The Music of Inkubus Sukkubus
Witch Queen (Mini Album) ~ November 2005
Another new release with which I am not familiar, this album appears to show that Inkubus Sukkubus is now strongly back into the groove that they created and define so well, that of intense, driving Gothic pagan music.
The Beast with Two Backs ~ October 2004
Another Shakespearean reference in this title, it will make the open sexuality of this album obvious to the informed listener. But I don't have a copy, so I can't tell you more about it. I include it for the sake of completeness. :)
Wytches (Re-release) ~ August 2002
As more listeners found their way to this group, it became necessary for this early work to be re-released; understandably so, considering its high quality, and how many people would welcome it into their musical library.
Away with the Faeries (Re-release) ~ 2001
It looks like I'm not alone in delighting in this album, seeing how necessary it has been to re-release it... chuckle
Supernature (12-track album with CD-ROM section) ~ 2001
Hard to classify, this album walks the line; part Gothic darkness, part pagan celebration, equally open and accessible to those who approach it from either perspective... ...or neither... ...it must be heard to be understood. But it's worth the listening time. :)
Wild (14-track Album Standard CD album Limited Edition (2000 copies) Digipack with bonus track) ~ 1999
Ventures into the dark don't last long when you're able to find light everywhere from the lightning to the moon to the light of the sun and of small glowing phosphorescent creatures, and take inspiration from all of them...
Child of darkness
Child of lightness
Child so bright that you dazzle weary cynical men
Child of brilliance, wisdom, wildness
We would thrill as our souls ignite when you are near us
Wild! Wild! Passion plays a part in all you do
Wild! Wild! Heart and soul as nothing else will do
Live for magick
Live for greatness
Live for power to shape and change the never-changing
Make a difference, bring some fire
Light the world and our hearts and minds with inspiration
Live for glory
Strength and fury
Play your part in the greater scheme of life and nature
Show your brilliance
Show your tolerance
Show the beauty in doing what you will with your life
Away with the Faeries (6 new studio tracks and 9 live tracks) ~ 1998
The title track to this album is one of my all-time favourite Inkubus Sukkubus songs; these are not the innocuous fairies of Disney, or even the Oberon and Titania of A Midsummer Night's Dream -- this is the wild Queen Mab of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as explained so well by Mercutio, and it is she who has taken you "Away With The Faeries". If you are anything like me, once you have heard this song, you are hers, for she can have you back whenever she wills -- you will play it again, and again, for a ride upon the lightning -- "fly away on the wings of madness"...
"On a toadstool painted scarlet
Sits a queen, a faery harlot
She will lead if you will follow
Down the road that leads to sorrow
From the Dreamworld she is calling
Come to me, come running, falling
Come and sip the sacred poison
Come and sip my sacred poison..."
Vamypre Erotica (13-track album) ~ 1997
As readers of my reviews of their earlier albums will have noticed, I warned that in their later albums, Inkubus Sukkubus explores some of the darker aspects of what it can mean to be Gothic, some of the darker imagery that underlies their name.
It was with this album that this aspect of their music came to the forefront; this album, as its title suggests, explores the other side of what it is to be Gothic. No longer hewing to the pagan imagery of their earlier albums, they now work with images of vampirism, and the fetishistic sensuality that pervades much of Gothic culture. Those who sought that in the earlier albums only to be disappointed will find that their wait was repaid, and then some, by the contents of this album.
Yet even the neopagan who does not seek this side of Gothic imagery can find rewarding elements within this album; I would recommend against dismissing it out of hand because of its title. Though the focus has shifted, the band remains the same, and the ride they take you on, while not necessarily up your alley for every day, may serve you well from time to time, as music to match your darker moods.
To wax philosophical for a moment, I would add that we all have a shadow side; it is better to confront and channel it than deny it, and leave it to fester, and find its way out through unhealthy ways. It can be a little frightening to recognize one's own response to the shadow -- but what is important is not whether one has a shadow, but whether one looks to the light. And, in looking to the light, it is important to remember that staring at the sun will make one blind -- we see by looking at the world around us, and guaging what of the light that falls upon each thing has been absorbed, and what reflected back to us, for us to see. That which reflects back every particle of light takes none of it within. I'd rather have a shadow, than lack one for lack of light.
