Friday, January 29, 2010
There might still be copies of this great zine. You can find it here. This zine looks great. Highly Recommended! There's also a great interview with one of our favorite bands: Profan.
We discuss "Territories" a bit as well as "Rain of Ashes."
Also, our catalog is updated to reflect what we have in stock.
Endless Plains / Flat Horizon [CS]
[Peasant Magik; 2009]
If Locrian's Drenched Lands was, in title and sound, a slow raft ride through the charred, thicketed aftermath of mankind (all technology is dead: no science, no climax; most of all, no perky-titted robots), then Side A of Endless Plains / Flat Horizon is the human experience once the initial shock of a Noah-worthy flood has subsided and it's time to comb the countryside for survivors. Patience, my son; shake harder. Side B occurs after you've woken up from a blackout you don't remember, all the tranquility from the previous scene slowly drained like a thick, primordial ooze. Calm tones are replaced by ominous clouds and dentist's drills; you look up, and all you see are masked doctors frantically running around. Is there something wrong with you or something wrong with the world? You'll never know. What you'll do, however, is RIP that mother-fucking IV from your arm and run away as a cracking drone follows you like a hovering band of atomic bees. Then, just as you realize you've just escaped medical malfeasance, you reenter the world and realize just how dark, empty, and charcoal-black the world has become in your absence. There will be souls to reap...
I cannot believe that we jammed almost 50 minutes of music onto an LP without losing audio quality. The cut sounds amazing thanks to Jason Ward's amazing record cutting skills at Chicago Mastering Service.
We'll be sending our approval test presses today.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Our tape version of "Drenched Lands" has arrived. We have very few of these so order quickly if you're interested.
You can send paypal payment to: Landofdecay@gmail.com
Cost: $6.00 USA/$7.00 Canada+Mexico/$9.00 Rest of World @ postpaid
If you are interested in anything else from us then please see our catalog.
We still have the following Land of Decay releases available:
LOD 004 Gerritt Wittmer "Drenched Hands" c21
LOD 005 Unlucky Atlas c21
LOD 006 T. Hannum "The Mount of All Lands" 3" CD
LOD 007 Terence Hannum "New Rites" Zine
Date: Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Location: Exit Chicago, 1315 West North Avenue
LOCRAIN preview their new album 10 pm - 4 am $3 PBR & $4 U call it drinks FREE ENTRY LOCRIAN guest DJ in support of their new release "Territories," a collaborative studio album featuring Andrew Scherer (Velnias), Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Blake Judd (Nachtmystium). In addition to playing selections from this release, they will be spinning all things doom, sludge, and black metal.
Chicago Metal Factory
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We’ll also have a new tape available from Black Horizons titled "Falling Towers/After the Torchlight." This recording took place in early summer 2009 and was a collaboration with Jeremy Lemos of White/Light and was recorded at Semaphore Studios. There will be two more tracks that we recorded with Jeremy that will be released sometime in the spring and will be on one side of an LP with Century Plants. Tape Drift Tapes will be releasing these tracks.
We have deemed James at Black Horizons as the “King of Tapes” because of the amazing packages that he does for his tapes. We expect this one to look amazing. Hopefully, we’ll have those on sale any day now.
On a side note, we’re looking forward to checking out White/Light performing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in March.
They just released an LP from Puerto Rico Flowers and we highly recommend it.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This version comes with a patch, an insert, and has the entire Drenched Lands album with an alternate bonus track from the CD or LP release. This version includes "This is the Final Epoch," which is a studio track recorded in fall 2009.
1)Obsolete Elegy In Effluvia And Dross
3) Barren Temple Obscured By Contaminated Fogs
5) Obsolete Elegy In Cast Concrete
6) This is the Final Epoch (Bonus Track)
Terence Hannum & André Foisy comprise Locrian, and Rain of Ashes comprises what, to me, is the perfect drone-disguised-as-metal document.
