Locrian Rain of Ashes (Basses Frequencies) / Territories (At War With False Noise/Basses Frequencies/Bloodlust!/Small Doses) CD / LP - Two more doses of dismal metallic drone from Chicago's mighty Locrian, a band that possibly takes its cues from the bad boys mentioned above, Wolf Eyes, early Swans, black metal and even Fripp/Eno. Rain of Ashes offers an hour of live delirium captured for a radio broadcast. It opens on a sedated repetitive note with distant minor keys crawling up the spine like tiny black spiders before immersing the listener in an enveloping cacophony of tortured howls and feedback blizzards designed to disorient and overpower at extreme volumes. It's not a bad soundtrack for trailing off into a nightmare slumber if you can pass out before the screams come in.
Even more satisfying is the newer Territories, a Locrian big band affair that features members of Bloodyminded, Nachtmystium, Velnias and Yoakuza along with the core of Andre Foisy and Terrance Hannum. As a result things definitely get opened up in terms of dynamics and diversity. "Inverted Ruins" offers a lurching funeral march of murky electronics and feedback beneath vocal howls that grow more intense and pissed off with each cycle across its 8 plus minutes. "Procession of Ancestral Brutalism," with Blake Judd on guitar and vocals, is a straight up black metal howler the likes of which his own band (Nachtmystium) has never conjured before -- atonal, screeching, howling at the bottomless black void metal -- designed to make your head explode before your soul crumbles into a ball of ash. How fun! Combine this with the more spectral hypnotic vibe of earlier Locrian disks, and you have something that's hard to ignore in the experimental drone metal realm. Territories comes in an edition of 500 on black vinyl, so don't dilly dally, you doom fixated dregs.