Locrian was formed in Chicago, circa 2005 as a duo of André Foisy and Terence Hannum. In the six years since their inception, the band has traded in shadowy atmospheres, dark melodies, and craggy crescendos to create their own brand of beautiful 21st century dirge. Steven Hess (Haptic) first played with the band on The Crystal World (released by Utech Records on a double cd in 2010, and reissued on limited edition vinyl in March of this year), and has since become a more permanent participant, included on the band’s newest release, New Dominions, a collaborative LP with Chapel Hill’s Horseback. Locrian played what they billed as their last show in Chicago "for some time" on June 13, though they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon: upcoming activity includes teaming up with Seattle’s Mammifer on an as-yet untitled album being recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio.
1. Fripp/Eno - No Pussyfooting
Just a beautiful album that I can listen to over and over again. It’s amazing that these guys made this record so long ago. We used many ideas from this album in our own way. I like the CD reissue of the album since it has some of the album played at half speed and some backwards. Either way, they sound great. (André)
The infinity room on the cover caught my attention, that and Eno’s hair. This album is perhaps one of my defining records it is beautiful, hypnotic, transcendent and amazing. Subtle but full of bombast, I watch the sunrise to “The Heavenly Music Corporation”. This is ground zero and perhaps my favorite over any King Crimson or Eno-era Roxy Music at that time for its singular unique vision. (Terence)
2. Obituary - World Demise
My favorite Obituary album. I’m a big fan of their earlier albums, but the huge riffs, experimental sections, and the weird vocals make this one stand above the others. I love Obituary because they really speak to my inner caveman.
Simple song structures—you usually can anticipate what will come next in an Obituary song, but they just do it right. The album starts with huge crushing riffs and ends that way too. As simple as this album is, there are interesting moments of creativity, like the use of field recordings, the layers of percussion, and effects on the vocals.
I find this album to be strong all the way through. Many of their old fans regard this album as being too experimental and polished, but I think it’s more interesting than any of their other releases. You might even be able to call this minimalist death metal? (André)
So we could probably list ten death metal albums that seriously influenced us Legion, Deicide, Human Waste, Suffocation, Altars of Madness, Morbid Angel, Human, Death…mainly from that early era where the genre was quite exceptional and completely non uniform. But there is something so primitive and bleak about Obituary; like someone punching you in the gut. (Terence)
3. Earth – 2
Growing up not in Seattle in the 1990s, but in the backwaters of Florida (hey Dylan Carlson is wearing a Morbid Angel t-shirt on the back of the CD), Sub Pop had this aura for me outside of most of my heavy metal listening. I would seriously check out anything on the label because it was on the label. This foolish policy led me to some amazing discoveries like Codeine, The Scientists and Steven Jesse Bernstein. It also led to some baddies too; Love Battery, Sprinkler, Dwarves, etc. 2 was a shot across the bow. Heavier than Tad, and slower than the Melvins., it made so much sense and was just impossibly dense and its been great to watch them develop into what they are today. “Like Gold and Faceted” is a masterpiece! (Terence)
4. Suicide - Suicide
This album is hypnotic, in your face, and somewhat schizophrenic. I definitely feel that this record influenced our sound, and specifically our sound on some of our upcoming releases. (André)
5. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
My older brother got me interested in prog rock and this used to be one of his favorite albums which inspired me to pick it up. When I first got interested in prog rock, I was really into Yes because of all of the noodley guitar and bass. I think this early Genesis stuff consisted of better full albums than anything that Yes or any of the other big prog bands were doing at the same time though. I also think that Steve Hackett’s guitar playing is more interesting than Steve Howe’s since it was less showy; he played better as part of a band.
I can listen to this album over and over and still find new things. A really dynamic and rich recording and probably one of my favorite albums ever.
Perhaps we were influenced by the album when we made “The Crystal World” in the sense that the first disc of this album consists of the more direct concise songs and the send disc consists of the more instrumental and landscape oriented tracks. “The Crystal World” follows a similar pattern in the sense that the first disc is much more direct than then second disc, which is more free-form and nightmarish.
My favorite thing about this album is that it really tells a story (a long one), but the story is really difficult to grasp and it never quite makes total sense, which I like. (André)
6. Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
I am a late arriver at this album and I would always hear people talk about this record but I just delayed putting it on. I am so glad I did. This is perhaps one of the most perfect human recorded expressions I can think of. So much so that I have to ration my listening to it, it is almost too good. In its sparse 6 songs it reveals longing, failure, humility, fragility and then at its core, a distinct strength. Mark Hollis’ voice goes from brittle and hushed to soul baring and raw in one song. The dynamics on this are incredible as are the textures and arrangements. (Terence)
7. Kraftwerk – Radio-Activity
We’ve all been heavily influenced by this era in German music. It was had to narrow it down, so many albums by Tangerine Dream to Popul Vuh kept popping up, but this record has the combination of haunting pop and abstract noise, electronic recordings that become melodic or rhythmic. The title track is a haunting lilting jam all the more frightening in our day and age. I also think tracks like “Intermission” “The Voice of Energy” and “News” add so much to the entire album’s feel. (Terence)
8. Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Probably the most accessible TG album, but still one of my favorites. I love the fact that there are these early dancey tracks and then much more disturbing and challenging ones, like “Discipline.” Dark and disturbing, yet strangely listenable-at least to my ears. (André)
This record achieves so much, for me the malice and sweet care on “Persuasion” was revelatory. The art as well, that body on the back cover haunts me. (Terence)
9. Einstürzende Neubauten - Kollapse
So the first EN record I heard was some live material from Strategies Against Architecture II. Where they lit oil on fire, beat a shopping cart, etc. and it left a huge impression on a 13 year old at that time. I think it was when Tabula Rasa was about to be released. However Kollapse blew me away, with how raw and inventive it was, how melodic and rhythmic and harsh it was. I still enjoy their catalog but this early phase arrived in my life at the right moment to encourage curious sounds and intensity. (Terence)
10. One Eyed God Prophecy - One Eyed God Prophecy
This was one of the common bands that Terence and I bonded over when we first met. They were a French-Canadian hardcore band in the 1990s. They only released one album and I still listen to it today. There used to be a few Canadian bands that played this style of heavy octave-chord chaotic crusty hardcore in the 90s and part of the 2000s. To me, Buried Inside (Canadian, but not French-Canadian) perfected this style of hardcore on the Chronoclast (Relapse) album. They had a really powerful way of building passages up and then not relenting. This is probably one of my favorite punk/hardcore albums and one that I still listen to today. Although most wouldn’t realize it, I’m positive that this influenced our sound on our earliest studio album Drenched Lands up until our newer releases. (André)
A phrase many of my old friends use when discussing the time served in the 1990s listening to hardcore music is “Does it hold up?” Sadly for the amount of albums produced very few of them actually hold up past the reputation of the acts at that time – most of who for the most part all sound the same. I would offer this LP as one of the few that lasts even though it is a close cover of Uranus’s output there is something special here. I mean, the second track on the A side is a monolith of synth, minimal drumming and a French voiceover that is longer than some of the songs. And then there’s the songs - blasts of ferocious intensity, buried shrieked vocals in some of the strangest record production for an album and just when you think it can’t get more intense they get more intense playing faster. No e-chord warrior breakdowns, no pedantic lyrics, no real credits listed and no reunion cash-in bullshit. I never saw them but this band did it right. One solid LP and then fade away, leave it for us to decide their legacy, which is surprisingly strong. (Terence)
By Dusted Magazine