Locrian – Rain of Ashes/Rhetoric of Surfaces
If I told you that Locrian combines the best elements of a monolithic metal group like Sunn O))) with that of the full bore noise choke of Wolf Eyes with all of their late period psychedelic elegance would you believe me? The truth is that Locrian’s Andre Foisy and Terence Hannum are beginning to make quite a name for themselves among those that care about these kind of aural experiences. These newer releases might not be best regarded as full-lengths specifically since essentially Rain of Ashes is a reissue of a cassette and Rhetoric of Surfaces is a collection of unreleased tracks banded with songs from split seven-inches and live material, but that doesn’t mean they don’t merit your full attention just like their excellent Drenched Lands LP from earlier this year.
Rain of Ashes is two songs, each about 30 minutes long. One of these begins by twisting gnarly amounts of distortion around what is essential a repeating keyboard figure. You wouldn’t know that by just listening to it until about ten minutes in when the song’s barrage of crust slides back to reveal its hidden beauty. It isn’t long before that melodic passage is mutated back into something else equally sinister. Rhetoric of Surfaces has somewhat shorter tracks since they came from mostly seven-inch releases where time is a limiting factor to contend with for a band so at ease with stretching its legs. Because of this, it may be the better release of the two for those with short attention spans although for my money Rain of Ashes loses nothing in intensity for its longer compositions.
These guys just continue to create nothing short of fantastic work. Don’t sit on this stuff either as I’ve got a feeling like we’re all going to be hearing alot more about them in the next few months to a year. Locrian has managed to make a sound that belonged so much to others speak for them without sacrificing originality for the sake of convention. Speakers leak putrid bile yet flowers continue to spring forth from beneath their feet. Noise isn’t always pollution, maybe sometimes it’s fertilizer.