Saturday, May 09, 2009

Aquarius on Locrian

Here is a write-up on the CD version of the upcoming BloodLust! Locrian LP, from the new Aquarius Records list:

Locrian "Drenched Lands"

Somehow this is exactly what we've been hankering for. A sprawling blackened songsuite, equal parts, dark ambience, dense drones, heavy electronics, buzzy lo-fi almost new wave sounding keyboards, spidery post rock guitars and soft noise. Even writing it, that seems like a pretty unworkable, or unrealistic combination, but somehow these Midwesterners make it work. Big time.

They definitely could be considered sonic brethren of bands like SUNNO))), Pussygutt, MZ412, Troum, To Blacken The Pages, Wolf Eyes, Vulture Club and the like. However, Locrian take that sound someplace all their own, creating actual SONGS, as opposed to just soundscapes or drones. And there's a definitely black metal component for sure, no matter how abstract. Guitars are everywhere, seemingly the foundation for Locrian's sound, although as often as the guitars are unfurling spidery post rocky melodies, or distant reverbed riffs, they are also smeared into warm whirling clouds, left to drift and gradually change shape, or pulled apart and allowed to crumble into jagged little shards. Noise in a big component too, often the prettiest parts are treated with a patina of grinding soft focus electronics, or groaning downtuned tones.

The record opens with a gorgeous, elegiac guitar part, simple and stripped down, like it could be a black metal intro, until the organ comes in, wheezy and warbly, giving the track a weirdly lo-fi almost industrial vibe, definitely had us wishing it was in fact more than just a two minute intro.

That is until track two, "Ghost Repeater" takes over. An epic slow motion drift, strange echoey sounds floating in a warm muted sea of buzz and drone, glitched out bits of electronics, and eventually, a very epic black metal riff, that remains off in the distance, repeated and repeated until it too simply becomes another layer of sound.

"Barren Temple Obscured By Contaminated Fogs" (another great title), begins again with some creepy spindly guitar, draped over a deep pulsing low end, before transforming into some seriously abject and WAY abstract blacknoise. Shrieked distorted vokills over that same spidery guitar, Abruptum like ambience meets warped Goblinesque synth drones, the whole track twisted and warbly, eventually the vocals dropping out, leaving the buzzing guitars and wheezing keyboards to play out a super haunting horrorscape. "Epicedium" is delicate and crystalline, noodly guitar lines looped beneath a glimmering softly throbbing drone, peppered with fragmented strums, soon the track begins to grow gradually more and more distorted, the guitars more tense and frantic, the mood so haunting and weirdly beautiful and so subtly dramatic, reminding us of a super twisted soundtrack to some lost Giallo.

The record proper ends with another awesomely titled jam: "Obsolete Elegy In Cast Concrete", tolling bells, space kraut drones, all washed out and shimmery, the bed for some seriously corrosive guitar buzz and grind, adding layer after layer of crunch and rumble, but also slipping to some seriously black chug, joined by still more harsh hellish vox, a strange combination for sure but manages to be both beautiful and brutal, until the very end, where the track shifts gears and becomes all dramatic and melodic and weirdly majestic.

The cd features a bonus track called "Greyfield Shrines", which is nearly as long as all of the other tracks combined, a sprawling slow building blackened world of sound that slithers from hushed drift, to fractured buzz, to woozy moody ambience to blown out speaker shredding crunch, absolutely epic, super cinematic, mysterious, and even at it's noisiest, still quite melodic and blackly beautiful. Most definitely a track that could have been (and we think maybe was) a record all on its own.

LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES. Cool fold over arigato-pack style sleeve, with a full color printed booklet. And for anyone going to the Matchitehew metal/noise festival in Chicago in a few weeks, you'll be able to catch these guys live. a few weeks, you'll be able to catch these guys live.