Locrian -- TERRITORIES lp [At War With False Noise / Basses Frequences / Bloodlust! / Small Doses]
Here we have an album so immense, so blackened, and so heavy that it required four separate labels to lift it off the ground and cram it down your throat. Part of what makes this one so heavy is the additional firepower they bring to the game -- their diabolical fusion of noise, drone, and black metal is augmented by additional sonic death courtesy of guests Andrew Scherer (Velnias) on drums, Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) on guitar, Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) on sax and vocals, and Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded, Anatomy of Habit) on electronics and guitar. With the duo of Locrian backed by a full band, the result is a sound that's louder, thicker, and goes off in more directions than ever before. The opening track, "Inverted Ruins," makes this clear from the beginning, with plodding drums, bowel-scraping noise, and a serious commitment to skin-crawling dissonance. "Between Barrows" opens with an ominous cyclotron drone that could have been lifted from one of their earlier albums, but soon it is overlaid with eerie cymbal washes straight out of the Book of Khanate and more power-electronics hum, and as the piece progresses, the drone and crackling noise are embellished by dark ambient washes and eerie feedback drones, all playing out in languid but anguished fashion, like an unsettling prelude to violence. That violence finally arrives in "Procession of Ancestral Brutalism," where -- after an uneasy introduction of vaguely atmospheric ambient noise -- a buzzing guitar, pounding drums, and pained howling swaddled in mountains of reverb usher the album firmly into pure, antagonistic black metal territory. "Ring Road" returns to the more familiar pleasures of grinding, near-industrial tones and screech-laden power electronics, a deliberately grating sound that evolves into a dark, throbbing drone made even more threatening by the alienated noises that rise and fall in the background; the song eventually dissolves into a swirl of static and devolved black metal guitar wailing, like a lost soul disappearing down a rabbit hole. "Antediluvian Territory" is not quite so sinister but every bit as eerie, with a plinking guitar figure creeping across a burnt ambient soundscape of fogged-out noise and cryptic tonal dread, while "The Columnless Arcade" ends the album with an orgy of noise fed through enormous amounts of delay and echo as huge, shuddering drone action threatens to topple the entire sonic architecture into a cold, poisoned ocean... and then the pounding drums, treble-heavy black metal guitar, and hellish vocals burst forth without warning and the sonic destruction REALLY begins. What a way to end a completely filler-free album. Heavy, heavy stuff, o my brothers and sisters, heavy stuff indeed. If you haven't been smart enough to worship Locrian yet, you really should pick this up and get with the program.
At War With False Noise