- Pretty much any Nadja/Aidan Baker collab release that leans toward the noise/drone end;
- Tim Hecker, Dead Texan and the other Kranky-ites;
- The in-between moments on Deerhunter/Atlas Sound albums;
- A desert-blur noisefest from Destructo Swarmbots;
- Pussygutt and pretty much anything on 20 Buck Spin;
- Dead C, Pumice and a lot of other N.Z. tape-hiss veterans on or off Siltbreeze;
- Your Death (not a band name, but, yes, the End of You, FUCKER) …
The title track, a nearly half-hour BEHEMOTH, starts with a throbbing blob of electricity and a crackling guitar, crests on the waves of a ear-ringing tone and improv-style chants and settles into the brain like a tumor with its addictive, warm-tub, fever-dream ambiance.
There’s screaming, too, and mayhem and murder, but it’s never implicitly stated. For that it’s all the more creepier. Once the programmed gurgles of synth sweep in slowly, effortlessly, I’m asleep, adrift, in hibernation, floating, dreaming, stirring, opiating, dilating …
This section reminds me of the long, super-trippy intro to Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle” (a song I find myself referencing all the time), a mind-melt that keeps the warm vibes flowing and sinks into the brain like a searing liquid, hot to the touch and addictive once you let it take you down the drain.
“Rain of Ashes” is my favorite Locrian moment in a sea of superior black metal/drone/ambient/noise overtures. Ever-conscious of the listener, it trudges without tripping on too much cushioning, nurturing its motif until it’s time to move on to the next strangely compelling hybrid of the genres mentioned above.
An expanse of strumming, panning, pitch-exploding and plaster BLAST closes the cut out as the themes explored in the previous minutes make second appearances, your ears searching for purchase, your patience tested to the bone. What will come next? Will it hold you? WHY SO MUCH MYSTERY IN THIS TOUGH-LOVE LOCRIAN LIFE?
“Sehsa Fo Niar” is what you get for your stick-with-it-ness, a reward worth its toils tenfold. “Fo Niar” is a more immediate thrill than “Ashes,” drowning its contents in liquid-nitrogen death then hitting it with a ball-peen hammer. This is where the noise takes over and the senses erode from too much sugary ear-syrup death candy.
Soon (OK, 10 minutes later) the synths that trickled into the nooks and crannies of your throbbing brain stem awhile back, as part of “Rain of Ashes,” reappear and radiate a flourescent-/nuclear-green glow that you know is dangerous but you can’t look away from … claustrophobia, panic, back-of-neck sweat, doubt, isolation, nervosa, ADD, OCD, WTF …
I can’t get over how much more addicting this is than, say, 90 percent of the noise/drone you hear these days. Rain of Ashes, as a two-song set, is a statement, a FUCK YOU to the Old Man, a king-of-the-mountain challenge that dares any crust/noise/prog/metal/scum-blast rockers to create something as ominous, as all-encompassing, as IT OWNS YOU-ish.
I don’t exactly see Greg Anderson/Stephen O’Malley of Southern Lord shitting themselves over this, but they have to be at least considering signing this band. You heard it here first, people; it’s happening.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The organizers will be selling the CD in order to raise money to pay for the expenses of running the fest.
Here is what the packaging will look like:
Here's the lineup for the fest:
grain belt (wince + willful + baculum)
xALLxFORxTHISx (Peter J Woods + Blessed Sacrifist)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
You can still pick up these three releases from our distro. All items in the distro are up to date. We are fresh out of the Endless Plains/Flat Horizon tape from Peasant Magik. If you'd like a copy then you should contact the label directly since we won't be acquiring more.
Both of these reviewers are also great musicians. We highly recommend Silas Ciarán's cd on Small Doses and RKF's (Korpershwache) new CD w/ To Blacken the Pages on Colony Records. It's probably one of RKF's best to date.
