The best local music of ’09—so far
Locrian - Drenched Lands
Ambient experimental duo Locrian patiently established its presence in Chicago's noise and metal scenes by issuing preview CD-Rs at shows before its official full-length, Drenched Lands, dropped earlier this year. If nothing else, Locrian knows the value of patience—the kind that horror-movie directors use to milk tension and dread out of every possible moment on screen.
Lands starts off with detuned guitars playing sorrowful, suspended guitar chords, but they're eventually engulfed by buzzing, encroaching synth-noise. From there, pieces like “Ghost Repeater” slowly feed on instruments so drenched in distortion and delay that they sound like the air-raid sirens of Armageddon. If that sounds like a frightening listening proposition, well, no argument.
But because there’s no percussion on Drenched Lands, and the tempos don’t rise above a sepulchral crawl, there’s something strangely soothing about it—even when the band is screaming black-metal bloody murder over minor-key organs. Additionally, the desolate serenity of even the most chaotic of tracks sees that melody shines through (“Epicedium”). For the most part, though, Drenched Lands is unholy calm after the post-apocalyptic storm. Grade: A