even though they’re from Manchester, UK and not far me geography wise. Inconcessus Lux Lucis already has a couple of EPs and one full length out and giving them a listen after I listened to their latest release it was obvious that the band had plenty of ideas that were atypical of the black metal genre and during the intervening three years those semblances of creativity have been fully realised manifested in this audacious sophomore full length.

With a suitably eerie and demonic intro piece the album starts with a rather cliché like intro piece “With Leaden Hooks And Chains” and that is the only cliché or predictable aspect you get with this album as “Amour Rides Upon Midnight” follows with a stark and shrill like riffing style but as you listen more intently you can hear the bass riffing slashing at you with piercing hooks whilst the drumming maintains a steady rhythm without any unnecessary trickery. The music is schizoid with morphing tempo shifts that fluidly phases from one section to the next as “At The Behest Of The Sinister Impulse” follows with blackened thrash assault that is extremely catchy. Having read the background promotional information I didn’t pay much heed to the section about having a classic metal influence from bands like Iron Maiden and Motörhead as I usually find they’re talking bollocks. However as the track progresses you get the impression the band has thought hard about how to incorporate the style into a black metal formula without it sounding completely ridiculous and as the lead break filters in they have managed to make it work as the bass pulses along with the lead guitar piece.

The title track is excellent kicking off with a punchy blackened rock riff, the song has a distorted true metal guise laced with intermittent blast sections and subsequent deluges in double bass. Vocally this is harsh, savage with a devilish intent as the song unleashes a barrage of quirky riffing as the finale of the song is total Motörhead worship on the lead break but without any cloning. The albums closing track, “Fever Upon The Firmament”, is immense blasting remorselessly initially the song is rabid with a pandemonium like feel before dropping the pace eventually to a sluggish crawl. It is the constant changes in pace that make this album so engaging but this track is immense because it shatters the boundaries of black metal’s accepted parameters by shifting into a spoken vocal piece then revealing a beautiful lead break similar akin to Maiden. The passion in the playing is excellent as the song takes another pause to move again into another formidable riff and whilst the vocals stay within a gnarly approach throughout the album the music ventures constantly into realms you wouldn’t expect as the song unleashes another awesome solo that wouldn’t be remiss on a 70s rock epic.

This is a superb album, pulsing with creativity, unafraid to push the envelope as the band mixes their black metal with a straight up rock and metal influence and the results are tremendous and well worth investigating as I for one look forward to hearing this stuff live if possible.

(9/10 Martin Harris)