Ordalie by Miserere Luminis

Release date: June 24, 2023
Label: Sepulchral Productions

A new Miserere Luminis album, Ordalie, bursts upon the world like a spooky horse emerging from a shimmering hallucinatory fire…

Or rather, it apparationalises in grandiose reserved form, opening with the kind of impeccably crafted richness familiar from the Gris masterpiece Il Était une Forêt… piano at once decadent and mournful, dripping onto an all-encompassing cloak of synthesised strings, before the warning clang of alarm-riffs and anguished vocal roar exposes the horrifying rot at the heart of the stately castle.

Again fully ten minutes into opener ‘Noir fauve’, a soft pillowy ambiance is burst by drums and a classic scream, though with the further post-rock influences familiar from this group’s earlier record, chiming and jangling guitars and some more melodic vocals. While the blast beats and blasting guitars of ‘Les fêlure des anges’ is rattling along there is still a nostalgic note in the piercing high guitar, and in the last section, in the character of the voice, a mix of rage, pain and pride.

The record continually balances the tastefully decorative and extremely destructive throughout, whether it’s furious drums tempered by soaring guitar, ambience balanced by roaring riff drops, or melodies punctured by hoarse screeches. Like the cover, the music on the record is mesmerising and beautiful, but the fire will also scorch you.

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