Locrian -- RAIN OF ASHES [Basses Frequences]
Thanks to the French label Basses Frequences, this two-track album -- originally released as a cassette on Fan Death Records -- is now available on cd (in a run of 400 copies). The first track is the title track, recorded live on WMUC in Chicago in July, 2009; the second track is the first one reversed. A lot of their more recent material has been heavily influenced by black metal, but this is more of a throwback to their earlier work, mixing shrill noise-drone with rumbling waves of dark ambient sound. The original track opens with noisy feedback and dissonant, high-pitched shrieks as a dark, revolving drone gradually fades up in the background; as time passes, shuddering bass action begins to take over the foreground as the drone and wailing being to recede into the background. Drones and moans begin to prevail, accompanied by twitching, skittering noise guitar vibrating in a black cloud of sonic fog. The mood is unsettling, and the sounds floating through the dark ambient haze are varied and constantly evolving; it sounds like the duo has harnessed the power of old analog synths along with the drone potential of fuzzed-out guitar and bass. The sound is rarely ever full-on; the intensity of the mix ebbs and flows, and around the ten-minute mark (the entire track is thirty minutes long), bell-like chimes appear, a motif that will come and go over the duration of the track. The steady but strategic application of dynamics, in fact, is where Locrian excel, and it's the major thing that sets them apart from most noise / drone bands -- they have an impeccable sense of when to flood the speakers and when to back off, as well as how to sprinkle new and interesting sounds through their compositions to keep them from growing stale without making them cluttered. My favorite parts of the track are the howling noises that show up in the last ten minutes, like a bad wind blowing through the throbbing fields of dissonance, and the muted, droning synth dominant through the final six minutes. The last few minutes of the track are a swirling tsunami of crunchy noises, dark rumbling, and wind-tunnel roar that finally fades out into nothingness as the track ends. The act of merely flipping the recording and running it backwards for the second track is nowhere near as self-indulgent as it might appear at first glance, for the reversed sound is just as unnerving (maybe more so) and, thanks to the peculiar physics of reversed audio, significantly different in terms of sonic architecture. In fact, the flipped track is some seriously scary-sounding shit. Once again the band turns out a work of distinction, and one you should track down as soon as possible (in the format of your choice).
Locrian / Harpoon -- split 7" [He Who Corrupts Inc.]
Chicago's finest noise duo (that would be the Locrian) return on a split release with another Chicago band, the grind thugs Harpoon. This split has been in the works for a while now, and comes with some interesting surprises -- the first appearance of a bassist for Harpoon, and a collaborator for Locrian (Andrew Sherer of Velnias). The Locrian track, "Ancestral Brutalism," opens with lo-fi hiss and ambient darkness before bursting into a full-on black metal riff that's augmented by bass-heavy ambient noise; by the time the drums (!) and pained vocals arrive, the atmosphere is a perfect return to the murky brutality of the infancy of black metal, with a sound that combines Burzum's eerie atmosphere with Sodom's hyperkinetic frenzy and smeared-into-paste guitars. This is no technical horrorshow, either -- just filthy monochromatic riffing that rises from a swamp of sonic murkiness and eventually descends back into the same. The Harpoon track, "To the Tall Trees," is far more modern-sounding, a bone-rattling epic of relentless grind driven by supercharged drumming and knitting-needle guitars that shifts down to a lower, even heavier, gear midway through the song. The abrupt and unexpected shift from blinding, speedy grindcore to a noisy form of doom keeps things interesting, and the band's forbidding guitar sound and primal drumming are the main things likely to keep you coming back for more. The packaging itself is most swank as well; a thick letter-pressed cover houses a full-color wraparound insert, the single itself is on green marble vinyl, and the package includes a coupon for a free digital download of bonus material (two songs by each band). Aside from being limited to 300 copies, it's worth noting that this is the label's final physical release.
and the one from He of the House
At War With False Noise
Written by Silas Ciarán
Drenched Lands showcases one of the first big movements, in my opinion, for Chicago-based black noisers, Locrian. Pressed professionally in an edition of one thousand copies (a rightfully HUMONGOUS set for such an independent and underground band) by familiars Small Doses and At War With False Noise, both extremely established and esteemed labels in the underground scene, the album truly encapsulates the diluted, blackfog air of its creation, both physically and aurally. The packaging is beautiful, simple, and very fitting.