And for those darker moments, I'd rather have something to turn to which I know has healthy roots, than find myself wallowing in something like Guns'n'Roses. By my estimation, this group's earlier albums speak volumes about the health of their roots.
Beltaine (15-track album) ~ 1996
The last of Inkubus Sukkubus' early albums to focus strictly on pagan themes, without the darker supernatural elements which they were to explore in their next few albums, Beltaine continues their unique and emotionally evocative combination of strong driving danceable beat, with intense and personally meaningful pagan imagery likely to appeal to a wide range of neopagan listeners -- even those who do not consider themselves to be into this genre of "Gothic" music.
But this is not the calm and tamed pagan, whom so many think of as placidly calling upon the moon, and the trees; this is the wild and angry earth-oriented nature-focused spiritualist, who sees the world around them raped and poisoned, and the symbols of nature's worship thrown down and trampled underfoot.
Reading the lyrics to the title track to this album (as one can do here), it is easy to see how the drive to explore this side of their emotions could easily lead these emotionally intense musicians to explore the darker side of their spiritual nature, the rage that they feel as they view this tortured earth, and the sufferings of countless species, under the heel of those who say they want nothing but peace. It is easy to understand how these pagans could feel a need to express that side of themselves, and do so through the darker imagery found in their later albums.
Indeed, it is only in putting together this discography that I have really come to understand the progression of imagery from one album to the next, within these artists' work; while listening, I am usually too busy hanging on for the wild ride I always experience, with deep, fierce, but not unmixed, joy, whenever I play these songs.
You have to hear them to fully understand; fortunately, you can do that here -- but a word of warning: I recommend listening to them in a time and place where you can let go and fully experience the flood of emotions which you may find washing over you as you experience a tumultuous mix of the highs, the lows, and everything in between, that it means to be a nature-reverencing person living in deep connection with a poisoned, brutalized, but still strong planet as your spiritual kin.
Heartbeat of the Earth (14-track album released) ~ 1995
With this album, Inkubus Sukkubus was just starting to hit its stride as a group, developing the unique sound by which one of their songs can easily be identified within moments of beginning, even if one has never heard it before. Yet, they were still staying well within the strictly pagan boundaries that denote their early albums, before their venture into the crossover music of other Gothic supernatural elements.
The title track is particularly enjoyable, evoking imagery which is likely to be familiar to any practising neopagan, stirring the blood, and raising the emotional energy within the listener, spurring them to dance or otherwise express the heightened emotions flooding through them as they listen to this intense invocation of the active pagan ties to the Earth, within us all.
Wytches (15-track album) ~ 1994
This was Inkubus Sukkubus' second album, and one of the two which brought the group to my attention, by way of a review in the now-defunct pagan journal "Green Egg". These first two albums focus upon the music of the shared pagan background of the performers; modern pagan music, with a Gothic feel to it, it presages the darker Gothic lyrics of their later albums quite clearly, without departing from the traditional pagan imagery.
Many neopagans who are otherwise unfamiliar with this group's work will recognize their haunting rendition of the Witches' Chant (the same chant used in the background of Rumours of the Big Wave's "The Burning Times"). But there are other favourites, old and new, to be found here; I would heartily recommend this album to any neopagan with a liking, even occasionally, for Gothic overtones in their musical taste. Even those without a Gothic leaning will probably like it, but those who have such an inclination are almost certain to find this an album to delight in, which will whet their appetite for more from this remarkable performing group.
Belladonna & Aconite (14-track album released summer '93) ~ 1993
This was Inkubus Sukkubus' first album, and one of the two which brought them to my attention, by way of a review in the now-defunct pagan journal "Green Egg". These first two albums focus upon the music of the shared pagan background of the performers; modern pagan music, with a Gothic feel to it, it presages the darker Gothic lyrics of their later albums quite clearly, without departing from the traditional pagan imagery.