Sunday, May 16, 2010

Locrian - Drenched Lands

Locrian is a really prolific band, just this year the band has issued nine releases independently and on different labels and with each album the band has expanded its experimental direction. Retrospectively the band has evolved a lot also, from the simpler methods of feedback annihilation present on their first records where the guitar was implemented as the principal meridian to develop sounds to the expansion experienced on Drone and Noise in records like “Rhetoric of surfaces” released last year and reviewed here at Heathen Harvest to the present, Locrian’s sound has maturated a lot for good, its not that rutilant nor simpler adorer of Noise for the sake of it, it is now more adventurous and intrepid and dare to dig it more deeply into the dark side of ambience with style and even to share a dime or two on metal sensibilities and some atmospheric guitar fogs taken from post rock in order to vaporize all the guitar heaviness that the work is drenched with. With a nice folded slipcase limited to just 1000 copies and deluxe minimal presentation this may be an album candidate for heavy guitar drone of the year.

The elongated riff, akin with metal is more evident on “drenched lands”, an elemental influx from Doom metal is present, but the direction is not exclusively related to this genre, as usual in Locrian its predilection for noise is present, but this time the walls of noise and feedback interplay juxtapose the luscious drone layers and fluctuating bass lines leaving a clear indication on post metal flirts. Ethereal barriers of glassy frequencies are muddled in the slow temper from the heavy and slow riffs. Incidentally the album is more defined by atmosphere and it does construct a really dense atmosphere with obscure undertones, siding with Dark ambient influences. Additionally the guitar deploys potent reverbs and brings incandescent tremolo picking in tracks like “Ghost repeater”. The company of ominous guitar feedback and waves of engulfing guitar deformations made into cascades of drone layers slowly develops the form of the Noise territory but with a definitive aspect that shares at least two grounds the Black metal and crepitant guitar noise where atmospherics are indispensable but above all well achieved. The subtle darkened tone and the evolving patterns of the drone layers are now more discernible and temporary, the brutal harshness is now appeased by contours and semi melodic structures, aside from that subtle details come to play, such as a gong and other special effects. “Barren temple obscured by contaminated fogs” displays a more defined shoegaze influx with its etherized melody later contrasted by the shrieking voice as vocals that imbues the work with an aura of mystery and obscurity. Lacking any sort of percussion the track is all about of contrasting atmospherics with some psychedelic contours product of the amalgam of incandescent drones, the reverb and a minimal guitar sequence.

“Epicedium” is probably the most powerful track from the album, more tranquil and full of guitar minutiae accompanied by elegant layers of ever morphing acoustics, it evokes a really subtle and infectious darkness that later deforms in a bleak melancholia made of chopped guitar melodies. Opposite to this is “Obsolete elegy” that uses the power that comes from a frenzy riff and excellently added effects such as the creepy clock at the start of the track or the mysterious bells that mark the rhythmic average for the most part of the track. The main structure of the track is associated with Black metal but it is totally excoriated in a minimal unfold seconded by reverb lashings, mysterious samplers and lots of echo effect, very somber and moody, this is drone gone right.

More mysterious and dark ambient induced; “Drenched Lands” is an album that steps into dark territory with decision and attitude and completely redesigns the previous Drone usage given by the band. Locrian now presents more defined structures, subtletly and dynamic accompaniments, diversifies the use of guitar and drone layers with a multitude of side effects and textures that prolifically enrich their sonic palette. Good album, interesting progression evidenced, to keep an eye on it.

(Taken from here)

[ At War with False Noise / 2009 / Drone/Dark-Ambient / CBR@192 ]

01.Obsolete elegy in effluvia and dross (02:09)
02.Ghost repeater (10:35)
03.Barren temple obscured by contaminated fogs (06:10)
04.Epicedium (08:30)
05.Obsolete elegy (06:50)
06.Greyfield shrines (30:09)

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