Locrian "Plague Journal / Apochryphal City, Portents Fallen"
Suddenly highly visible, especially after their winning full length “Drenched Lands,” Locrian present herein a far briefer expression of their sound. With as constrained a timetable as a 45 presents, and as expansive an approach as the duo typically partake in, it is perhaps a bit surprising that the group pulls this off so well. Yet rather than approach the format with miniaturized versions of their melancholy buildups they wisely try an entirely different approach. “Plague Journal” presents a bounding guitar line that writhes continuously, slightly changing in texture but not in build, before a haunting close with high end choral effects humming amidst buzzing electronics and oscillator runs draws things back down toward silence.
The following cut, “Apocryphal City, Portents Fallen,” with its blustery opening, is a far grimier and more bombed out atmosphere. Here the group’s typical patience is exercised, if consolidated, and the twisting guitar arpeggios lay the groundwork for a mineshaft of debris and concrete. There’s a song buried in their somewhere interestingly, but it also all feels very meditative in its repetition, though in a pretty destitute way. Never doom-y for doom’s sake, Locrian always manages to fill their work with real feeling, a kind of deep blues sadness that is far more frightening and lonely than mere blackness. This little offering only broadens the group’s potential as something far more than another Earth copyist, expounding on minimalist structures, electronics, drone and psych in the name of a forgotten future. Another piece of the puzzle, and an important one at that. 8/10 -- Henry Smith (14 July, 2009)