This is the third thing I have reviewed by Locrian and so far I have found them to be a mixed bag. That said, this has been a much more enjoyable release, taking the best elements of “Drenched Lands,” such as their ability to create a heavy atmosphere, while taking what I saw as the weaknesses of “Plague Journal,” which is it’s stripped down repetitive minimalism and turns it into a strength.
“Exhuming the Carnival” brings in heavy bass drones with
that, while remaining fairly simple throughout, develops an increasing sense of urgency. At first I thought that it would quickly become boring, but it remained strangely compelling. Very nicely done. “Burying the Carnival” takes a more ominous approiach as occasional yelling blends with guitar over a noisy, dissonant droning background. This track shifts throughout, which keeps it interesting. At one point, it is almost as if there is an Yngwie Malmsteen solo in the middle that doesn’t really seem as out of place as I thought it would. The guitar gets increasingly dissonant as the oppressive drones close in on you. Overall, this is the best I have heard from Locrian. Out of all of the releases, this is the one I would start with.