Thursday, September 17, 2009

Locrian - Rain Of Ashes (Fan Death, 2009)

Locrian - Rain Of Ashes

Back in April, I discovered the wonder duo of Locrian with their debut full length Drenched Lands. It was an epic metal masterpiece that left my jaw on the floor. Grab your slicker and gas mask because here comes a tape equally epic by the name of Rain Of Ashes.

Locrian are brilliant masters of atmosphere. These guys walk the edge of every line out there, dipping their toes in funeral doom, metal, black ambient, drone, sludge, and thick noise. Without ever getting stuck in a single genre, they're able to create some of the most mind blowing darkness ever recorded.

Rain Of Ashes runs for an hour with two side long monoliths. But there's something special about the B side. If you look at the physical tape, all of the printed info is the same as the A side, except in reverse. Like, where it reads "Rain of Ashes" on the A side, it says "sehsA fo niaR" on the other side. See where they're going with this?

The audio on the B side is the same as the A side, only reversed. Now you might be thinking, "That's the lamest bullshit excuse for a B side I've ever heard." But don't you be so quick to judge. Because I assure you it's fucking awesome.

"Rain Of Ashes" is rife with bleak shrieks and crumbling decay, sounds that conjure images of Michigan in the dead of nuclear winter. Barren abandoned cities with giant yeti running around scavenging off of rotting human corpses. So you'd think that if you play something like that backward, you'd get puppies frolicking in the field with sunshine and rainbows. Or at the very least, the decaying sounds would blossom and become full of growth. Hardly. Somehow Locrian managed to create something equally decrepit forward and backward and not have "sehsA fo niaR" sound dumb.

I have to admit I never would have imagined putting out a two song tape and making the second song just your first one in reverse would be a good idea. I don't think there's too many bands out there that could accomplish that with such grace and brutality as Locrian have. But bravo dudes. And good job putting this on tape. It wouldn't make a lick of sense on CD.

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