Friday, April 9, 2010

Locrian "Rain of Ashes" Review from

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Locrian : Rain Of Ashes
Written by J.

Locrian : Rain Of Ashes
Basses Frequences : 2009
Format : CD

Released via the French experimental label Basses Frequences is another new disc from Chicago’s kings of drone metal, Locrian. This band has been ultra prolific that past couple of years and this disc is actually a re-release of a cassette version from earlier in 2009 on Fan Death Records. The CD consists of 2 tracks clocking in at nearly 30 minutes a piece. Both were recorded live during a set the band for the "DNA in the DNA" show on University of Maryland’s freeform radio station WMUC while on tour.

Calling these “tracks” is actually a disservice. These are more akin to movements or journeys. So that being said the title track begins with an airy ambience that is quickly shattered by André Foisy’s ringing guitar work. It’s a sound so mournful and piercing that at times it’s almost painful. And all the while Terence Hannum subtle synth flows underneath. Around the 10 minute mark the guitars drift out and this repeating synth line moves in that reminds me all the world of the Steve Miller Band as the guitar slowly creeps back in. This journey takes a more ominous turn as the guitar takes a heavier, doomier feel. It reminds me a lot of the Pacific NW Black Metal sound. They keys follow suit with organ tones and hiss. Then the whole descends into chaos with rolling, rumbling noise and distant screams. Tragic and beautiful.

And if you haven’t figured it out by the time you read the title (and it took a minute for it to sink in with me, I thought it was Gaelic), “Sehsa Fo Niar” is the first track completely in reverse. As quirky and amusing as this may sound, it actually works. Granted, I like the first track better, but it’s strange and fun.

This is a standard jewel case release with an eight panel insert. There are some great shots of the band mixed with some manipulated nature photos. Limited to 400 copies.

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