Starting with a buzzing, a defined funeral procession of a guitar line trots in and falls in place. There is a slight tinkling off in the distance, natural sounds, complementing the seemingly lofi atmosphere. Droning lownotes come into the grim scene before us, almost as if a cracked and beaten cello strove to join in on the march. The guitar tempo is beginning to slack a bit, but that is what makes this a truly worthwhile listen. Raw power doesn't need a tempo. Electronic hightones floating in, the voices of angels watching from above - or below.
Then, everything cuts off, and a pulsing monotonous beat envelopes all. Nothing can be heard save for this throbbing, bleeding ulcer, discovered directly in the midst of what seemed to be an endless procession. We are wafting along, staring into the eyes of the damned, straddling the roads depicted in these photographs. Repetition in ethereal beings, this may be. The birthing of childghosts, sucking their first breaths from the plastique bags littering the ground. You almost want to believe that these sounds are coming from a guitar, but you cannot. This is the breeding ground of maggots and flies. The beat is fading now; not gone (it never will be, now), but certainly taking a subconscious backseat to the piercing waves of notes washing over the ground. Vocals are heard for the first time since the album's inception, a strangled plea for attention amongst the cacophony of sounds. These voices have fingers and nails, and they are well at work trying to claw their way through the barrier protecting you from (what? yourself?). Cymbal crashes follow through and are cut short, signaling the end of the spirit's tale.
What was once a wall of sound now seeps into what took us from the start; slow, unfiltered guitar strings, plucked with enough contempt and despair to carry the entire rest of the album without much deviation. But deviation there is. Mournful, pulsating keyboards drift overhead, almost instantly pulled back down and smashed full force into the earth's crust by a whole new set of voices, deteriorating any sense of life or being that it may have once held. The soft guitar strings, our Little Watchers, come back out to play.
Pure disorientation. Highpitched notes quickly flutter back and forth through both speakers, not far enough to the point of annoyance to cringe from them. Guitars once again lead these lost lambs into a faithful orkestra. Is someone trying to phone in? That familiar crackle appears... perhaps it makes sense, perhaps not. Deep, droning strings take over now, sending the children home and to bed. But they aren't listening, skipping along and frolicking as children will. A battle ensues, has its own tempo... both sides know it was lost far before it began.
For whom the bell tolls... it tolls endlessly. Oh, it has its cracks, certainly. But just as you are finished polishing the parts unscathed, you are thrown right back into the midst of this pitch black storm. Chugging guitars and nihilistic screams give this album a rude awakening, dragging it by the throat into its true nature, the purest form of black metal to exist. Forget your Darkthrone, because this Transylvanian hungers for something more... In the churning atmosphere, the single, beautiful guitar line that lead us so comfortably by the hand in the beginning returns with just that much more force and power, interspersed between hightone beeps and floating ambiance.
And thus, the journey ends. I could go on to attempt to explain the last track, a bonus for this CD though it was first released on vinyl by Diophantine Discs, but I won't. I can't. Simple as that.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Written by Creaig Dunton
Sunday, 10 January 2010
At first blush, I thought this was an odd paring, given that Harpoon does competent grindcore punk/metal stuff while Locrian is known more for drone and experimental with just a hint of post-punk sensibility. However, Locrian’s contribution to this 7" (plus digital) release is by far their most "conventional", and is not as an odd of a paring as I had expected.
