Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Ludicra

Fex Urbis Lex Orbis

(Alternative Tentacles; US: 10 Oct 2006; UK: 9 Oct 2006)

“The dregs of the city, the law of the earth,” reads the Latin title, quoting Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, an indication of just how the members of San Francisco black metal stalwarts Ludicra view their pretty city on the Bay. Their world doesn’t consist of quaint Victorian houses and Lombard Street; instead, it’s a world of urban decay and disillusionment among the young, which is conveyed with surprising power on the band’s triumphant third album. Led by the stunning female vocal duo of Laurie Sue Shanaman and Christy Cather, Ludicra offers enticing combinations of ear-splitting screams and sumptuous vocal melodies, but the real draw here is the band’s musical versatility, as Fex Urbis Lex Orbis includes hints of spacious post-rock, intense hardcore (most notable in Aesop’s drumming style), and moody goth amidst a backdrop of blistering black metal. With five songs on a 39 minute disc, one might assume the music tends to meander, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, as there’s remarkable focus on these epic tracks, enhanced by some terrific production by guitarist John Cobbett, most specifically on the powerful closing track “Collapse”.

Rating:

Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Related Articles
23 Dec 2010
In the end, the metal world honored the memory of Ronnie James Dio in the coolest possible way: by making this the best year for new music the genre has seen in a very long time.
16 Mar 2010
The San Francisco underground metal faves have come through with the strongest album of their career.
discussion by
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.