- Audio CD (August 25, 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: 20 BUCK SPIN
- ASIN: B002F3BQOY
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,365 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Audio CD, August 25, 2009
Brooklyn, NY's Liturgy (not to be confused with a Chicago death metal band of the same name) steeps indie black metal in the genre's most basic foundations of buzzing, dissonant guitars and whirlwind percussion, yet they make the sound firmly their own--both modern and ancient. With a style similar to that of their NYC friends Krallice as well as the earlier works of the Norwegian wolves Ulver (particularly that band's third LP masterwork Nattens Madrigal), Liturgy represents the seeping of black metal into the consciousness of the indie music world at large. The band claims influences ranging from cult black metal figures Vlad Tepes to Angelo Badalamenti to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, all of whom can be distantly identified in Liturgy's approach.
Renihilation, the band's debut album following two demo tapes and the Immortal Life 12-inch, weaves intricate strands of dissonant dual-guitar riffing and complex blackened harmonics between main songwriter Hunter Hunt-Hendrix and second guitarist Bernard Gann. The strange tonalities provide layers of eerie distortion over which Hunt-Hendrix's tortured howls battle to be heard. The chaotic yet superbly minimalist drumming of Greg Fox (also of Dan Deacon and Teeth Mountain), who uses only a kick, snare, and crash symbols, adds a dose of DIY punk / grind style to the mix. Several untitled intros and interludes consisting of vocal pieces and drones break the album up into distinct sections.
The Krallice connection is strengthened by the mixing / mastering collaboration between the band and Krallice member Colin Marston. The purposely low-res, minimalist artwork recalls the work of German photographer Thomas Ruff in both aesthetic and intent: A photograph of a total eclipse, a massive celestial event, its aura subdued and defeated by the void left in the wake of the low-resolution of the image. It's an apt analogy for Liturgy's ecstatic sonic experiments.
Top customer reviews
With that said, this is a very challenging album and isn't for everyone. For someone unaccustomed to the "blast beat" BlackMetal this is just going to sound like a bunch of noise without much distinction between the tracks. For those who love fast paced BlackMetal like early Ulver, Darkthrone, and Marduk, the subtle tempo changes and chaotic "burst beats" will be much easier to distinguish and appreciated, as will the interesting tremolo picking between the two guitars. If you really want to dive deep into the interworking of Liturgy's sound though, check out the manifesto written by Hendrix on Transcendental BlackMetal where he explains his sonic vision and how it differs from that of the original Norwegian sound in great detail.
Best track is 3/4 - download those two and link them together for one hell of a good track.
There are many black metal bands that came to mind when I heard them live and then heard the album and there are many great traits of Behemoth's older material that I feel influenced Renihilation.
Pitchfork also seemed really into the album as well and they grade VERY hard: [...]
If you like black metal or want a very unique and very listenable heavy album with ghost like screams - get this.
I was turned on to Liturgy from the samples on Amazon, so I downloaded the album. I gave them two stars because you can tell that the musicians are really talented, escpecially the drummer, but they defintley need to focus more. Download before you buy.