Marked as the final physical release from this small Chicago label, it is a fine way of leaving the business: a vomit-green swirled 7" in a minimalist, black letter-pressed sleeve creates a contrast that somewhat carries over into the sound of the vinyl. The vinyl contains only two tracks (one from each artist) but a free download is provided that gives digital versions of those two, plus two additional tracks not included on the physical release.
From what I can gather, this is the debut release for Harpoon, who provide some decent, if perhaps not compelling, grindcore/hardcore punk stuff. "To The Tall Trees" is not one of those intentionally rapid-fire songs to the point of absurdity as Agoraphobic Nosebleed would do, nor is it offensive or disgusting, like other bands of the genre, so it harkens more back to the early days of the genre than more modern permutations. Considering it clocks in at over five minutes, it also has to be varied, which it is: there are slower and restrained moments to match the rapid fire riffs and sub machine gun drum programming that keep it from being an exercise in tedium. The second, download only, track "Phlegm" is a bit more surf influenced with some noteworthy variation in approach, but it doesn’t make me want to become an acolyte of the genre.
On the flip side, Locrian’s "Ancestral Brutalism" starts out similar to their other drone work, but the low frequency static texture is met with a monotone jackhammer drum beat, Andre Foisey’s complex, yet simple guitar work, and some downright metal screaming from Terrence Hannum. The band has never shied away from metallic influences before, but never have they been so overt as they are here. The buried and reverberated mix gives that more esoteric edge that keeps it away from traditional hardcore punk/metal stuff, but it is still surprising to hear this side of things, given this band’s ever-growing discography. The "bonus" track, "Antediluvian Territory," goes back to their usual sound: guitar abuse, feedback, and a slow build from ambient into harsh electronic territory. The track shows that post-punk edge that has really been emphasized in their work as of late, which I find hard to describe, but is more Robert Smith than Stephen O’Malley in its nature. Something tells me they’ve listened to Seventeen Seconds more than they have any of Mayhem’s albums, but I could be entirely wrong.
While Harpoon really didn’t set my world on fire, someone who is a greater fan of grindcore would probably find a lot to love, as there is definitely a sense of musicality and composition to their work than other practitioners of the genre usually display, and having heard Locrian’s sound developing over the past year, I think they’re definitely polishing their own sound, separating themselves from an ever-growing sea of mundane drone metal projects.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Locrian have completed their new collaborative studio album, entitled Territories. The album was recorded in January 2009 at Phantom Manor Studios in Chicago, IL and features numerous collaborators including Andrew Scherer (Velnias), Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Blake Judd (Nachtmystium). The album will also be a collaboration between four labels from three countries: At War With False Noise (UK), Basses Frequences (France), Bloodlust! (USA), and Small Doses (USA). Territories is Locrian's second studio album and is slated for a March 1st release.
The full tracklisting is as follows:
1. Inverted Ruins
2. Between Barrows
3. Procession of Ancestral Brutalism
4. Ring Road
5. Antediluvian Territory
6. The Columnless Arcade
A description of the release is listed below.
LOCRIAN - TERRITORIES
Labels: At War With False Noise/Basses Frequences/Bloodlust!/Small Doses
Release Date: March 1, 2010
André Foisy and Terence Hannum have spent the last several years honing the Locrian sound. They’ve taken elements from noise, power electronics, drone, and black metal to come up with a truly unique sound reflecting the sprawling urban decay surrounding them in Chicago. After nearly two dozen releases, they’ve found themselves in the world of Territories. For this release, Locrian has pulled out all the stops and fleshed out the band with the help of Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded, Anatomy of Habit) on vocals and synthesizers, Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) on guitar, Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) on saxophone and vocals, and Andrew Scherer (Velnias) on drums. The results of this massive collaborative effort are apparent from the moment the album starts. The textures run darker and deeper; the vocals--sometimes three layers deep--seem to be conjured from the decrepit muck of a failed civilization; the feedback takes on a more pronounced presence; and the big band allows for full-on black metal assaults that burst out of the tortured drones Locrian have come to be known for. Truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, Territories may well be the most fully realized form of Locrian’s dystopic vision.
The pair's tortured compositions transplant listeners to a post-industrial wasteland where rusted factories and skeletal skyscrapers serve as the only remnants of a once-great society.
--Andy Downing, The Chicago Tribune
Distortion and delay is still the name of the game…[Locrian] screech like angry gulls above a cold, black sea of fuzzy drone. There are clear signs that this music is evolving into something more complex and structured, Foisy and Hannum crawling out of the murky ocean onto dry land like lungfish.
--Dan Warburton, Wire Magazine
Locrian evokes both murky, damp granite tunnels and Phantasm-like marble mist, a gaseous disorientation that works against the tried and true metalisms in a gripping way.… Locrian are much more of a junk drawer, with John Carpenter-like analog keyboards and post-rock gloom progressions that are dropped suddenly more than they are built upon. There’s a dogged vibe of disjointedness that lends a mysterious quality, as though each track were the unidentifiable scraps of some unfathomably enormous ghost vessel.
--Willcoma, Tiny Mix Tapes
Locrian get their tones from below ground and stun repeatedly when things get heavy.
--Scott Seward, Decibel Magazine
There's certainly an element of drone in Locrian's music: a steady, rippling hum, produced by a combo of synth, organ, and other electronics, throbs in the background of almost every track.…Sometimes the extended [guitar] lines are skittery and gnarled, and at other times they groan and moan in slow, winding arcs….Certain pieces are darkly meditative, others claustrophobic, and still others harrowing and cathartic. Locrian have demonstrated an impressive sonic range and curiosity; instead of obsessing microscopically over a single kind of sound, they mix things up, and everything I've heard feels equally committed.
--Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
[Locrian] have already achieved a brilliant post-Television minimalist slant with their guitar chores, and even if they don’t allow much room outside of that pattern, they truly fill the interior of it.… Feedback is a surge. Brilliant in a weird and minor way.
--Byron Coley, Wire Magazine
Locrian have a focus that doesn’t fall into either chin stroking or weeded out jam-mode. Generating the atmosphere of a dark that’s definitely of this world and era - no rambling basement bullshit for this duo - [Locrian] manifests the sound of jackals seeking prey in abandoned malls. Locrian’s vision is an internalised one, a view that’s expressed through ferocious volume with a finger than remains on the trigger guard.
--Scott McKeating, Rock-a-Rolla
Looming monoliths of distorted synthesizer erode in slow motion while a brittle, hazy guitar line wavers slowly back and forth like a rusty weathervane creaking in the wind. And then: thhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gife voices. Disembodied howls rising from the devil’s asshole. Greyfield Shrines is a single long-form composition—how long depends on you, since there’s a locked groove at the end of side one—and its beautiful, eerie tones are matched by its beautiful, eerie packaging.
--J. Niimi, Chicago Reader
Imagine, if you will, waking up in the morning. You walk into the kitchen and hear a pot of coffee brewing. You step outside and hear several different sounds: construction workers repairing and adding to a building nearby, cars driving by on the street, the distant sound of an airplane flying overhead….If hearing these noises in real life isn’t enough for you, then Chicago’s LOCRIAN was created just for you.
--Mike, Metal Temple
99. Locrian, "Drenched Lands"
"This synth and guitar band definitely leans more on the experimental than the metal side of things, channeling electronic textures and post-rock elements along with the pained vocals and heavy guitar sludge. While this album has the added bonus of a 30 minute live track, their more recent works show an even more diverse approach to their sound." - Creaig Dunton
"Dark deep doom drone whose textural sensitivity speaks to a healthy alternative from the more demonically minded." - Henry Smith
Also, among others, thanks to:
Dead Letters Spells Out Dead Words: It's a Trap
Klangkomplex: End of Year List 2009